Australia Newsflash: Important Policy Changes

April 18, 2017
Iain MacLeod

Australia’s General Skilled Migration Visas and Employer Sponsored Visas

Earlier today Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced wide-ranging changes to the occupational lists available to General Skilled Migration Visas as well as the abolition of the current 457 Visa (Work Visa) to be replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa from March 2018.

New Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa

From March 2018, the 457 Visa is to be replaced by the (TSS) Visa, however, changes to the occupation list (list of occupations available for 457 visas) come into effect on 19 April 2017.

Approximately 200 occupations have been removed (click to view the new list).

Other changes include:

Work Experience

A minimum of 2 years of work experience will be required, whereas under the current 457 Visa, if an applicant has relevant qualifications, no specific amount of work experience is required.

Labour Market Testing

Under current 457 Visa policy, a limited number of occupations require labour market testing (proof that employers have advertised the position and can evidence that skills cannot be filled by Australians or Australian permanent residents). These had – until now – been largely trade occupations, but under the TSS Visa most employers would now need to satisfy labour market testing requirements.

Different Streams

There will be 2 types (or streams) of TSS Visas – a short-term stream of 2 years and medium-term stream of 4 years. Only the medium stream will enable the applicant to transition to Permanent Residence and the short-term stream will only be able to be renewed once. It’s expected that the medium-term stream will have higher English language requirements.

General Skilled Migration Visas

The current Skilled Occupations List (SOL) is to be replaced by the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). These occupations remain available for the subclass 189 Visa which is an independent permanent residence visa that does not require state sponsorship and this list remains unchanged.

The current Consolidated Skilled Occupations list (CSOL) has been replaced by the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List. This list is the list to be used for applications involving state sponsored applications such as subclass 190 and state-sponsored subclass 489 visas. 200 occupations have been removed from this list and you can view the new list here.

The 200 occupations that have been removed can be viewed here.

Anyone who has received an invitation to apply in SkillSelect will not be affected by these changes and they will be able to apply for a subclass 190 or state-sponsored 489 visa. Similarly, anyone who has already lodged a visa application will not be affected by these changes.

Any clients affected by these changes will be contacted by consultants tomorrow (Wednesday 19th April).

If you have any questions relating to changes to these lists please feel free to contact us via email on or see our Free Preliminary Evaluation form to have a Registered Migration Agent confirm if proceeding with a Full Assessment might be a good idea.

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