Changes to the 457 visa and skilled visa regime
The Australian 457 Visa Reform
To kick off the Government’s planned abolishment (and replacement) of the 457 visa by March 2018, there are now two new occupation which lists apply and prescribe the occupations that are now eligible to be nominated for the purposes of various skilled visas (including 457 visas):
- Medium and Long-term Strategic skills List (MLTSSL);
- Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
What if my visa application has been lodged but not decided?
Subclass 190 and 489 visa applicants are basically affected if they have not yet received an invitation on or after 19 April 2017. If they have received an invitation prior to 19 April 2017, then the previous occupations (i.e. the occupation which is the subject of their invitation) will apply to their applications. Otherwise, their occupation must be in line with the new list.
Subclass 457 applicants who have pending applications which are yet to be decided will need to immediately ensure that they comply with the new list requirements / conditions. For example, many occupations are still available, but have been restricted in their scope. It may still be possible to proceed with your application. Otherwise, if your occupation does not comply with the new list requirements, you should consider withdrawal (to potentially obtain a refund of your application fees) and consider alternative options (such as the employer sponsored 186 application which is a pathway to permanent residency, if available). If however there are no issues with your proposed occupation and you are on the MLTSSL, your visa can be approved for up to 4 years. If your visa is on the STSOL then it can only be approved for up to 2 years.
Subclass 186 and 407 applications which have been lodged but not yet decided should not be affected. Only new applications made on or after 19 April 2017 need to comply with the new lists.
Further changes may come into force which affect the above in the coming months. Please also note it is likely that the above lists will be further amended in the coming months.
The Australian Migration Agent and Immigration Lawyer Association
Contact: Amy Jacobson