Summary of Legislative changes for visa subclasses 457, 186 and 187

Zhanna Heenan

Visa News
Any 457 sponsorship, nomination, or visa applications that are NOT listed in the relevant Instrument IMMI 17/040 (check any notes against your occupation) and NOT decided by 18th April 2017 will no longer be able to be approved. Refunds of application fees may be available. Any new 457 applications lodged from 19 April 2017 onwards will have to have their occupation on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) or the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) occupation lists.

If you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the STSOL list, it can only be granted for 2 years. However, this can be extended for a further two years. You will not be allowed to apply for a permanent 186/187 visa under that occupation if it is on the STSOL.

​If you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the MLTSSL list, it can be granted for 4 years. You will be able to apply for a permanent 186/187 visa after 3 years on a 457 visa if that company decides to nominate you.

From March 2018 the new TSS visa will have replaced the 457 visa. You will need to have 2 years work experience before applying and your occupation will have to be on the STSOL or MLTSSL lists. If you are on the STSOL list you will also have to show you only want to stay in Australia temporarily.

From March 2018 you need to have your occupation on the MLTSSL occupation list to apply for company/employer-sponsored permanent residence. You will also need to commit to working for the company for 3 years, have an IELTS of 6+, and be under 45 years of age.

Some consequences of this:

1. Occupations such as cook and restaurant manager are on the STSOL list. While you can still be sponsored for 2 years by a restaurant on the 457 visa and gain another 2-year extension, you can no longer apply for a permanent visa unless it is added to the MLTSSL list for you being in a designated regional area.

2. Retail manager is still available in regional areas for the 187 visa at the moment. But from March 2018 this will not be the case, as this occupation is not on the MLTSSL list.

3. Most student graduates will not be eligible for temporary or permanent company sponsorship after March 2018 as you require at least 2 years of FULL-TIME WORK EXPERIENCE first.

The Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration confirmed that existing 457 visa holders (as of 18 April 2017) will still be able to apply for a Permanent visa and will not be affected by these changes.

Timeline of future 457 changes are:

  • from 19 April 2017 – 216 occupations were removed and 59 others restricted, 24 occupations restricted to regional Australia, Occupational lists renamed, the validity period for occupations on STSOL was 2 years.

  • from 01 July 2017 – English salary exemption $96,400 to be removed, training benchmarks to be changed, mandatory penal clearance certificates.

  • before 31 December 2017 – a collection of TFN for 457 visa holders for ATO data matching, publication of sanctioned sponsors.

  • from March 2018 – 457 visa was abolished and replaced with TSS visa which will comprise the Short-Term (2 years) and Medium-Term stream (4 years).

Timeline of future 186/187 changes are:

from 19 April 2017 – CSOL condensed, 216 occupations were removed, 24 occupations were restricted to regional Australia, and Occupational lists were renamed as STSOL and MLTSSL.

from 01 July 2017 – review of STSOL and MLTSSL, IELTS 6 required in each component, changes in age (DE stream 45 years old, no change to TRT stream).

before 31 December 2017 – a collection of TFN for 457 visa holders for ATO data matching, and publication of sanctioned sponsors.

from March 2018 – the MLTSSL will apply to ENS/RSMS with additional regional occupations, Market salary rate will apply and meet TSMIT, the eligibility period for PR extended from 2 to 3 years, at least 3 years work experience required, under 45 years of age, contribution towards training fund.



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