How will the abolition of the 457 visa impact small business?Rebecca Bendikov
This week, the Australian government pledged to remove and replace the 457 visa entirely, so what will this mean if you run a small business that relies on this category of workers?
We expect that more details will be coming soon, but here is what the government has released so far.
On 18 April, the government announced that the Temporary Work (skilled) visa or 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the new temporary skill shortage visa (TSS) in March 2018. The goal of this is to address genuine skill shortages in the workforce and will prioritise Australian workers.
The main things to know at this stage are:
There will be two-year and four-year streams
The TSS visa program will be made up of a short-term stream of up to two years and a medium-term stream of up to four years. The two-year visa will be available to a wider variety of industries, whereas the four-year visa will be targeted at higher skills.
Eligibility requirements will change
Eligibility requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas will be changed in a number of ways:
- Visa applicants must have at least three years work experience
- Tightened English language requirements
- Applicants must be under the age of 45 at the time of application
- Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate
- Employers are required to contribute to training Australian workers
Current 457 visa holders will not be affected
Minister Peter Dutton said there will be a grandfathering arrangement in place for those already under the 457 visa. This means that those already in Australia under the visa will not be affected. There is no information about those currently in the queue at this time.
Concessions for regional Australia will still be available
Employers in regional areas will still have access to occupations under the temporary and permanent visas to reflect their skills needs.Existing permanent visa concessions for regional Australia, such as waiving the nomination fee and providing age exemptions for certain occupations, will be retained.
For more information visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection