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Update to 457 temporary skilled entry visas
Tuesday 4 July 2017

Following the announced changes to the 457 temporary skilled visa program in April 2017, AmCham in conjunction with the French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FACCI) undertook a survey of our members to gather first-hand feedback on how the changes are affecting your business. 

Based on the results of this survey, AmCham's Board of Directors wrote to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, summarising our concerns and calling for revisions to the list of eligible skilled occupations, and for a better system for intra-company transferees. AmCham's CEO, Niels Marquardt along with members of our Board also travelled to Canberra last month to meet with the Minister and other key policymakers to relay feedback directly to them.

On 30 June 2017, the Minister announced an update to the occupations list that takes into account AmCham's feedback and input into the consultation process. The key aspects of this update can be found below:
  • On 1 July 2017, new updated skilled occupation lists (the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) for the 457 visa came into effect.

    • The updated lists are part of the Government’s reforms to Australia’s employer sponsored skilled migration visa programmes announced in April 2017.

    • This is the second phase of the reforms that will culminate with the abolishment and replacement of the 457 visa in March 2018.

  • Following review, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (the Minister) decided to increase the number of occupations eligible for 457 visas from 435 to 460, with:

    • 36 occupations newly available;

    • onine occupations removed, two occupations merged into one and one occupation only eligible for the training visa; and

    • additional caveats added or clarified for occupations.

  • The updates were based on stakeholder consultations, labour market analysis and advice from Government agencies, including:

    • outcomes from the 2017-18 Skilled Occupation List review completed by the Department of Education and Training (DET);

    • advice from the Department of Employment (DoE); and

    • submissions made from stakeholders about the April 2017 skilled occupation lists.

Among the key changes for the 457 visas include:

a)      CEO and Corporate General Manager occupations have moved from the two year Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) to the four year Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

b)      For CEOs and managing directors, the annual turnover threshold and 5 minimum staff caveat have been removed. A CEO salary caveat set at a minimum $180,000 (the top tax threshold) remains

c)       The new English language requirements will apply except for employees transferring between a foreign parent company to an Australian subsidiary of the company

d)      For eligible occupations, an additional 25 occupations have been added to the temporary entry skilled list (up from 435 to 460 occupations).

DIBP has also clarified that visa periods of up to 4 years are available where requested by the sponsor and required to meet Australia’s international trade obligations.

From 1 January 2018, Department of Employment will take over management of the six-monthly review of skilled occupations.  In March 2018, the 457 visas will be abolished and the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa will be introduced.

Further information about the
1 July 2017 reforms is available on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.