Regarding 457 visa reforms as TSSV or Temporary Skill Shortage visa Update

In the present context of so called uncertainty regarding 457 visa reforms, many are misinformed and hence rule out all the possibility for them getting on board the 457 program renamed as TSSV or Temporary Skill Shortage visa. Here at MAXIMUS we give you the correct guidance to open a whole new perspective on this new temporary skill visa which would make you aware of the feasibility of getting your cherished Short term Skill visa in the lead up to Permanent residency .

The ever popular employer sponsored Temporary work Skilled (Long stay visa) better known as 457 visa since introduced over 20 years back has benefited skilled workers from many countries to fill in the skill shortages in Australia and eventually get their permanent residence through Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

However on 18 April 2017 it was announced by the current Government that 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with a new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSSV) coming into effect in March 2018. The implementation of TSSV that started on 19 Apr 2017 will be completed on March 2018 with reforms being introduced in a phased manner.

 

Changes effective from 19 April 2017

To start with, the 457 visa subclass that once had 651 occupations to select from 216 occupations are removed. And out of the 435 occupations remaining access to 59, occupations are restricted by what is called a Caveat on the visa which means stringent conditions with regard to minimum salary thresh holds, minimum sponsor turnover and minimum number of employees in the business etc.

24 occupations related to farming and agriculture are restricted to regional Australia. The occupation list is broadly divided into two lists of occupation.

  1. STSOL (Short term Skilled Occupation list)
  2. MLTSSL (Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List)

 

The Temporary Skills Shortage Visa has two streams:

Short term stream – This stream is meant for Australian businesses to fill skill gaps with overseas workers on short term basis where suitably skilled Australian workers cannot be found.

  • The list of occupations is found in STSOL.
  • Need to possess work experience of up to minimum 2 years in the relevant field.
  • Validity of the visa up to 2 years.
  • Renewable for one more term of two years on shore.
  • The occupations are available both in non-regional and regional areas.
  • No possibility for permanent residence.
  • English language skills requirement equivalent of score 5 with minimum 4.5 in each test component.
  • Need to satisfy the GTE (Genuine Temporary Entrant) requirement.
  • Age limit is reduced from 50 years to be under 45 years.

 

Medium-term stream – This stream is meant to address shortages in a narrower range of high skill and critical need occupations where suitably skilled Australian workers cannot be found.

  • The list of occupations is found in MLTSSL.
  • Validity of visa is up to 4 years.
  • Permanent residence path way available only after 3 years from 2 years previously.
  • The occupations are available in regional and non-regional areas.
  • English language skills requirement of minimum IELTS score 5 in each test component.

 

Further reforms include

  • The employers are required to pay Australian market salary rate to meet what is called as TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) which is to make sure that the overseas workers do not undercut the Australian workforce.
  • The employers are required to undertake Labor Market Testing, a procedure to make sure that the suitable work force to fill the occupation is not available in Australia.
  • The employees are required to be trained in a manner set by the Training Benchmark policies or contribute to the Skilling Australian Fund to add value to both self and the company in terms of productivity.
  • The Department of Immigration will collect the Tax File numbers of the employees and the data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office records.
  • A system to ensure and implement non-discriminatory work practice would be set up.

 

Changes effective from 1 Jul 2017

  • The skills list STSOL is subjected to review by the Government Employment agency and the MLTSSL list is subjected to review by the Department of Education and Training.
  • There was an English Language exemption for applicants whose salary was over $96400 which is removed from 1 Jul 2017.
  • The training benchmark requirement to train the employees.
  • The requirements for Police clearance certificate for overseas workers will become mandatory for all the applicants now.

 

Changes effective from Dec 2017

The Department of Immigration will start collecting the Tax File numbers of all the 457 visa holders to ensure that the holders are paid their minimum salary threshold of $53900 and upwards depending on the caveats imposed on the relevant occupation.

Consequently the sponsors who fail to meet the legislative obligation is liable to be sanctioned.

 

Changes effective from March 2018

TSS visa will totally replace the 457 visa. The legislative reforms relevant to the changes are awaited.

The future of the visa applicant whose occupations were in the occupation list prior to 18 April 2017 and not in the occupation list at the moment since undergoing the process of change and hence withdrawn will be positively impacted. However in the context of the various occupations being added and removed from the lists, it is advised by the affected applicants not to withdraw their applications until the Department finalize decisions on their occupations lists.

The Advantages of Employing MAXIMUS Migration agents

The ever changing Immigration Department decisions and the resulting changes in legislation can be a daunting task for the prospective visa applicants to make decisions on their future aspirations in Australia.

Our immigration experts are well informed on the latest rules and regulations and changes of the Department of Immigration policies and can render all the assistance required to help you to maximize the chances of success in your visa application.

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