The major overhaul of the Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa announced on the 18th of April 2017 will be fully implemented in March 2018. In the same month, changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) 187 visa will also be implemented. Please note that at the time of writing this article, 27th of February 2018, the exact date of implementation of these changes has not been announced yet.

Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa becomes Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) 482 visa

The 457 visa will no longer be available and will be replaced by the TSS 482 visa. Enlisted below are the requirements of the 482 which were not required on a 457 visa application and the transitional arrangements.

  • Two years of full-time work experience in a highly related field with regards to the nominated role in the last five years from the application lodgement. This will become a mandatory requirement for all TSS visa applications. Part-time work experience might be considered. For example, if you are a Pastry Cook applying for a TSS visa, you are required to show at least two years of full-time work experience as a Pastry Cook or any role highly related to this nominated role.
  • Labour Market Testing (LMT, proving that there are no available Australian Citizen or Australian PR suitable for the nominated role) will be mandatory for all TSS applications except when international trade obligations apply. Other LMT exemptions available on 457 visa will not apply to the TSS visa. For example, Mechanical Engineering Technicians who applied for a 457 visa before March 2018 were exempted from the LMT requirement because the skill and occupation exemption apply, however, on a TSS visa application for the same nominated role, LMT will be required if the applicant is not covered by Australia’s international trade obligations.
  • Old migration rules apply to existing and unfinalised 457 sponsorship, nomination, and visa application lodged before the Mach 2018 TSS implementation date. In this case, if the 457 visa requirements are satisfied, a 457 visa will be granted. For example, if you are a Registered Nurse and have an undecided 457 visa application lodged in February 2018, old rules will apply and when your visa is granted, it will still be a 457 visa and not a TSS 482 visa.

New requirements for ENS 186 and RSMS 187 visas

The key changes for ENS 186 and RSMS 187 visas to be implemented in March 2018 are:

  • MLTSSL occupation list apply for ENS 186 and RSMS 187 Direct Entry stream, however, additional roles will be available for the RSMS 187. This means that if you cannot find your role under the MLTSSL occupation list for 186 and 187 visas (including the additional roles), then you won’t be eligible to apply for a PR visa under these streams.
  • TSS salary requirements will also apply to 186 and 187 visas.
  • At least three years of work experience in a highly relevant role is required.
  • Applicants should be under 45 years old at the time of application.
  • To be eligible for ENS or RSMS TRT stream as a TSS visa holder, at least three years of work experience in the same nominated role and the same employer is required.

Transitional arrangements for current 457 visa holders

For 457 visa holders or applicants of 457 visa lodged before the 18th of April 2017, the old TRT stream requirements will apply. This means that you can still be eligible to transition to an ENS 186 or RSMS 187 visa if you are below 50 years of age and have been with the same nominated role or employer for at least two years as a holder of a 457 visa at the time of application.

For example, a Sales and Marketing Manager, 45 years old and who currently holds a 457 visa (which was lodged in March 2017 and granted in May 2017), will be eligible for an ENS 186 TRT stream in May 2019 assuming that this visa holder stays in the same nominated role and the same employer.

(Johanna Bertumen Nonato is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN1386856) and the CEO of BridgeAus Migration Consultancy. For enquiries, email info@bridgeaus.com.au or call 0427 589 274)

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