457 Visa Information & Changes

We have all been a bit blindsided in the past month with the announcements made by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration regarding 457 abolishment and changes to Citizenship last month.  Now that the news has been digested and further clues as to what to expect have emerged I would like to assist my clients, contacts and anyone not yet familiar with Rubicon Migration Australia to understand the potential impact on their own circumstances, for example

  • You are already a 457 visa holder working towards an Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 visa application
  • You have been a permanent resident for more than a year and have been in Australia lawfully for more than four years
  • You are awaiting assessment of a 457 visa application

Although the Government has made these announcements as if they are set in stone they are continuing to consult with stakeholders as to the final shape of the legislation which must then be put to parliament.  In short, we do not know how the exact details will ultimately look and we may yet have unintended consequences taken into account in the final drafting.

Rubicon Migration Australia is happy to take any queries, comments and suggestions you may have for the Government through our website to pass on to stakeholder meetings through the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) in the coming weeks.  Please submit your comments to add to those below.

PROPOSED CITIZENSHIP CHANGES

The Government has set out their proposed Citizenship Changes in a document:

Strengthening The Test For Australian Citizenship

https://www.border.gov.au/ReportsandPublications/Documents/discussion-papers/citizenship-paper.pdf

Note:  The law is not yet changed.

The Government is claiming that these changes will apply to all Citizenship applications made after 19 April 2017.  It is not clear how this will be achieved as the changes have not yet passed through parliament.  Does this mean Australian Citizenship applications will be put on hold until the Government has come to their hoped for outcome that these laws will go through retrospectively?  It may or may not happen.  

I would be happy to discuss individual cases in consultation as to current Citizenship applications for those who meet the current residency requirements.

The main changes proposed are:

  1. The Government is proposing that citizenship applicants be in Australia for four years as a permanent resident before applying.  (It was already a requirement that applicants be in Australia for four years when applying however the four years could be made with temporary residency and at least 12 months as a permanent resident.)

Comments:

Comment:  For many Australian resident students this will mean paying for Diplomas and Degrees up front with no access to HECS-HELP

 

  1. Instead of English being indirectly tested through completion of the Citizenship Test the Government is now proposing a separate English Test to achieve a relatively high level of writing, reading, listening and speaking.  For those who are familiar with the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) the minimum score in that test is 6 for each of these test components.

Comments:

Comment:  This level is required for skilled migrants and is way above the functional English that most migrants would have who are more than capable of using the English language to interact on a day to day basis in the life of Australian society.  This would preclude many permanent residents through family sponsorship from citizenship.

 

  1. Demonstrate Australian values through responses to test questions relating to Democratic Beliefs, Freedoms, Equality, Integration with documentary evidence of integration in particular.

Comments:

Comment:  The success of Australia’s multiculturalism over many decades demonstrates the cosmetic nature of these ‘changes’.

 

457 – ABOLISHMENT OR REPLACEMENT?

The 457 visa is not yet ‘abolished’ however the process to its replacement by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa by March next year leaves a great deal of uncertainty other than that there will be a continuation of Temporary Work Visas.  We are still awaiting confirmation of some of the detail of the proposed new visa and concurrent changes to other skilled visa programmes.

The Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration confirmed that existing 457 visa holders (as of 18 April 2017) will still be able to apply for a Permanent visa and will not be affected by these changes. (See News.com.au article 19/4/17 – ‘However, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the 95,000 people already in the country on a 457 work permit would be unaffected by the change and permitted to apply for residency.  “They will continue under the conditions of that visa,” Mr Dutton said.’)

Nevertheless we have been advised that full ‘grandfathering’ arrangements are currently being drafted by the Government for existing 457 visaholders as at 18 April 2017.

Some time in the second half of this year, the Government proposes to implement the collection of tax file numbers for 457 visaholders to ensure they have been paid their nominated salary.  They also propose to publish details of any sponsors sanctioned.

Summary of the current projected changes

There are now two new occupation lists which stand as current law:

 

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

and

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

These are fully set out below.

 

MLTSSL ANZSCO CODE
OCCUPATION
Construction Project Manager 133111
Project Builder (See Note 25) 133112
Engineering Manager 133211
Production Manager (Mining) (See Note 25) 133513
Child Care Centre Manager 134111
Medical Administrator (See Note 25) 134211
Nursing Clinical Director 134212
Primary Health Organisation Manager 134213
Welfare Centre Manager 134214
Accountant (General) (See Note 5) 221111
Management Accountant 221112
Taxation Accountant 221113
External Auditor 221213
Internal Auditor 221214
Actuary 224111
Land Economist 224511
Valuer 224512
Ship’s Engineer (See Note 25) 231212
Ship’s Master (See Note 25) 231213
Ship’s Officer (See Note 25) 231214
Architect 232111
Landscape Architect 232112
Surveyor 232212
Cartographer 232213
Other Spatial Scientist 232214
Chemical Engineer (See Note 25) 233111
Materials Engineer (See Note 25) 233112
Civil Engineer 233211
Geotechnical Engineer 233212
Quantity Surveyor 233213
Structural Engineer 233214
Transport Engineer 233215
Electrical Engineer 233311
Electronics Engineer (See Note 25) 233411
Industrial Engineer (See Note 25) 233511
Mechanical Engineer 233512
Production or Plant Engineer (See Note 25) 233513
Aeronautical Engineer 233911
Agricultural Engineer 233912
Biomedical Engineer 233913
Engineering Technologist 233914
Environmental Engineer 233915
Naval Architect 233916
Agricultural Consultant 234111
Agricultural Scientist 234112
Forester 234113
Medical Laboratory Scientist 234611
Veterinarian 234711
Physicist (Medical Physicist only) 234914
Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher 241111
Secondary School Teacher 241411
Special Needs Teacher 241511
Teacher of the Hearing Impaired 241512
Teacher of the Sight Impaired 241513
Special Education Teachers (nec) 241599
Medical Diagnostic Radiographer 251211
Medical Radiation Therapist 251212
Nuclear Medicine Technologist 251213
Sonographer 251214
Optometrist 251411
Orthotist or Prosthetist 251912
Chiropractor 252111
Osteopath 252112
Occupational Therapist 252411
Physiotherapist 252511
Podiatrist 252611
Audiologist 252711
Speech Pathologist 252712
General Practitioner 253111
Anaesthetist 253211
Specialist Physician (General Medicine) 253311
Cardiologist 253312
Clinical Haematologist 253313
Medical Oncologist 253314
Endocrinologist 253315
Gastroenterologist 253316
Intensive Care Specialist 253317
Neurologist 253318
Paediatrician 253321
Renal Medicine Specialist 253322
Rheumatologist 253323
Thoracic Medicine Specialist 253324
Specialist Physicians (nec) 253399
Psychiatrist 253411
Surgeon (General) 253511
Cardiothoracic Surgeon 253512
Neurosurgeon 253513
Orthopaedic Surgeon 253514
Otorhinolaryngologist 253515
Paediatric Surgeon 253516
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon 253517
Urologist 253518
Vascular Surgeon 253521
Dermatologist 253911
Emergency Medicine Specialist 253912
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 253913
Ophthalmologist 253914
Pathologist 253915
Diagnostic & Interventional Radiologist 253917
Radiation Oncologist 253918
Medical Practitioners (nec) 253999
Midwife 254111
Nurse Practitioner 254411
Registered Nurse (Aged Care) 254412
Registered Nurse (Child & Family Health) 254413
Registered Nurse (Community Health) 254414
Registered Nurse (Critical Care & Emergency) 254415
Registered Nurse (Developmental Disability) 254416
Registered Nurse (Disability & Rehabilitation) 254417
Registered Nurse (Medical) 254418
Registered Nurse (Medical Practice) 254421
Registered Nurse (Mental Health) 254422
Registered Nurse (Perioperative) 254423
Registered Nurse (Surgical) 254424
Registered Nurse (Paediatrics) 254425
Registered Nurses (nec) 254499
ICT Business Analyst 261111
Systems Analyst 261112
Analyst Programmer 261311
Developer Programmer 261312
Software Engineer 261313
Computer Network & Systems Engineer 263111
Telecommunications Engineer 263311
Telecommunications Network Engineer 263312
Barrister 271111
Solicitor 271311
Clinical Psychologist 272311
Educational Psychologist 272312
Organisational Psychologist 272313
Psychotherapist 272314
Psychologists (nec) 272399
Social Worker 272511
Civil Engineering Draftsperson 312211
Civil Engineering Technician (See Note 25) 312212
Electrical Engineering Draftsperson 312311
Electrical Engineering Technician 312312
Radio Communications Technician 313211
Telecommunications Field Engineer 313212
Telecommunications Network Planner (See Note 25) 313213
Telecommunications Technical Officer or Technologist 313214
Automotive Electrician 321111
Motor Mechanic (General) 321211
Diesel Motor Mechanic 321212
Motorcycle Mechanic 321213
Small Engine Mechanic 321214
Sheetmetal Trades Worker 322211
Metal Fabricator 322311
Pressure Welder (See Note 25) 322312
Welder (First Class) 322313
Fitter (General) 323211
Fitter & Turner 323212
Fitter-Welder 323213
Metal Machinist (First Class) 323214
Locksmith 323313
Panelbeater 324111
Bricklayer 331111
Stonemason (See Note 25) 331112
Carpenter & Joiner 331211
Carpenter 331212
Joiner 331213
Painting Trades Workers 332211
Glazier 333111
Fibrous Plasterer 333211
Solid Plasterer 333212
Wall & Floor Tiler 333411
Plumber (General) 334111
Airconditioning & Mechanical Services Plumber 334112
Drainer 334113
Gasfitter 334114
Roof Plumber 334115
Electrician (General) 341111
Electrician (Special Class) 341112
Lift Mechanic 341113
Airconditioning & Refrigeration Mechanic 342111
Electrical Linesworker  (See Note 25) 342211
Technical Cable Jointer 342212
Electronic Equipment Trades Worker 342313
Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (General) 342314
Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (Special Class) 342315
Chef (See Note 11 and Note 24) 351311
Cabinetmaker 394111
Boat Builder & Repairer 399111
Shipwright 399112

 

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

STSOL ANZSCO CODE
OCCUPATION
Chief Executive or Managing Director (See Note 17) 111111
Corporate General Manager (See Note 17) 111211
Aquaculture Farmer (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121111
Cotton Grower(See Note 12 and Note 26) 121211
Flower Grower (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121212
Fruit or Nut Grower (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121213
Grain, Oilseed or Pasture Grower (Aus) / Field Crop Grower (NZ) (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121214
Grape Grower (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121215
Mixed Crop Farmer (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121216
Sugar Cane Grower (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121217
Vegetable Grower (Aus) / Market Gardener (NZ) (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121221
Crop Farmers (nec) (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121299
Apiarist (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121311
Beef Cattle Farmer (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121312
Dairy Cattle Farmer (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121313
Horse Breeder (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121316
Mixed Livestock Farmer (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121317
Pig Farmer (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121318
Poultry Farmer (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121321
Sheep Farmer (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121322
Livestock  Farmers (nec) (See Note 12 and Note 26) 121399
Mixed Crop & Livestock Farmer
(See Note 12 and Note 26)
121411
Sales & Marketing Manager (See Note 10) 131112
Advertising Manager 131113
Corporate Services Manager (See Note 18) 132111
Finance Manager (See Note 20) 132211
Human Resource Manager 132311
Manufacturer 133411
Production Manager (Forestry) (See Note 26) 133511
Supply and Distribution Manager (See Note 23) 133611
Health & Welfare Services Managers (nec) 134299
School Principal 134311
Faculty Head 134411
Education Managers (nec) 134499
Chief Information Officer 135111
ICT Project Manager (See Note 20) 135112

 

ICT Managers (nec) 135199
Arts Administrator or Manager 139911
Environmental Manager 139912
Laboratory Manager 139913
Quality Assurance Manager 139914
Specialist Managers (nec)  
except:a.           Ambassadorb.           Archbishop

c.            Bishop

139999
Cafe or Restaurant Manager 
(See Note 3 and Note 24)
141111
Hotel or Motel Manager 
(See Note 19)
141311
Accommodation & Hospitality Managers (nec) 141999
Hair or Beauty Salon Manager (See Note 13) 142114
Post Office Manager 142115
Fitness Centre Manager 149112
Sports Centre Manager 149113
Customer Service Manager
(See Note 10)
149212
Conference & Event Organiser
(See Note 9)
149311
Fleet Manager 149411
Transport Company Manager
(See Note 16)
149413
Facilities Manager (See Note 8) 149913
Equipment Hire Manager 149915
Dancer or Choreographer 211112
Musician (Instrumental) 211213
Photographer 211311
Visual Arts & Crafts Professionals (nec) 211499
Book or Script Editor 212212
Director (Film, Television, Radio or Stage) 212312
Film & Video Editor 212314
Program Director (Television or Radio) 212315
Stage Manager 212316
Technical Director 212317
Video Producer 212318
Copywriter 212411
Newspaper or Periodical Editor 212412
Print Journalist 212413
Technical Writer 212415
Television Journalist 212416
Journalists & Other Writers (nec) 212499
Company Secretary 221211
Commodities Trader 222111
Finance Broker 222112
Insurance Broker 222113
Financial Brokers (nec) 222199
Financial Market Dealer 222211
Stockbroking Dealer 222213
Financial Dealers (nec) 222299
Financial Investment Adviser 222311
Financial Investment Manager 222312
Recruitment Consultant
(see Note 23)
223112
ICT Trainer 223211
Mathematician 224112
Statistician 224113
Gallery or Museum Curator 224212
Health Information Manager 224213
Records Manager 224214
Economist 224311
Librarian 224611
Management Consultant 
(See Note 21)
224711
Organisation & Methods Analyst 224712
Patents Examiner 224914
Information and Organisation Professionals (nec) (See Note 20) 224999
Advertising Specialist (See Note 20) 225111
Marketing Specialist (See Note 10) 225113
ICT Account Manager 225211
ICT Business Development Manager 225212
ICT Sales Representative 225213
Public Relations Professional 225311
Technical Sales Representatives (nec) including, but not limited to, education sales representatives (See Note 15) 225499
Fashion Designer 232311
Industrial Designer 232312
Jewellery Designer 232313
Graphic Designer (See Note 20) 232411
Illustrator 232412
Web Designer 232414
Interior Designer 232511
Urban & Regional Planner 232611
Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum) 233611
Engineering Professionals (nec) 233999
Chemist 234211
Wine Maker (See Note 26) 234213
Environmental Consultant 234312
Environmental Research Scientist 234313
Environmental Scientists (nec) 234399
Geologist 234411
Botanist 234515
Marine Biologist 234516
Zoologist 234518
Conservator 234911
Meteorologist 234913
Physicist 234914
Primary School Teacher 241213
Middle School Teacher (Aus) / Intermediate School Teacher (NZ) 241311
University Lecturer (Suitable for the position of Research Associate or Research Fellow in a University) (See Note 20) 242111
University Tutor 242112
Education Adviser 249111
Art Teacher (Private Tuition) 249211
Dance Teacher (Private Tuition) 249212
Music Teacher (Private Tuition) 249214
Private Tutors & Teachers (nec) 249299
Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages 249311
Dietitian 251111
Nutritionist 251112
Occupational Health and Safety Adviser 251312
Orthoptist 251412
Hospital Pharmacist 251511
Industrial Pharmacist 251512
Retail Pharmacist 251513
Health Promotion Officer 251911
Health Diagnostic & Promotion Professionals (nec) 251999
Acupuncturist 252211
Naturopath 252213
Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner 252214
Complementary Health Therapists (nec) 252299
Dental Specialist 252311
Dentist 252312
Resident Medical Officer 253112
Nurse Educator 254211
Nurse Manager 254311
Multimedia Specialist 261211
Software Tester (See Note 20) 261314
Software & Applications  Programmers (nec) 261399
Database Administrator 262111
ICT Security Specialist 262112
Systems Administrator 262113
Network Administrator 263112
Network Analyst 263113
ICT Quality Assurance Engineer 263211
ICT Support Engineer (see Note 20) 263212
ICT Systems Test Engineer (See Note 20) 263213
Judicial & Other Legal Professionals (nec) 271299
Careers Counsellor 272111
Drug & Alcohol Counsellor 272112
Family & Marriage Counsellor 272113
Rehabilitation Counsellor 272114
Student Counsellor 272115
Counsellors (nec) 272199
Minister of Religion (See Note 4) 272211
Interpreter 272412
Social Professionals (nec) 272499
Recreation Officer 272612
Welfare Worker 272613
Agricultural Technician (See Note 26) 311111
Anaesthetic Technician 311211
Cardiac Technician 311212
Medical Laboratory Technician 311213
Pharmacy Technician 311215
Medical Technicians (nec) 311299
Meat Inspector 311312
Primary Products Inspectors (nec) (See Note 26) 311399
Chemistry Technician 311411
Earth Science Technician 311412
Life Science Technician 311413
Science Technicians (nec) 311499
Architectural Draftsperson 312111
Building Associate 312112
Building Inspector 312113
Architectural, Building & Surveying Technicians (nec) 312199
Mechanical Engineering Technician (See Note 22) 312512
Metallurgical or Materials Technician 312912
Mine Deputy 312913
Hardware Technician 313111
ICT Customer Support Officer 313112
Web Administrator 313113
Farrier 322113
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical) 323112
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Structures) 323113
Textile, Clothing  & Footwear Mechanic 323215
Metal Fitters & Machinists(nec) 323299
Precision Instrument Maker & Repairer 323314
Watch & Clock Maker & Repairer 323316
Toolmaker 323412
Vehicle Body Builder 324211
Vehicle Trimmer 324212
Roof Tiler 333311
Business Machine Mechanic 342311
Cabler (Data & Telecommunications) 342411
Telecommunications Linesworker 342413
Baker (See Note 7) 351111
Pastrycook (See Note 7) 351112
Cook (See Note 11 and Note 24) 351411
Dog Handler or Trainer 361111
Animal Attendants & Trainers (nec) (See Note 6) 361199
Veterinary Nurse 361311
Florist 362111
Gardener (General) 362211
Arborist 362212
Landscape Gardener 362213
Greenkeeper 362311
Hairdresser (See Note 20) 391111
Print Finisher 392111
Printing Machinist 392311
Upholsterer 393311
Furniture Finisher 394211
Picture Framer 394212
Wood Machinist 394213
Wood Machinists & Other Wood Trades Workers (nec) 394299
Chemical Plant Operator 399211
Power Generation Plant Operator 399213
Library Technician 399312
Jeweller 399411
Camera Operator (Film, Television or Video) 399512
Make Up Artist 399514
Sound Technician 399516
Performing Arts Technicians (nec) 399599
Signwriter 399611
Ambulance Officer 411111
Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedic 411112
Dental Technician 411213
Diversional Therapist 411311
Enrolled Nurse 411411
Massage Therapist (See Note 14) 411611
Community Worker 411711
Disabilities Services Officer 411712
Family Support Worker 411713
Residential Care Officer 411715
Youth Worker 411716
Diving Instructor (Open Water) 452311
Gymnastics Coach or Instructor 452312
Horse Riding Coach or Instructor 452313
Snowsport Instructor 452314
Swimming Coach or Instructor 452315
Tennis Coach 452316
Other Sports Coach or Instructor 452317
Sports Development Officer 452321
Footballer 452411
Sportspersons (nec) 452499
Contract Administrator (See Note 20) 511111
Program or Project Administrator 511112
Insurance Loss Adjuster 599612
Insurance Agent 611211
Property Manager 612112
Real Estate Agency Principal 612113
Real Estate Agent 612114
Real Estate Representative 612115

The occupations with Notes referring to them are subject to caveats which can be found at https://pocketlegal.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Interim-guidelines-on-caveats-for-the-subclass-457-programme-April-2017.pdf

Legal commentators suggest that the caveats are not law but merely policy at the current time.  This would mean they could be challenged in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal until such time as they may in future be implemented as law.

Occupation not on either list (or subject to Note 25 on MLTSSL)

For current 457 applications still in process with nominated occupations not on either of these lists (or not approved for 457 visa under Note 25), the Government has advised that Nomination and Visa application fees can be refunded.  

Future Occupation List Reviews

These new occupations lists are subject to review on 1 July 2017.  The Government proposes to revise the MLTSSL annually and the STSOL every 6 months.  These reviews will apply to 457 visa applications still in process at the time of review and if affected will presumably also have fees refunded.

Effects for applicants with a 457 visa application still in process on 19 April 2017

Applicants with occupations nominated from the STSOL can only be granted a temporary work visa for 2 years at a time and it is proposed that they can only renew once whilst in Australia.  In addition there is no transitional opportunity to employer sponsored permanent residency.

Effects for applicants with a 457 visa application still in process on 1 July 2017

  • No exemption of English requirements for applicants with salary at least $96,400
  • Police clearance from countries where applicants have lived for a significant period – yet to be detailed.  
  • Further clarification of requirements for their nominating employer demonstrating training benchmarks for Australian residents

At this stage it is unclear whether expanded mandatory skills assessment will affect MLTSSL occupation nominees.

Effects for applicants with a 457 visa application still in process when the proposed abolishment of the 457 visa occurs some time within the first 2 months of 2018

It is unclear whether a 457 visa application will automatically become a TSS application.  If the 457 visa application must be withdrawn this could pose problems for applicants holding a bridging visa, depending on the application criteria for the TSS.

Current information regarding the proposed TSS visa to be implemented by March 2018

Criteria Short term stream Medium term stream
Requirements for Visa applicant
Application fee $1,150 $2,400
Maximum Term 2 years 4 years
English Level
(equivalent to IELTS)
Minimum overall 5 and 4.5 each test component Vocational – Minimum 5 each test component
Renewal Once only within Australia Renewal available
Occupations STSOL + additional occupations for regional employer support MLTSSL+ additional occupations for regional employer support
Work experience At least 2 years relevant to Nominated Occupation At least 2 years relevant to Nomination Occupation
Police clearance Mandatory Mandatory
Transition to employer sponsored permanent residency None After three years
Requirements for Employer Sponsor
Labour Market Testing Mandatory Mandatory
Min. Market Salary To be paid To be paid
Workforce Non discriminatory test Non discriminatory test
Training Australians Strengthened requirement Strengthened requirement

 

Current information regarding changes to the proposed ENS (Employer Nomination Scheme) and RSMS (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) permanent residency visas to be implemented

Criteria Requirement Implementation
Occupation List: Revised MLTSSL + STSOL + additional occupations for regional employer support From 1 July 2017
Occupation List: MLTSSL only + additional occupations for regional employer support By March 2018
Transitional period: At least 3 years – (holding 457/TSS working for sponsor in nominated occupation? – details yet to be provided) By March 2018
Work Experience: At least 3 years relevant to nominated occupation By March 2018
English
(equivalent to IELTS):
Competent – Minimum 6 each test component From 1 July 2017
Age: Maximum 45 years for Direct Entry ENS and RSMS From 1 July 2017
Age: Maximum 45 years for all applicants (except for those exempted – eg transitional applicants who were 457 visaholders on 18 April 2017) By March 2018
Min. Market Salary: To be paid By March 2018
Training Australians: Strengthened requirement By March 2018

 

Again, we are awaiting the specific terms for 457 visaholders as at 18 April 2017.

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