Australian officials to organise series of roadshows on temporary skilled visa change

by Ray Clancy on April 25, 2017

in Australia Immigration

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and the Migration Industry Association (MIA) are to hold roadshows across Australia to help people understand the changes being made to the 457 visa programme and citizenship.

Although it had been suggested for some time that changes to the popular 457 visa programme were likely, the announcement last week that it is being abolished was a surprise.

Skilled TradesThe MIA said it was not given any advance notice of the decision and it created confusion as agents were inundated with enquiries from people who were anxious about what it would mean for them.

Under the change the 457 visa is being replaced by two new visa streams, a two-year and a four-year visa under the name of Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS) and it was also announced that becoming a citizen of Australia will now be tougher with applicants having to live in the country for a minimum of four years as a permanent resident, up from one year, and a harder English test.

The information roadshows will be taking place across Australia in June to help answer questions with dates and locations still to be confirmed.

‘The MIA was not given prior notice of these changes and consequently was not able to prepare to handle the commotion and anxiety they have caused to Migration Agents and their clients. Whilst the MIA awaits the details of the amended legislation we will continue to provide updates and support on the changes,’ said a MIA spokesperson.

In addition, the Australian Government has amended the approved occupations list, following analysis of available statistics on Australian unemployment, to remove occupations that are believed to be able to be filled by Australian workers.

The DIBP confirmed that existing 457 visa holders will not be affected by the abolition of the 457 visa scheme. It has also committed to refunding the application fee for applicants who are currently applying for 457 visas but the MIA said this does not take into consideration the potential fees these people have paid to migration agents to process their visa applications.

Dutton said that the abolition of the 457 visa programme will see Australian workers get priority for Australian jobs. ‘Every visa application in the new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa streams will be subject to mandatory labour market testing with limited exemptions,’ he said.

He added that applicants will also face a new non-discriminatory workforce test, mandatory criminal history checks, a market salary rate assessment and a new two year work experience requirement.
‘The Government is ensuring that Australian workers are given absolute priority for jobs while ensuring businesses will be able to temporarily access the critical skills they need to grow if skilled Australian workers are not available,’ he added.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: