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New Changes to Skilled Occupation Lists

Written By Will Aldous
Tue, Feb 20, 2018
Will Aldous

According to a recent release, The Department of Home Affairs (DHA), DHA is formerly the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, is in the final stages of preparing for implementation of the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa in March 2018. The DHA has stated that 'the exact implementation date [has been] impacted by legislative and systems release processes and timeframes.'

The implementation date of the TSS Visa and subsequent repeal of the 457 visa will be confirmed by the DHA as soon as possible. We will continue to provide further updates as soon as possible when new information is released.

Updated skilled occupations lists will accompany the other broader changes to the temporary and permanent skilled visa programs. Current visa holders, applicants and sponsors should be aware that:

  • additional skilled occupations will be made available to regional employers for specific visa programs
  • to support the introduction of new regional occupations, some existing occupations may be moved between the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  • caveats, as well as to the specific lists that apply to particular visa programs, will be subject to change
  • these changes will not impact any applications already in The DHA's pipeline
  • 'individual lists' (via legislative instruments) will continue for separate visa programs, published as a combined list for convenience
  • no new skilled occupation list instruments will be released for the 457 visa program at this time, as new applications will be closed from the date of repeal
  • for the labour agreement stream of both the ENS and TSS visa programs, the occupations available will continue to be those specified in the relevant labour agreement

A Summary of Transitional Arrangements

Previously announced transitional arrangements for 457 visa holder and applicants have been summarised by the DHA in the following tables.

How will pipeline applications be processed after the implementation date of TSS?

Standard business sponsorship (SBS) applications lodged before the implementation date
will continue to be processed under the old rules subject to minor transitional arrangements to the benefit of employers

Subclass 457 nomination applications for existing subclass 457 visa holders lodged before the implementation date
will be processed under ‘old rules’

Subclass 457 nomination applications for visa applicants lodged before the implementation date

  • if a related visa application was also lodged before implementation date – both nomination and visa applications will be processed under ‘old rules’
  • if no related visa application was lodged before implementation date – the nomination application will be administratively finalised and the nominee fee refunded (without a written request for a refund).

Subclass 457 visa application lodged before the implementation date
will be processed under ‘old rules’ and if satisfied, a subclass 457 visa will be granted.

Other Scenarios

I have an existing SBS sponsorship

  • I can nominate overseas workers under the new TSS visa program, including existing subclass 457 visa holders for whom a new TSS nomination is required to facilitate a change of employer or occupation
  • I can lodge a new renewal form prior to the expiry of my sponsorship as long as I am an Australian business

I have an approved subclass 457 nomination that has not ceased

  • I can not lodge a TSS visa application without lodging a new TSS nomination first
  • I can request my approved nomination for a visa applicant be withdrawn and the fee refunded, if I was I can not able to lodge a related subclass 457 visa application before the implementation of the TSS visa (i.e. not available if nomination related to an existing subclass 457 visa holder)

I have a subclass 457 visa in effect

  • I can ask a new employer to lodge a TSS nomination application if I want to change jobs
  • I can ask my current employer to lodge a TSS nomination application to change my skilled occupation
  • I can lodge a TSS subsequent entry visa application for members of my family unit where required
  • I can lodge a new TSS visa application prior to the expiry of my subclass 457 visa

Note:  time on my subclass 457 visa will not ‘count’ in terms of the onshore renewal rules for the TSS visa.

Note: The above should be used as a guideline. Everything released by the DHA thus far remains subject to final drafting of regulations.

More TSS Visa Implementation Updates from the Department of Home Affairs

Subclass 482 (TSS Visa) Policy Updates

Changes to Sponsorship for the New TSS Visa

Permanent Residency After the TSS Visa

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