The 457 visa program will be replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa from March 2018.
The new TSS visa will allow workers to stay up to two years under the Short-Term stream, and four years under the Medium-Term stream.
However even though the 457 visa will be abolished, the existing 457 visas will continue to remain in effect.
The Short-Term stream visas will need to be renewed onshore, once only.
Medium-Term stream visas will also need to be renewed onshore, but they may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence after working three years in Australia.
However, tighter regulations have been applied for both streams.
The regulations includ increased work experience requirements, higher English language levels requirements, mandatory labour market testing, set Australian market salary rates to meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements, and even character, anti-discrimination and training requirements.
Applicants will need to achieve an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 5, with a minimum of 4.5 in each test component.
Minimum requirement for work experience will include at least two years’ work experience in the relevant occupation.
In addition, the occupation list for visas have also been amended for 2018.
Even though Medium and Long-Term Strategies Skill List (MLTSSL) is unlikely to change, the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List is due for amendments.
For example, the new occupation list under the STSOL will include positions such as an university tutor, psychotherapist, property manager, and real estate agent.
However, occupations such as accommodation and hospitality manager, hair salon manager, and recruitment consultant may be removed.
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