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New 457 Visa Occupation Caveats


Written By John Unger
Tue, May 23, 2017
John Unger

Australia’s temporary visa rules are changing significantly. The anticipated start of the new Temporary Skills Shortage – or TSS – visa is scheduled for March 2018.  The 457 visa programme continues to operate in the interim, and the immigration department periodically releases information on changes to the Migration Regulations. 

The caveats have introduced a level of complexity into the decision-making process akin to the Genuineness criteria.  The following explanation set out the details.  In this article we examine the caveats that have been introduced into the 457 visa programme for some occupations.

Essential background
At the time of the announcement of the TSS visa, the Government explained it was one component of a strategy ‘to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s temporary and permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programmes.’ One aspect of this strategy was to create ‘more targeted occupation lists which better align with skills needs in the Australia labour market.’  Over 200 occupations were removed from the list of occupations eligible for 457 visa sponsorship, and a further 60 occupations had restrictive caveats placed on their use in the 457 visa programme:

  • 11 occupations are now subject to new prior-work caveats
  • 25 occupations are now subject to new regional caveats
  • 24 occupations are now subject to occupation-specific caveats

These caveats affect any 457 nominations lodged since 19 April and going forward.  They also affect any 457 nominations lodged prior to 19 April 2017 but not yet decided.  They will also apply to any nominations lodged for TSS visas starting March 2018.

Prior-work caveats
There are 11 occupations that exclude their use under the standard 457 program unless the nominated position has a skills threshold that requires a minimum of two years’ relevant work experience.  In other words, where an occupation might generally have a skills threshold of a Bachelor degree, nominating that occupation is now only possible where the selection criteria for a position is a Bachelor degree and a minimum of two years relevant work experience.

Regional caveats
There are 24 occupations that are now considered regional in nature and their use is excluded under the standard 457 program for positions that are not located in regional Australia.  These occupations relate largely to food production and animal husbandry.

Occupation-specific caveats
There are 25 occupations affected by caveats specific to their occupation.  The restrictions take a variety of forms, in some cases excluding the nomination of a position based on the base salary to be paid and/or the duties to be undertaken or the remuneration to be paid, but in some cases also on attributes of the nominating business or business setting of the nominated position.

For more information on the new 457 visa caveats please contact TSS Immigration on 03 9421 1020.

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