+61 2 8005 3420 admin@jobcapital.com.au

457 Visa’s – What Just Happened?

Earlier this week our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull provided a headline splash when he announced on Facebook the abolishment of the 457 Visa pathway as of March 2018.

Since the announcement was made we have seen a variety of commentary, analysis and concerns being aired – a significant proportion of it appearing alarmist in nature. Not really the best way for us as a market and business community to be addressing the broader scenario

This week Job Capital has been reviewing all the information issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to the public, Registered Migration Agents and peak bodies. Here are some of our initial thoughts to share with you.

The main change is that when the 457 Visa changes next year, the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa will replace it.

Watch This Space – Regular Updates

We will be updating our website with analysis and commentary relating to the impacts. Simply call in to our office to start the conversation or contact via our website – in our experience there is often a solution to be found given the required subject matter knowledge and resources.

The Job Capital On Hire Labour Agreement – BAU

Regarding Job Capital and our federal On Hire Labour Agreement (OHLA) contract with the Department of Immigration (DIBP), we are happy to announce that there are no changes as to how we can support you as a business, employee or both.

It is business as usual for the 25 white collar occupations we can sponsor and then on-hire to your organisation.

If you are an organisation or an employee/ candidate seeking support, then let’s talk and understand how we can help you solve the immigration or workforce problem(s) you are facing.

Standard Business Sponsorship & Permanent Residency

The changes announced have substantial impacts outside of Labour Agreements, key to which will be restrictions effecting businesses seeking to sponsor employees under their own Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS).

There are now two lists of occupations that employers can sponsor staff through, however only one of them leads the employee to Permanent Residency (PR).

Over 200 role categories removed from previous category list(s), which means that employers can no longer sponsor employees in these role types and via their own SBS.

In these instances, employers may only have two options:
  1. Utilise an On Hire Labour Agreement service provider who can support the need end-to-end.
  2. Gain their own Labour Agreement (LA), which requires significant commercial and operational investment so as to meet the obligations (E.g. Training Benchmark Obligations) involved with administering a LA.
  3. This is the only way to access the removed occupations directly if you are not going to utilise  an OHLA.
Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  1. 2 – year visa
  2. Option to extend for a further 2-years only and application must be ‘onshore’
  3. PR cannot be achieved via this pathway after March 2018.
    • PR can be achieved through the 186 Direct Entry (DE) pathway from either MLTSSL or STSOL lists, as long as other criteria are met.
  4. Replaces the previous “Consolidated Skilled Occupation List” (CSOL)  – see Schedule 2 of the relevant legislative instrument
Medium Long Term Skilled Shortage List (MLTSSL)
  1. 4 – year visa grant
  2. Option to extend for a further 4 – years.
  3. PR will be available with a minimum of 3 – years of relevant experience
  4. Replaces the previous “Skilled Occupation List” (SOL) – see Schedule 1 of the relevant legislative instrument

Please note: the two lists referenced above are in effect as of the 19/04/17 – it has already happened.

Migration Agents

The reality is that some Registered Migration Agents (RMA) consider the information supplied to-date, as lacking enough detail for them to provide completely ‘safe’ guidance to their stakeholders on how the changes will affect their business or visa case(s).

It would be fair to say that with this reluctance, often comes anxiety in the market as all involved seek to make optimal decisions.

Did You Know That The Department of Employment is driving?

Many people do not realise that future updates and changes will in fact be defined by the Department of Employment or the Department of Education, not the DIBP.

The Department of Employment – STSOL

The Department of Employment will define market demand and relevant actions in relation to the STSOL list. This is in keeping with the name of the list – Short Term Skilled Occupation list – www.employment.gov.au/employment-research-and-statistics

Department of Education – MLTSSL

The Department of Education will define market demand and relevant actions in relation to the MLTSSL list. This is in keeping with the name of the list – Medium Long Term Skills Shortage List –  https://www.education.gov.au/skilled-occupation-list

We expect future announcements from both the Department of Employment and the Department of Education, which are likely to include the removal (and possibly addition) of categories available for sponsorship, from the two new role category lists (STSOL & MLTSSL).

To be fair this makes sense (well at least to us it does) – ultimately the intent of skilled visa pathways is to support broader productivity and business growth in the market, through the acquisition of genuinely hard-to-find and specialist skills and experience.

In our view, ‘labour market demand analysis’ is firmly in the ‘wheelhouse’ of the Department of Employment, rather than the Immigration Department.

The Department of Employment and the Department of Education will define and DIBP will implement – all playing to their strengths and purpose.

What Next?

Let’s keep perspective on these announcements bearing in mind that the reality of how the new regime will play out, is yet to be established.

For some initial reading on the new TSS Visa, check out the Immigration Department via this link.

Stay tuned to our website, start the conversation with us and we will work through it together. There is no need to panic, however it is without doubt, the time to take action.

Written by Dominic Trewick (General Manager Job Capital)