457 flash update - Second stage for changes to 457 Visa!!
Assisted by Holly Pitt
On 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister Peter Dutton announced that the 457 visa scheme would be abolished and replaced by a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa by March 2018.
They announced immediate changes to the current 457 visa scheme.
Many employers and employees who have applications pending have been negatively affected by these changes, especially by their retrospective effect, and the new limitations on 457 eligibility, and uncertainty about the new rules and further changes generally, and protests have attracted media attention - see articles in the SMH and the Financial Review.
As of 1 July 2017, the following further changes took effect:
- for applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017:
- visa applicants for the ENS and RSMS visas applying under the Direct Entry (DE) stream must be younger than 45 years of age (reduced from 50 years of age)
- visa applicants for the ENS and RSMS visas applying under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream will require a minimum International English language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6 (increased from 5) in each component
- for applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017, or those still being processed as at 1 July 2017:
- visa applicants for the ENS and RSMS visas who earn equivalent to the Australian Tax Office’s top individual income tax rate ($180,001) will no longer be exempt from the English Language Requirement
- visa applicants for the ENS and RSMS visas applying under the DE Stream, who earn equivalent to the Australian Tax Office’s top individual income tax rate ($180,001) will no longer be exempt from the skills assessment requirement
- second nominations for the same position cannot be linked to undecided visa applications lodged in association with the first (refused or withdrawn) nomination
- new caveats on some occupations have been introduced within both the 457 and ENS visa streams to provide additional detail about the permitted scope of occupations beyond their ANZSCO definitions (current 457 visa holders are not impacted by the caveats unless a further 457 visa application is lodged or there is a change in occupation or employer)
- all visa applications are now to include mandatory police clearance certificates if lodged on or after 1 July 2017: applicants must provide police certificates for each country lived in for 12 months or more, over the last 10 years (calculated immediately before the time the visa application is lodged), since turning 16 years of age
- training benchmarks for sponsoring employers have been updated with a view to setting and tightening training benchmarks
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