July 1 Changes to the Subclass 457 Visa, and other visa schemes
Last April, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the upcoming abolition of the Subclass 457 Temporary Skilled Work visa, replacing it with the more intensive Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa stream. Changes are being rolled out in stages, and here are the changes coming into effect on the 1st of July 2017:
All 457 visa applicants will be required to provide police clearance certificates for all countries resided in for a significant period of time, and all accompanying dependents aged 17 years or older will be required to submit separate clearances as well. This requirement will also apply to any 457 visa applications that have not yet had an outcome by 1 July 2017.
Increased English language requirements
The previous English language requirement exemptions for high-earning 457 visa applicants (earning at least $96,400 annually) will be suspended, and all 457 visa applicants will now have to meet the same English language requirements, with increased test scores needed. For the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent English test, a minimum of score of 6 is required for each component.
Occupation Lists review
The Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), as well as the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will undergo further review and revision, based on feedback and outcomes received from the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Employment.
Increased visa fees
Visa fees will now be raised every year for each visa classification, including the 457 visas, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Maximum age requirement for Direct Entry Stream
For the Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa stream, the maximum age will be lowered from 50 years of age down to 45 years of age at the time of invitation. This lowered maximum of 45 years of age will also apply to Subclass 186 visas.
New skilled visa for New Zealand nationals
A new permanent visa stream, under Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent), will become available to New Zealanders holding a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa, and who have been usually resident in Australia on or before 19 February 2016, and who have continued to live in Australia for a period of at least five years. There will also be a minimum income requirement applied.
Abolition of outgoing passenger travel cards
Travellers departing from Australia will no longer be asked to fill out any outgoing passenger cards. Inbound passengers will continue to fill out the inbound cards.
All information is current and accurate at the time of publishing. However, the above information and status are highly susceptible to change without warning, and thus this cannot substitute for any legal advice. Expat International cannot be held responsible for any actions stemming from the information provided above.