IMMIGRATION REFORMS SCHEDULED FOR 2018
2018 is set to bring about some important and significant reforms to both the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994. The elimination of the Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa under subclass 457 of the Regulations (‘457 Visa’) will be the first of two major changes happening this year (in March), with the government introducing a new visa in its place called the Temporary Short Stay visa (‘TSS Visa’). The other significant change will be the refresh of the partner visa application process, which is scheduled to take place mid-year.
ELIMINATION OF THE 457 VISA PROGRAMME AND THE NEW TSS VISA
From next month (March 2018), the 457 Visa programme is being officially eliminated and replaced with the new TSS Visa programme.
The TSS Visa will be made up of two streams – a Short-Term stream (allowing for stays of up to two years), and a Medium-Term stream (allowing for stays of up to four years). The length of Visa will depend on the occupation nominated by the sponsoring employer. The Visa application fees charged by the Department of Home Affairs will be:
- $1,150 for the 2 year Visa
- $2,400 for the 4 year Visa
The Short-Term stream of the TSS Visa (up to two-year stays), has been designed for Australian businesses to fill skill shortages with foreign workers on a strictly temporary basis. Occupations can be nominated from the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List only. Importantly, a major change to foreign worker programme is that the Short-Term stream of the TSS Visa is renewable only once and there is no pathway to permanent residency.
The Medium-Term stream of the TSS Visa has been designed for Australian businesses to fill skill shortages with foreign workers in much more higher-skill and in-demand occupations. Individuals with occupations on the Medium to Long-Term Skilled Occupation List may be eligible to apply for this stream of the TSS Visa which allows for transition to permanent residency once the Visa holder has worked for their sponsoring employer for a minimum of three years. Visa holders may also renew their Visas unlimited times – depending on their employer sponsorship agreement.
Until March 2018, the 457 Visa programme will stay in place. We encourage you to contact one of our expert Migration Agents as soon as possible to discuss your situation and how these changes may impact your plans. Fill out our initial client questionnaire here, and get in contact with our expert Migration Agents.
PARTNER VISA CHANGES
Partner Visa sponsorship changes were initially planned to take effect as of 1st July 2017. However, due to the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and other Measures) Bill 2016 delaying in the Senate, these changes have not yet been passed. The new legislation proposes that Partner Visa sponsorship applications are lodged under much stricter criteria and approved before a Partner Visa application can be lodged. This will delay the process of Partner Visa applications substantially.
We highly recommend that if you are a prospective applicant of this Visa, to take advantage of the delay in Senate, and contact one of our expert Migration Agents to discuss your situation before the changes take place (scheduled for effect as of 1st July 2018).
Fill out our initial client questionnaire here to get in contact with our Migration Agents, and get the process started.
Also published on Medium.