Important changes made to the migration program

The Subclass 457 Visa will be abolished and replaced with the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa. The new visa will include mandatory criminal checks and tighter English language requirements.

Implementation of the new visa will begin immediately, with full implementation to be completed by March 2018. 

The Government will announce further measures to strengthen the integrity of Australia’s migration programme and visa systems in the near future. This could have an impact on the entire General Skilled Migration program, and changes made with such short notice are certainly indicative of things to come. Acting on a migration application under current legislation is certainly advisable sooner rather than later.

The 457 Visa will be replaced with the new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa programme will comprise two streams – Short Term and Medium Term – and will be underpinned by more focused occupation lists that are responsive to genuine skill needs and regional variations across Australia.

Short term visas will be issued for two years, while medium term visas will be issued only for more critical skills shortages and for up to four years.

Both streams will include mandatory labour market testing with limited exemptions; a new non-discriminatory workforce test; mandatory criminal history checks; a market salary rate assessment and a new two-year work experience requirement.

Additionally there will be tightened English language requirements for the Medium Term Stream.

The new visa will also include a strengthened training obligation for employers sponsoring foreign skilled workers to provide enhanced training outcomes for Australians in high-need industries and occupations. 

These changes will give Australian job seekers more opportunity to find work while finding the right balance so businesses can prosper by acquiring the expertise they need.

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