This week the DIBP have announced some significant changes to their visa programs.

Subclass 457 visa abolished

The changes have focussed on employer sponsored visas.  In particular the abolishment of the Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa.

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

The Subclass 457 visas will be replaced by a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa. The new visa will be restricted to critical skills shortages.

The new visas will be in two streams that focus on genuine skill needs. The streams are:

  1. Short-term visa stream – issued for 2 years
  2. Medium-term visa stream – issued for 4 years

Applicants will need to have an occupation on either of the newly released skilled occupation lists – see below – known as the MLTSSL or the STSOL.

In addition the streams will include requirements for the applicant to meet labour market testing (with a few limited exceptions),  mandatory criminal history checks, a market salary rate assessment and a new 2 year work experience requirement. Employers will also need to meet higher training obligations for Australians.

Skilled occupation changes & Removed occupations

The DIBP have removed and replaced, with immediate effect, the following occupation lists:

  • Skilled Occupation List (SOL) replaced with the Medium and Long-term Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) replaced by the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

The most newsworthy changes to these lists includes the removal of 216 occupations that previously sat on the CSOL.

Effect of the skilled changes & GSM visas

The changes to the skilled occupations lists has effected any unlodged GSM visas with immediate effect.

  • Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) – applicants must have an occupation on the MLTSSL.
  • Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190 visa) – applicants must have an approved occupation on either of the MLTSSL or STSOL lists.
  • Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 489): State/Territory nominated – applicants must have an approved occupation on either of the MLTSSL or STSOL lists.
  • Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 489): eligible relative nominated – applicants must have an occupation on the MLTSSL

State/territory nominated authorities

In response to the above some of the states & territories have reacted and changed their nomination lists. Others are reviewing their nomination lists.

The above just touches on the changes that have been announced. If you want to discuss your eligibility under these change please get in touch.