Following on from our last e-flash on Australia’s recent immigration reform to scrap and replace the existing Subclass 457 visa which took immediate effect in April, the second round of immigration changes will be taking effect on 1 July 2017.

Employers and foreign employees planning to submit applications under this subclass should take note of the following:

  • Police clearance certificates (PCCs) will be required – All individuals (including dependants) will need to submit PCCs from each country where they have resided.
  • English language requirement for high-earning applicants – Individuals earning more than AUD96,400 will no longer be exempted from meeting the English proficiency standard and will have to meet the same English language requirements as other 457 visa applicants.
  • Higher English language requirement – Individuals applying for permanent employer-sponsored skilled visa streams will need to meet a stricter language requirement. For example, they will need to score a 6 in each component of the International English Language testing System (IELTS).
  • Review of the Skilled Occupations Lists – The list of occupations will be further reviewed and further changes may be made to narrow down the list of occupations that 457 applicants may fall under.
  • Increased visa application charges – there will be an increase across the board for a number of visa applications. Please refer to this list for the schedule of new fees which will become effective from 1 July 2017.

We are expecting progressive changes to the 457 visa in December 2017 and March 2018 and will publish another e-flash when we have more clarity on the changes closer to the time.