On the 18th April the government announced that the 457 visa would be abolished and replaced with a completely new visa, the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.
The TSS visa has 2 streams; a short-term version which is 2 years and a medium-term version which is 4 years. Apart from the obvious distinction in the amount of time someone can stay in the country, the 2 year visa has no option to apply for Permanent Residency, which is a major change. Thankfully Accountants are on the Medium-term list which means you can stay for 4 years and apply for PR in the future, however some of the conditions have been changed.
What’s changing immediately?
There are 2 lists that currently underpin the visa system, the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) and Skilled Occupations List (SOL). These will be replaced with Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) a 2 year visa and the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) a 4 year visa, respectively.
What list are accountants on going forward?
The Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). You will still receive a 457 visa up until the new visa comes into effect March 2018. Conditions for this visa are similar to the past 457 including gaining a 4 year visa and still being able to apply for permanent residency however they will exclude any of the following positions:
- clerical, book keeper and accounting clerk positions
- positions in businesses that have an annual turnover of less than $1Million
- positions in businesses that have fewer than five employees.
Current 457 visa holders
You can continue to work on the 457 visa until your visa ends so no real impact. New visa applications from March 2018 will be the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS).
Applying for Permanent Residency
From March 2018 you will have to wait for 3 years to apply for permanent residency, up from 2 years previously. So get in quick if you don’t want to wait.
Moving jobs on a 457 visa
If you move jobs on a 457 visa your current conditions will remain, you will just transfer the visa to your new employer.
You can apply for a new visa when you change companies if you are coming to the end of your current visa.
Fact sheets for the change:
- Temporary Employer Sponsored changes
- Permanent Employer Sponsored changes
If you require further information or support I would suggest clicking through to the official visa website for Australia