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457 visa cancellation: what you need to know

You may have seen news recently about Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement that the Government would be cancelling the 457 employer-sponsored visa and that it would be replaced with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. Although this decision may affect some foreign workers in Australia, if you are an international student, don’t panic!

The reforms mean that there may be some changes to the general skilled migration visa, but it probably won’t affect international students studying in Australia. It will also have no effect on current students who have plans of applying for a 485 (Post Study Work) visa.

What is the 457 Visa?

The 457 is one of the most common visas that Australian companies use to sponsor skilled overseas workers. The visa allows temporary skilled individuals to live and work in Australia for their nominated occupation for an approved period of up to four years. The visa also allows foreign workers to have their loved ones travel in and out of Australia as often as they want to visit them. 

What’s changed?

The changes propose that the 457 visa will be replaced with two new visa programs. One will cover a two-year and one will cover a four-year program called a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, which will come out in March 2018. The TSS will have new visa requirements that foreign workers will have to meet to be able to work in Australia. Some changes might include:

  • Fewer available jobs for foreign nationals
  • Visa applicants may need two years of work experience in their skilled occupation
  • There may be stricter requirements like higher standards of English, a maximum age of 45 at the time of application, and stricter police records and criminal checks
  • Mandatory labour market testing

Does it affect international students in Australia?

International students and those who are planning to study in Australia need not worry. There appears to be no direct impact for anyone on a student visa. This means your study, living, and work rights will most likely not be affected. However, it is important that you consider which courses or programs you wish to study in the future. Choosing your career path is crucial if you plan to apply for a different visa once you complete your studies and training. Even people who are on a 457 can continue to work under those visa conditions until they expire. 

What if I want to know more?

We understand this may be a concern for many students, so we encourage you to attend our seminars or webinars for more information. IDP also has a range of visa guidance services available to students who wish to speak with one of our team – find out more on our website, or visit one of our offices for more information today.

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