Who will be most affected by the abolition of the 457 visa program?
On 18 April 2017 the Australian Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) has been abolished and replaced with the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.
The new TSS visa scheme will be made up of two streams: Short term visas (up to two years) and medium term visas (up to four years).
The Government’s rationale behind making these changes has been characterised as the need to protect Australia’s national interests and to clean up the current program which is open to exploitation. The number of eligible occupations for the new types of visas has been shortened by 216 occupations, meaning that the change in visa policy has reduced the number of temporary skilled migrants occupations available to Australian sponsors.
Employers and visa applicants will now face more stringent paperwork in obtaining work visas. The TSS visa scheme will be subject to Australian labour market work experience, a market salary rate assessment and a new non-discriminatory workforce test. Visa applicants also need to meet higher English language requirements and undergo a criminal check.
The industries that stand to be most affected are:
- information technology,
- professional services,
- scientific services,
- technical services,
- accommodation, and
- food services.
Occupations such as biochemists, art directors, authors, painters, singers, composers, dressmakers, Firefighters, detectives, solicitor, barrister, brokers, migration agents, and pilots will be removed from the new list along with others.
The changes are in effect immediately and will be fully implemented by March 2018.