The Government announcements last week regarding abolishing the 457 program created panic and uncertainty for many. Many visa holders are still left with uncertainty about their long term future, and several visa holders are now left with either the option of staying with their current employer or leaving the country.
457 Visa Holders
If you hold a 457 visa the validity of your 457 visa is not impacted by the changes.
However, your options for a further 457 visa or to change employers will be impacted by the changes and your application would need to be able to meet the new occupation list requirements.
It is important to obtain the right advice before you start changing your employment.
Pending 457 Visa Applications
If your 457 visa application was lodged and not yet finalised, you are impacted by the changes.
Needing to have an occupation on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) or the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
Needing to be able to meet the caveats of the nominated occupation
Visa Applications will be granted for either a maximum of 2 years (if the occupation is on the STSOL), or 4 years (if the occupation is on the MLTSSL).
DIBP have advised they will not be refusing applications lodged before 19th April that no longer meet the requirements but will provide an opportunity for further documentation to be submitted or the withdrawal of the application.
Permanent Residency – Employer Nomination Scheme
If you lodged your Subclass 186 application prior to the 19th April 2017, you are not impacted by the changes.
If you are a 457 visa holder and can meet the requirements to proceed under the Temporary Residence Transitional Stream (TRT), you are not impacted as yet by the changes to the occupation list.
Under the TRT you need to have worked for the same employer for two years in the nominated occupation as the holder of a 457 visa.
If you are able to meet this requirement and want to proceed with permanent residency, then we recommend you do not delay in proceeding with an application. The Government have announced further changes to be implemented over the next 12 months, which may impact your eligibility for permanent residency.
To understand your options, contact one of our Registered Migration Agents today.