IMPACT – HIGH
What is the change? Australia has published regulations to overhaul key high-skilled visa programmes.
What does the change mean? Effective March 18, the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa will replace the Subclass 457 visa. Applicants will need to satisfy new criteria, including criteria related to work experience, English language skills, salary minimums and police clearance. Related changes to the Subclass 186 and 187 visa programmes will also take effect. Transitional arrangements may be available.
Key changes: The Introduction of the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa.
The TSS visa will replace the Subclass 457 visa 18 March. The visa will have three streams: short-term, valid for up to two years (or up to four years if the two-year limitation would be inconsistent with an international trade obligation); medium-term, valid for up to four years; and the labour-agreement stream, which will allow employers to sponsor foreign workers for a visa pursuant to a labour agreement with the Australian Government.
To be eligible for TSS visas, applicants will have to satisfy the following criteria:
Sponsors may be subject to non-discriminatory workforce tests to ensure employers are not discriminating against Australian workers. Officials previously clarified that the tests will not be conducted for all TSS applicants. Tests can be expected in cases where a company’s workforce does not match the industry norm, for example, in situations where sponsored workers are far greater than the number of Australian workers.
Labour Market Testing will be mandatory for TSS visa applications, but details on how positions must be advertised have not been finalised. A new Skilling Australians Fund for training Australian workers will also be introduced. Legislation authorising collection of a fee from employers to fund the skilling of Australian workers has also not yet been finalised.
Key changes: ENS and RSMS visa programmes.
The regulations make related changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass 187) programmes. Applicants will have to satisfy the following criteria:
Nominees may be eligible for transitional arrangements. Employers in both subclasses will also be required to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund once it is implemented.
BAL Analysis: Employers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the information that is available about the forthcoming changes. BAL continues to review the regulations and will provide additional information as it becomes available. Please contact your BAL professional for questions about transitional arrangements.
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