Introduction of the Temporary Short Skilled (TSS) Visa now in effect: On Sunday, 18 March 2018, the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa subclass 457 was officially abolished and replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa. Legislative changes tightening of the eligibility requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas also came into effect as foreshadowed by the Federal Government.
The Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2017, which will implement the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, remains under consideration by the Senate.
Announcement of the new Global Talent Scheme visa pilot: On Monday, 19 March 2018, the Government announced a new pilot visa scheme to attract high-tech skills and talent to Australia and is set to commence on 1 July 2018. Details of the scheme have not yet been released, but according to media reports, the visa may not require the skilled occupation to be on the relevant eligibility lists.
457 visa applications can no longer be lodged, however the TSS is available as a replacement.
Many of the requirements of the 457 are replicated in the TSS, so it will be a largely familiar process. However, there will be a few key differences:
|Short-term Stream||Medium-long term Stream|
|Occupation List||Short-term Skills Occupation List (STSOL)||IMedium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)|
|Duration||Up to two years||Up to four years|
|Renewals||One onshore renewal||Unlimited onshore renewals while occupation on MLTSSL|
|English||International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 5 overall (4.5 in each component)||IELTS 5 in each component|
|Genuine temporary entrant requirement||Applicable||Not applicable|
|Permanent residence pathway||No||Yes|
The Subclass 186 and 187 visas will continue to exist with the three streams remaining available - Direct Entry (DE), Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) and Labour Agreement. However, the following changes are effective from 18 March:
There is good news for some sponsors - the requirement for 457/TSS sponsor applicants to meet the training benchmarks has been removed and will not need to be met for applications lodged from 18 March 2018. The sponsorship obligation in relation to past compliance remains.
The SAF training levy, which is set to replace it, remains in draft legislation before Parliament so there is no clear date when this new fund will be implemented.
These changes will impact all employers and employees who use the 457 program. We recommend you familiarise yourself with the changes and consider whether any of your organisation's policies or procedures around its use of the program need to be updated.
There is great news for employers with a high turnover, or technology-based and STEM-related start-ups.
The Government announced on 19 March 2018 that it will pilot a new visa scheme specifically designed to attract highly skilled and experienced employees for jobs outside of the standard skilled eligibility lists.
The Global Talent Scheme pilot will start on 1 July 2018 for an initial trial of 12 months, and will be available as two new streams of the TSS:
We will provide you with updated information as we receive more details from the Department.
These changes may provide opportunities for your business to hire highly skilled employees from outside of the standard occupation lists, giving you the opportunity to attract the best talent in the world.