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On 18 April 2017, the Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457) will be abolished and replaced with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018.  Some changes have already been implemented and more changes will be made throughout the year to transition from the Subclass 457 visa to the TSS.  The changes also affect the permanent residency visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186).


One of the changes which took effect on 19 April 2017 is that the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) have been replaced with the Medium and Long-term Strategic List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). In the process, 216 occupations have been removed entirely from the visa program and 59 occupations have limitations (“caveats”) placed on them. The STSOL and MLTSSL will be reviewed every 6 months. The Government has already announced that further changes will come into effect on 1 July 2017, 31 December 2017 and 1 March 2018.

This means that if an employer wishes to sponsor an overseas employee either for a temporary visa or for permanent residency for which the employee currently qualifies, the application should be lodged as soon as possible with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) as changes may be made at any time without warning.  However, even if an application has been lodged and the requirements are met at the time of lodgement, the visa may still be rejected if the requirements are changed while the visa is being processed.  If this is the case, any fees that have been paid may or may not be recovered.


If you wish to discuss visa options for your employees or want more information on the proposed changes, please do not hesitate to contact us at or give us a call on (02) 9223 9399.


May 2017





This article contains comments of a general nature only and is provided as an information service only. The article also reflects the law as at the date it was written and may not take into account any recent or subsequent developments in the law. The article is not intended to be relied upon, nor is it a substitute for specific professional advice. No responsibility can be accepted by Schweizer Kobras, Lawyers & Notaries or the author(s) for any loss occasioned to any person doing anything as a result of anything contained in the article.


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