Is the Australian new visa fake news?
Frank Rijkers – South Africans to Oz
When Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced on the 18th April 2017 that the 457 visa was being abolished, would-be migrants to Australia believed they had been robbed of their dream of living and working in Australia.
It seemed as if the 457-temporary employer sponsored visa was being scrapped completely, and those skilled migrants overseas who had set their sights on this visa would have no choice but to either:
- Try to migrate to Australia through other more limited visas, i.e. Permanent Residency (e.g. visa subclass 189/190)
- Forget about migrating to Australia because of the Australian new visa being introduced
Abolishing the 457 Visa didn’t make sense
At the time when hearing the announcement about the 457 visa being abolished, I remember thinking “is this for real”?
In her blog Nadine Meyer at Sponsored Jobs for Australia says the following
- “All these years the 457 visa has been enabling Australia to fill skill shortages that could not be fulfilled by Australians
- Sponsoring an overseas national is more expensive for an Australian employer than it is to hire a local Australian
- Sponsoring an overseas national is complex, takes time and a lot of paperwork and procedures that can be avoided by hiring a local worker
- Every year the Australian Government reassesses the Australian job market and skills shortages, updating the qualifying occupations list every 1st July, listing hundreds of jobs that are in demand in Australia
When you think about it, the announcement about the 457 visa is kind of timely, as this time of year the government does a review of the Australian job market and decides on which skills are in demand in Australia, updating the visa rules according to their findings.
It therefore appears as though the Australian government has simply announced the changes early, to support the ‘farce’ that employer sponsorship is no longer.
Why the 457 Visa is not popular with some Aussies
After the announcement, Nadine did some investigation using valid, Government sources only; and realised that this is a political tactic to win over Australians, by making them think that they are going to be put in favour for jobs in Australia.
The major reason is that the 457 visa had gotten a bad name in the past because of businesses sponsoring family members and friends who were not necessarily the best person for the job.
Obviously, this upset a lot of hard working Australian job seekers and bred discontent among some affected Australians towards migrants on the 457 visa.
By saying what the people want to hear, country leaders are always looking at how they can win over their countrymen and gain supporters.
They use various tactics to do this which usually involves painting magical pictures and saying what they think people want to hear.
To the opposition party this appears to be exactly what Mr Turnbull has done, and upon digging deeper into the 457 visa on the Australian immigration site, border.gov.au, it is clear that not much has changed at all.
Australian politician, Bill Shorten has commented that the changes will only affect one tenth of 457 visa holders.
The Australian new visa repackaged
Although the 457 visa will be done away with as of March 2018 it will not be the end of the road for people seeking employer sponsorship. The new visa will be repackaged with two new visas i.e. the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa
The TSS visa will be split into two visa streams:
- Short-Term Stream: 2-years in duration, can be renewed only once
- Medium-Term Stream: 4-years in duration, can be renewed or may lead to a permanent visa
About occupations that qualify for Employer Sponsorship
I must admit to being a little confused about the lists that have been made available for both streams under the new sponsored visa.
The Australian Immigration website states that “There is no separate STSOL (Short-term Skilled Occupation List) list on our website as visa programmes that utilise this list can also access some additional occupations on the MLTSSL.”
This means they have provided a combined list of eligible occupations.
In another part of the website, it states that “Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) replaced the previous ‘Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List’ (CSOL) and is available in Schedule 2 of the relevant legislative instrument.”
Please click here to view the legislative instrument that includes Schedule 2 which shows the full STSOL list.
This list appears to contain the same occupations as the combined list of eligible occupations, so it will be easier to just refer to the combined list.
When referring to the combined list of eligible occupations, it is important to make note of the occupations that are labelled with a triple asterisk ‘***’.
This indicates that there are caveats, or instances in which that particular occupation may not be eligible for 457 visa sponsorship under all circumstances.
Learn more about the limitations on occupations that are labelled with a triple asterisk ‘***’, refer to the summary of caveats on 457 occupations by clicking here.
Here is what the leader of the Australian Labour Party Bill Shorten thinks of the Australian new visa changes
Australian politician Bill Shorten confirms the view that the 457 visa announcement was dramatised for political purposes, calling the announcement of axing the 457 visa by Mr Turnbull as nothing more than “cosmetic” and a “con-job”.
Mr Shorten was outspoken in his opinion of the announcement in his interview on the subject on 19th April, 2017. He stated that “the government isn’t doing a ‘crack down’, it’s doing a con-job”.
In fact most of the occupations that are being removed from the eligible list of occupations for sponsorship have “not been used for 10 years”.
Mr Shorten invited interested parties to review the situation in 12 months’ time, to see if the numbers of temporary workers from overseas have reduced.
He indicated that he doesn’t feel that the changes being made with the Australian new visa will make any real difference to the numbers of people migrating to Australia.
Learn all about how to find the Australian undercover job market