Major Changes in Occupation Lists and Employer Sponsored Visas

The announcement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has certainly altered the landscape of migration, especially for those working on applications for employer sponsored visas. Whilst we are all adjusting to the changes, here are important the updates.

Occupation Lists

The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) have been replaced effective today, 19 April 2017.

confused_female_accountant.jpgThe ‘new SOL’ is now the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the ‘new CSOL’ is the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). Bit of a mouthful, if you ask us. 216 occupations have been completed removed and 59 occupations have special conditions attached. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) are calling these special conditions ‘caveats’.

The MLTSSL is used for:

 

  • Skilled Independent 189
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) 489 (relative sponsored)
  • Temporary Graduate 485 (graduate stream)

The STSOL is used for:

  • Skilled Nominated 190
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) 489 (state sponsored)
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) 457
  • Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) 186
  • Training 407

Those who have or will be making applications that rely on the SOL (now MLTSSL) will not be affected as none of the removed occupations were from the SOL.The STSOL is set to be reviewed yet again in July 2017 and will be reviewed every 6 months.

Find Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) with caveats

Find Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) with caveats

Find List of Removed Occupations

As the lists are effective today, any application lodged on or after 19 April 2017 that is based on a removed occupation will not be successful.

Employer sponsored visas

457 visas are the most greatly affected; those whose applications have not already been granted may be affected. For ENS 186 and RSMS 187 visas, only applications lodged on or after 19 April with be affected. For all three subclasses, we can expect the following:

Temporary 457 Visa

Those who have already been granted their 457 visas will not be affected. Unfortunately, those who applied before 19 April 2017 but have not yet been granted their visa will still be affected by the changes.

Such unfinalised applications that are based on a removed occupation will not be successful. Applicants will need to withdraw their applications and will receive a refund on the application fees.

Other unfinalised applications and applications made after 19 April 2017 for eligible occupations (MLTSSL and STSOL) will have these new changes will apply.

  • Applications for occupations with caveats will have special conditions that must be fulfilled, certain occupations are only restricted to regional areas
  • Applications for occupations that are on the MLTSSL will be valid for 4 years
  • Applications for occupations that are on the STSOL will be valid for 2 years with no permanent residency option

From 1 July 2017,

  • MLTSSL and STSOL will be reviewed
  • English language exemption through high income (>$93,000) will be removed
  • Training benchmarks policy to be revised
  • Penal clearance certificates will be compulsory

Before 31 December 2017,

  • DIBP will begin collecting Tax File Numbers (TFN) in checking that employers are paying visa holders less than their nominated salary
  • DIBP will publish details of sponsors who fail to meet their obligations

From March 2018,

  • New temporary work visa will be released, with a short term (2 years) and medium term (4 years) stream
  • 2 years of relevant work experience required
  • Labour market testing required
  • Remuneration equivalent to an Australian citizen or permanent resident in the same job in the same place as well as meet Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements
  • Workforce test will be implemented to ensure there are no discriminatory practices
  • Strengthened training requirement
  • Short term visas (2 year validity):
    • For occupations on the STSOL with additional occupations available to support regional employers
    • Genuine temporary entrant requirement to be introduced
    • Can be renewed onshore only once
    • Current English language requirements
  • Medium term visas (4 year validity):
    • For occupations on the MLTSSL with additional occupations available to support regional employers
    • Minimum vocational level English
    • Can be renewed onshore
    • Permanent residency pathways after 3 years of work

Permanent ENS 186 and RSMS 187 Visa

Those who have applied for 186 visas before 19 April 2016 are unaffected. Lodgements on or after 19 April 2017 will need to used the new STSOL. Any caveats or regional restrictions will apply.

From 1 July 2017,

  • MLTSSL and STSOL will be reviewed
  • English language requirements for both ENS 186 and RSMS 187 applicants must be a minimum of competent; this is no change for the ENS 186  or direct entry RSMS 187, but is tougher for the temporary residence transition (TRT) RSMS 187 visa (currently applicants only need vocational level English)
  • Direct entry ENS 186 and RSMS 187 visas will have a maximum age limit of 45 at the time of application. TRT stream ENS 186 and RSMS 187 visas continue to maintain the 50 year old limit

Before 31 December 2017,

  • DIBP will begin collecting Tax File Numbers (TFN) in checking that employers are paying visa holders less than their nominated salary
  • DIBP will publish details of sponsors who fail to meet their obligations

From March 2018,

  • ENS 186 and RSMS 187 visas will be restricted to the MLTSSL, with additional occuptions available for regional employers for RSMS 187 applicants
  • Remuneration equivalent to an Australian citizen or permanent resident in the same job in the same place as well as meet Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements
  • TRT applicants are required to complete 3 years with their employer, an increase from the current 2 years
  • Strengthened training requirement
  • Maximum age limit of 45 years

Related articles and information

SMH: Malcolm Turnbull’s new visa jobs list would affect just 9 per cent of 457 holders

SMH:’Grind to a halt’: Tech industry sounds alarm over 457 visa changes

SMH: Melbourne Restauranteurs say 457 visas were a key ingredient in their recipe for success

Joint media release with the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister – Putting Australian workers first

DIBP: Abolition and Replacement of the 457 Visa – Government Reforms to Employer Sponsored Skilled Migration Visas

DIBP: List of Eligible Occupations

DIBP: Subclass 457 Visa Legislative Instruments

DIBP: Factsheet 1 – Reforms to Australia’s temporary employer sponsored skilled migration programme – abolition and replacement of the 457 visa

DIBP: Fact sheet 2 – Reforms to Australia’s permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programme

9 thoughts on “Major Changes in Occupation Lists and Employer Sponsored Visas

  1. Hi, how do these changes affect if the application for 457 visa is lodged prior to 18 April 2017 and medicals have already been completed, does this mean we have to start application process from scratch again?

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  2. No required. They should continue processing and the changes would take effect only for the new Vis applications like 2years and 4 years

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  3. Hi there, just wondering, the new MLTSSL is applicable from now, but did you say it will be revised from 1st July? So other occupations will be removed from it? Or does this new list run for 2017-2018? In other words, how often do they update the lists (once in April an once in July suggests it i svery 3 months… but every 6 months was also mentionned). Thank you.

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  4. Hi, all,
    I have granted the 457 visa before 18/4. I completely felt lucky and blessed. I will work in Sydney in this August. I will plan to apply for the 186 visa through my current employer sponsored scheme after i work 2-3 years.
    However, I will be 45 years old this year. It mean that I will be 47 or 48 years old when I apply for it. Will I be eligible to do my application as it seems to be “45” of the age limitation after 3/2018. If yes, any suggestion or alternatives I can make at this stage.

    I do hope to live in Sydney for the rest of my life!

    Look forward to receiving anyone’s answer.

    Sam HUI

    Like

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