The Prime Minister has announced today that the Government is abolishing 457 visas, to be replaced with a new temporary visa with added requirements, including previous work experience, better English language skills and labour market testing. A new training fund will also be established.
The Minister for Immigration, Mr Peter Dutton, has indicated that there will be a temporary skills shortage visa with two streams - a Short Term stream for a two-year visa with no permanent residence outcome at the end of that. There will also be a Medium Term stream. This will target higher skills, will have a shorter skills occupation list and will be for a period of 4 years. This stream can be applied for either offshore or onshore.
There will also be significant changes to the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa commencing from 19 April 2017.
For those people currently on a 457 visa, there will be grandfathering arrangements and they will continue under the conditions of that visa.
The Minister has also flagged changes to work experience and labour market testing.
The implementation of these reforms will begin immediately and will be completed in March 2018.