Visa Changes - What do they mean for your business?
Following the rushed changes to the employer sponsored visa programs in April, the 1 July changes has seen some reprieve, especially in terms of the occupation lists. Large organisations, industry bodies and other stakeholders have been vocal in demonstrating the significant impact the proposed changes will have on productivity, growth and expansion, and the changes in the occupation lists reflect that the Government was listening.
Regardless, the 1 July changes have again reinforced the Government’s intention to continue to create uncertainty in the employer sponsored visa programs, bringing both instability to employers and visa applicants.
A BREAKDOWN OF THE 1 JULY CHANGES
The amendments to the occupation lists corrected some clear unintended consequences of the April changes.
From 1 July 2017 the 457 program and ENS Direct Entry Stream share the same occupation lists.
The new occupation lists apply to 457 applications lodged and not yet finalised as well as new applications lodged after 1 July 2017.
Occupations are still deemed either to be Medium to Long term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) occupations or Short Term Skill Occupation List (STSOL).
Caveats now apply to 67 occupations, and apply to both the 457 program and Subclass 186 applications - Direct Entry Stream. Occupations cannot be used if the caveats cannot be met.
Certain occupations have been removed from the lists entirely, a number of occupations have been added, and some occupations have been moved between the STSOL and MLTSSL.
Removed occupations include: Equipment Hire Manager; Fleet Manager; Picture Framer; Property Manager; Psychotherapist; Real Estate Agent Principal; Real Estate Agent; Real Estate Agent Representative; Ship’s Engineer, Ship’s Master; Ship’s Officer and University Tutor.
A combined list of eligible occupations can be found here.
Some of the occupations that have been moved from the STSOL to the MLTSSL include senior management positions, environmental scientists and university lecturers.
Some of the occupations which were removed from the occupation lists in April 2017, have now been included back on the occupation lists. These occupations include air transport professionals, R&D Managers, life scientists, ICT support roles and horse trainers.
Changes to English Exemption
The exemption to demonstrate English where the salary was above $96,400 was removed for applications lodged after 1 July 2017.