Today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, announced that the subclass 457 visa will be abolished. In a video address, which can be found on pretty much every Australia news outlet, he has declared 457 visas dead, with a new temporary visa to replace it. Given the number of reviews into the programme, this may not come as a surprise.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have provided some information on the new visas including a whole list of reforms that will affect 457 visas from 19 April 2017, until March 2018 when a new Temporary Skill Shortage visa will be implemented.
From 19 April 2017, a new, condensed skilled occupation list will be in force as previously promised by the Immigration Minister.
There will be two new visas will have a short-term and medium-term stream of two and four years, respectively. Other reforms will include:
- A minimum work experience requirement,
- Mandatory labour market testing requirements unless international obligations apply,
- Limited renewals for the short-term stream,
- Data matching with the Australian Tax Office based on Tax File Numbers.
Permanent employer sponsored visas (186: Employer Nomination Scheme and 187: Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) will also be affected, including:
- A lowering of the age from 50 to 45 years,
- A requirement for the visa applicant to have at least 3 years of work experience,
- A minimum salary of at least the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.
For most items of reform, the DIBP have not indicated any dates to implement each reform besides a new occupation list which will begin tomorrow.
More details will come as soon as they are announced.