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Irish Chamber

Abolition of the 457 visa scheme announced

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In this guest blog, Corporate Member of the Chamber, Narelle Ballard from Arrive Australia provides a summary of what we know so far about the changes to the migration landscape announced this afternoon that are causing so much alarm in the community.



On 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Turnbull announced reforms that will abolish the 457 visa and replace it with 2 temporary visas (the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa).

  • A Short-Term stream of up to two years, and
  • A Medium-Term stream of up to four years "targeted at higher skills"

The government announced that implementation will begin immediately, and be completed by March 2018.  Further information on different aspects of the reforms is still to be released.

The government has confirmed that the new visas are intended to better target genuine skills shortages, including in regional Australia, and will include new requirements including previous work experience, better English language proficiency and labour market testing.

Current visa holders will not be affected by the changes and 457 visa holders here at the moment will be on a grandfathering arrangement.

The Prime Minister advised the reforms will focus on Australian jobs and Australian values, and that he will provide more information over the coming days and weeks.

As more detail on the new program becomes available, Arrive Australia will provide this to our members. 


Immigration have provided the following information below on the key reforms: 

  • Significantly condensing the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa, from 19 April 2017


  • Temporary skill shortage visa with new requirements, including but not limited to:
    • new, more targeted occupation lists which better align with skill needs in the Australian labour market
    • a requirement for visa applicants to have at least two years’ work experience in their skilled occupation
    • a minimum market salary rate which ensures that overseas workers cannot be engaged to undercut Australian workers
    • mandatory labour market testing, unless an international obligation applies
    • capacity for only one onshore visa renewal under the Short-Term stream
    • capacity for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years under the Medium-Term stream
    • the permanent residence eligibility period will be extended from two to three years
    • a non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers
    • strengthened requirement for employers to contribute to training Australian workers
    • the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will collect Tax File Numbers and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records, and
    • require mandatory penal clearance certificates
  • Tightening eligibility requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas, including but not limited to:
    • tightened English language requirements
    • a requirement for visa applicants to have at least three years’ work experience
    • applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application
    • strengthened requirement for employers to contribute to training Australian workers
    • employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (set at $53,900 at 12 April 2016).
  • Concessions for regional Australia will continue to be available:
    • Employers in regional Australia will continue to 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. Consideration will be given to expanding the occupations in regional Australia that are exempt from the age requirement.
457 visa
Arrive Australia