Earlier this year the Government announced significant changes to the employer sponsored visas including the replacement of the subclass 457 visa with a Temporary Skills Shortage Visa and changes to the eligibility for permanent residence of 457 visa holders.
Currently, 457 visa holders can apply for permanent residence after having worked for the same employer, working in the same role for at least two years. The proposed changes for March 2018 means the transition to permanent residence will only be available to those 457 visa holders who have been nominated in an occupation that is on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List, and only after they have worked for the nominating employer for a period of three years. The age limit is also being reduced from 50 down to 45.
There is some good news however, the Government has said it will include ‘grandfathering’ provisions into the legislation, and that these changes will not apply to people who held a 457 visa, or applied for a 457 visa before 18 April 2017.
There are still a lot we don’t know about the legislation changes in March 2018, including what date these changes are due to commence. We are told that these changes are in the ‘design phase’ and will hopefully be made available in early 2018.