New temporary visa schemes will be introduced in Australia within weeks with the popular 457 visa stream ceasing to exist in March.

An official date for the changeover has still not been published but the plan is for the changed to take place in early March 2018. Both applicants and migration agents are waiting on more detailed announcements.

Visa Application


The 457 visa programme is effectively taken away and replaced with a short term visa for two years and a medium term visa for up to four years.

It also means that there will be two new list of skills eligible for these visas; a Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and a Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

The STSOL is for employers to source genuine temporary overseas skilled workers in set occupations for a maximum of two years, or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies. This visa stream will not be eligible for permanent residence.

The MLTSSL is for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium term critical skills in set occupations for up to four years, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years.

The new visa streams and occupation lists are part of the Government's reform agenda to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia's temporary and permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programmes.

It is understood that anyone applying for a 457 visa before the changeover date will still have their application processed but again an official announcement has not been made.

It is also understood that 457 visa holders whose visa is not expiring but wish to change employer after the implementation of TSS, can get their new employer to lodge a TSS nomination application to facilitate this.

However, 457 visa holders who wish to change occupation or need a new visa, for example: for a longer period, will need to lodge a new TSS visa application.

It is expected that people with current 457 visas will be able to apply for permanent residency after March 2018 through the Temporary Resident Transition (TRT) stream on the basis of completing two years' full time employment with their current employer.

And these visa holders will not be subject to occupation list changes, TRT is exempted from this requirement, and the maximum age will remain 50 years rather than 45 for future applicants.