Today, (18 April 2017), the Australian Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018.
Introducing the TSS Visa Program
The TSS visa programme will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.
This new visa is part of the Government’s reform package to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s temporary and permanent employer-sponsored skilled migration programmes.
The 457 visa is the most commonly used program for Australian or overseas employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work in Australia temporarily. The 457 visa provided 2 main alternatives, Business sponsorship and self-sponsorship.
See the Announcement posted bu the Australian PM Below. In it, Mr Turnbull says that the four-year visa system, which permits highly skilled migrants to apply for permanent residency at its conclusion, would be replaced in a bid to protect Australian jobs.
The 95,000 skilled migrants currently in Australia on 457 visas would be unaffected and still be able apply for permanent residency at the end of the four years.
“We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” Mr Turnbull said
What we currently know:
When is the 457 visa programme going to be removed?
No actual date has been announced yet for the changes to take place. However, it is expected to be soon. The announcement on the Australian migration government website states “The implementation of these reforms will begin immediately and will be completed in March 2018”.
I am currently on a 457 visa! What will happen to my status?
At this time we understand that all existing 457 visa holders will maintain their visa status and permanent residency can still be applied for at the end of this period.
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.
Beyond that, no further 457 visas will be issued.
Unlike the current visa arrangement, the replacement — a two year temporary visa specifically designed to recruit the “best and the brightest” in the national interest — will not allow permanent residency at its conclusion.