Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Australia has announced the 457 Temporary Work VISA replacements in April 2017. He wants to give the highest priority to Australians by replacing the Temporary Skill Shortage VISA in March 2018.
An Overview of 457 VISA
The 457 VISA is alternatively known as the Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa which applies to foreigners. People from other countries who have found employment in Australia can stay in the country for up to 4 years, under this VISA. However, the interested candidate has to be sponsored by the company. Also, the company has to provide sufficient evidence that they had to resort to a foreign candidate since they could not find a suitable Australian candidate fit for the job profile.
The benefits of the 457 Visa extends to the family members of the employee. A secondary 457 Visa is offered to the family members and currently, there are about 95,000 people in Australia who are staying under this Visa.
Some revisions have been made in the terms and conditions of the Visa which has resulted in a few changes. The changes have been made so that Australian citizens are considered first for any job in the country.
- Subcategory- The 457 Temporary Work Visa is categorized into two subclasses. The first is a short-term Visa which has a term of 2 years and the second is a medium-term Visa which grants a stay for 4 years. To safeguard employment of Australians, this Visa only allows foreigners to work in the country when there is a genuine shortage of skills.
- Reduction in the number of jobs- The number of jobs which were available for 457-Visa holders reduced to 200 after the changes were enacted. Until March 2018, these positions will not be available. Hence, only a handful people can apply for this Visa.
- Upscaled requirements- In order to prove that your skills are genuinely required by a business or company in Australia, you have to fulfill several criteria. There are many new requirements which have been added. Some of the most important criteria are clean background without criminal offense, good hold on English, two-year work experience, and labor market testing qualification.
- No Permanent Residency- Unlike before, you cannot apply for permanent residency during your stay under the 457 Visa. For people who have migrated to Australia under the old 457 Visa, will not be regarded as permanent residents of the country due to the new changes.
- Hiked up cost of Visa- To reduce the number of hired skills from foreign countries, the price of this VISA has gone up. A 4-year Visa costs $2,400 and a 2-year Visa costs $1,150. Under these conditions, employers will not be easily able to hire foreign workers.
People who are living in the country under the 457 Visa will be protected from the changes and given special allowances. However, extending their stay could be subject to the new changes. The government is still working on this.
The impact of the changes in the 457 Visa for working in Australia is still unknown. Whether it will be beneficial for Australia is yet to be determined with the passage of time. Most of the foreigners who are living under the 457 Visa in Australia are cooks, farmers, managers or are engaged in medicine, technology and education. There is a possibility that the job openings will not be completely filled by Australian workers. Based on the consequences of the changes, the number of 457 Visas to be provided will be decided. Further changes may or may not be expected.