457 visa changes: what you need to know

Do you employ workers on a 457 visa, or are you considering applying for one?

Are you aware of the changes due to come into effect this month?
The current 457 visa is changing this month to a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, and with that comes new requirements.

These include mandatory labour-market testing, increased application charges, and additional annual costs to the Skilling Australians Fund.

It’s important you apply now before these changes are adopted.

Below are the full details of changes:

New changes- 457 to TSS (482)
If the skill falls into the Short-Term List (STSOL), then the Nomination and Visa can be applied for either 1 or 2 years (482-ST stream). An applicant can apply for only 2 TSS Visas onshore. There will be a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) test for every applicant under the ST stream. It will not be applied in every case but if someone is making a third TSS application from offshore, or a new applicant who has spent a lot of time e.g. 4 years in last 5 on other visas in Australia, then they would have to justify GTE credentials.There will be no pathway to transition to a permanent resident visa from this stream. The employee will have to meet the English proficiency of 5 bands overall and 4.5 bands in each module of IELTS or its equivalent, if he or she does not hold a US, UK, Canada, Ireland or NZ passport.
If the skill falls in the Medium-Term List (MLTSSL), the Nomination and Visa can be applied for 1,2, 3 or 4 years (482-MT stream). The visa holder can transition to PR after spending 3 years on TSS. Eligibility currently sits at 2 years. The employee will have to meet the English proficiency of 5 bands in each module of IELTS or its equivalent if he or she does not hold a US, UK, Canada, Ireland or NZ passport. 

When are they happening:

The changes will occur in March. We may get a notice of one week before the changes become effective. Please make sure that both your 457 Nomination and Visa applications are lodged before the changes happen. Otherwise, a 457 Nomination cannot be attached to a TSS Visa application. The fee will be refunded, and new nomination and visa applications will have to be lodged under TSS.
Change in Fees:
The visa application fee will increase for 482-ST to $1150 and to $2400 for 482-MT from the current $1080. 

Skilling Australians Fund:

The Standard Business sponsors must meet and maintain training benchmarks. Training benchmarks will be replaced by the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) which will be charged at the nomination stage of each application. The SAF will be calculated as:
  • For companies with business turnover below $10 million: $1200 per year of nomination.
  • For companies with business turnover $10 million or above: $1800 per year of nomination.If an employee is to be nominated for 3 years and the turnover is below $10 million, the SAF will be $3600 at the time of nomination.
SAF will also apply at the time of nominating an employee for permanent residence under the transitional stream. It will be a one-time payment for each nomination application:
  • $3000 per employee if turnover is below $10 million
  • $5000 per employee if turnover is $10 million or aboveSAF is not refundable but there are ongoing discussions regarding whether it will be refunded under some circumstances, such as the refusal of an employee’s visa or an employee failing to join.
When will SAF become effective? The legislation has been passed by House of Representatives and will be voted on in the Senate when it reconvenes on 19 March. It is likely to be passed, and we will be notified of its implementation.

Labour Market Testing:
Labour market testing is currently not required for skill levels 1 and 2 but will be made mandatory for all cases. It can be met by taking out a paid advertisement for a minimum of 4 weeks. There are hints that employers will be given some form of grace period to meet this requirement and it will not be effective immediately.
New Standard Business Sponsorship:
If you are planning a new Standard Business Sponsorship, then it would not be a bad idea to wait until SAF comes into effect. Once SAF becomes effective, training benchmarks will no longer be required. There is no SAF at the SBS stage.All new SBS approvals will be for a period of 5 years.

Our migration team on can help process your applications - phone (08) 8300 0094 or email migration@business-sa.com

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