Major changes to certain Australian visas have been announced by the Australian Department of Immigration in April 2017.
Prepared by Phillip Silver –Principal Lawyer
Benjamin Franklin apparently wrote in a 1789 letter that in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
If Benjamin Franklin were alive today he would to his list of certainties “being ambushed by the Australian government with complex constant changes to Australian Immigration laws and its visa requirements”
The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) will be renamed as the new Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and will be updated every six months.
The current Skilled Occupations List (SOL) is renamed the new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This list will contain occupations that have been assessed as being of high value to the Australian economy and aligning to the Australian Government’s longer term training and workforce strategies.
You must now nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) if you are applying for any of the below:
- Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)– Family nominated
- Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)– Graduate Work Stream.
You must now also nominate an occupation on the Combined list of STSOL and MLTSSL eligible skilled occupations if you are applying for any of the below:
- Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186)– Direct Entry Stream
- Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – State or Territory nominated
- Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
- Training visa (subclass 407)
These drastic changes also include abolishing the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa (457 visa) and replacing it with the completely new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018.
What is changing on the 457 visas?
Changes from April 2017
From 19 April 2017, for the existing 457 visa:
– Occupation lists: The occupation lists that underpin the 457 visa will be significantly condensed from 651 to 435 occupations, with 216 occupations removed and access to 59 other occupations restricted. Of the 435 occupations, access to 24 occupations has been restricted to regional Australia (e.g. occupations relating to farming and agriculture).
– Validity period: The maximum duration of 457 visas issued from this date for occupations that are on the STSOL will be two years.
Occupations on the MLTSSL will continue to be issued for a maximum duration of four years.
– English language requirements:
English language salary exemption threshold, which exempts applicants whose salary is over $96,400 from the English language requirement, will be removed.
– Character: Provision of penal clearance certificates will become mandatory.
Changes to 457 visas from March 2018
From March 2018, the 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa (TSS visa).
The TSS visa will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.
The Short-Term stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill skill gaps with foreign workers on a temporary basis, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.
The Medium-Term stream will allow employers to source foreign workers to address shortages in a narrower range of high skill and critical need occupations, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.
The regulations which govern Australian Visas are complex. As Australian Immigration Lawyers we are steeped in dealing with complex visa applications daily. We are equally also able to assist clients with less complex applications as part of our broad range of visa services.
Contact us and obtain advice from an Australian immigration lawyer.
About Phillip Silver and Associates
Phillip Silver and Associates is a successful boutique law firm established in 1990. Our offices are based in Johannesburg and Sydney.
Our immigration lawyers provide personalised visa advice and immigration assistance for people wishing to apply for visas or work permits or obtain permanent or temporary residence.
Our lawyers will advise on the best visa/permit option to suit your circumstances and will assist you from inception through to finalisation of your visa/permit application.
With highly skilled lawyers, you are assured of dealing with lawyers that strive to understand your specific circumstances and requirements from the outset. Our outstanding achievements at corporate and individual levels bear testimony to why many regard us as the definitive immigration law firm.
Phillip Silver & Associates is proud of its established client base, representing large corporations, small to medium sized private companies and prominent individuals. Our team of attorneys is recognized by our clients as being dedicated and passionate about our clients’ cases, and that we strive to gain a practical understanding of the nature of the businesses and personal circumstances of our clients.
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This week the Phillip Silver and Associates team were met with a last minute emergency request to apply for visas for Danny’s Green’s opponent. Danny Green who is Australia’s 4 time, world champion boxer is scheduled to fight on the 19th August against an international champion.
Words cannot express how tremendously grateful I am to Phillip Silver for his sincere compassion and legal assistance during one of the most challenging times in my life.
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