The employer-sponsored 457 visa program has been abolished and replaced by a new visa program known as Temporary Skill Shortage Visa which comes into effect on Sunday, 18 March. The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa and Complementary Reforms Regulations 20018 rescinds the 457 visa and has replaced it with the new Subclass 482 visa. This visa allows employers to access a skilled overseas worker if they can’t find workers in Australia with the required skills.
Also Read- Australia Immigration Transforms in 2018!
The new visa is available in two streams- Short Term stream will allow the candidate to stay for 2 years and will be renewed only once, whereas Medium term stream will allow the candidate to stay for 4 years. Both these streams require mandatory work experience along with constricted English language requirements with a band score of 5 overall and minimum 5 in each component of the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). Applicant are also required to obtain a positive skill assessment before applying for this visa.
The Short-term stream of the visa does not provide a pathway to permanent residency.
As per experts, many international students who were earlier able to get employer-sponsored visas after completing their degrees and diploma courses, will now find it ‘very difficult’ to get the new visa because of additional requirements.
Most probably, this new visa will be better positioned for overseas applicants rather than onshore international students because the overseas applicants with relevant work experience and positive skill assessment will have a good chance over international students.
Employers can access the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) to sponsor overseas workers for short term stream visas and for the long term stream visa, Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List can be accessed.
There is a labor agreement as well that allows Australian employers to source skilled overseas workers in accordance with a labor agreement with the government, where there is demonstrated need that cannot be met by the Australian skilled workers.