What will happen to the 457 visa holders currently in Australia?

What will happen to the 457 visa holders currently in Australia?

"In an interview with SBS Arabic24, Lawyer Bahia Abou Hamad said "457 visa holders will not be affected by the changes, as laws are not retrospective in Australia."

So what are the changes that will be happening?

The government intends to implement the changes in phases, starting from April 2017 until the final stage in March 2018.

Changes implemented from 19/4/2017:

The occupation list that consisted of 651 professions was shortened to 435. That means 261 jobs are no longer eligible.

24 occupations from the list will only be eligible for positions located in regional Australia.

The Skilled Occupation List is being replaced by the Medium and Long term Strategic Skills List and The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List is being replaced by the Short term Skilled Occupation List.

Validity Period: Previously, 457 visa holders where permitted to apply for permanent residency two years after arrival. This will change to 3 years for the Medium term stream.

Changes to be implemented From 1 July 2017:

- Occupation lists will be reviewed again based on advice from the Department of Employment.

- English language requirements: The English language salary exemption threshold that exempted applicants whose salary was over $96,400 from the English language requirement, will be abolished.

- Training benchmarks: Clearer legislative policies will be put in place concerning training requirements.

- Character: Providing penal clearance certificates will become compulsory.

Changes to be implemented by 31 December 2017:

- The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will start collecting Tax File Numbers for 457 visa holders and will match the data with the Australian Tax Office’s records to guarantee that visa holders are not paid less than they should be getting.

Changes from March 2018:

The main change happening on this date is the abolition of the 457 visa. It will be replaced with the Short-Term stream of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.

Combined list of eligible skilled occupations

Short-Term stream allows employers to employ foreign employees on this visa for up to two years, to fill a gap they have in their business only when an Australian Employee with the required skills can’t be found.

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.
Short-Term stream criteria:

- Renewal: one time renewal only.

- Genuine entry: The entrants must prove that they don’t intend to stay longer than their visa period.
Medium-Term stream criteria:

- Renewal: Can be renewed and apply for permanent residence after three years.
Common eligibility criteria for both streams:

- Work experience: at least two years of work experience.

- English language requirements: A requirement of an International English Language Testing System score of 5.

- Minimum market salary rate: Employers must abide by the minimum salary rates or nominated rates by the government.

List of eligible skilled occupations can be found here.

Reference and sources : http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/node/903885?language=ar&cx_navSource=related-side-cx#cxrecs_s

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Posted by Gateway Bridge channel at 9:32 PM

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