April changes ; 457, ENS, RSMS affected

Changes in 457 visas are also affecting also ENS and RSMS.

Yesterday, The Australian government announced changes to the 457 visa program.  As always, the 457 visa is a hot topic and everybody seems to focus on it, however it also means there will be changes for RSMS and ENS visas soon.

As of today, 19 April 2017, there is no longer a CSOL list for the purpose of 457 visas, those can be still granted.

For temporary employment stay’s in Australia new lists have been introduced: Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), and Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) equivalent of CSOL.

While CSOL and RSMS lists still apply to new direct entry applications it is not clear what is going to happen with not finalized ENS/RSMS applications and nominations in March 2018 when the (MLTSSL) will come into effect for purpose of permanent employment nominations.

NEW LISTS for 457 visa:

As of today we have two occupation lists for the 457 visa. As of march 2018, they will be used for new temporary stay visa types but as of now they affect new and pending 457 applications.

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), is a list allowing applicants to apply for long stay up to 4 years. Many occupations have been removed. Over 200 occupations have been removed from the CSOL list.

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), allows for a stay up to 2 years. There are more occupations available but they also have very specific requirements in relation to salary, work experience and business turnover or type of activity. That visa can be renewed only once, allowing 4 years stay only. Holders of this visa will not be eligible to apply for ENS/ RSMS transitional arrangement.

Short-term list will be updated every 6 months to make sure it is relevant for current economic and labor market.

Only positions listed on MLTSSL can be nominated for permanent visas under ENS or RSMS in transitional arrangement, but after 3 years not 2 years of employment in nominated position.

457 pending visas applications and nominations will be affected by change of the lists on 19.04.2017. Refunds of DIBP fees will be available for affected businesses and visas applicants (nominated occupations which are no longer on the new list cannot be approved past this date) .

Permanent Residency

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) does not apply either to RSMS or ENS nominations and visa applications.  For direct entry both CSOL and RSMS occupation lists are still in force.

There is very little information on how current changes will affect details of RSMS and ENS pending visa applications. We are following legislation in force published and available for the public allowing us lodgement of RSMS visas and nominations as usual, but we aim for nomination and application to be decided before March 2018.

As mentioned before it is not clear what is going to happen with non-finalized ENS/RSMS applications and nominations in March 2018 while the (MLTSSL) will come into effect.

Some occupations which are not listed on MLTSSL might be suitable for the RSMS visas, however it is not clear what exemptions might be available at this stage.

Most evident changes are higher salary rates (RSMS visas will have to meet TISMIT which is currently 53900 $ per annum), more work experience required (3 years), age below 45 for direct entry applications.

For transitional arrangement holders of temporary visas, will have to wait 3 years prior becoming eligible for transition to permanent residency through RSMS or ENS program. Each position has to be analysed individually in context of particular sponsor’s needs. Considering position requirements must be met for RSMS at the time of decision, it will affect nominations lodged now but not finalized before March 2018.

As of July 2017, both new lists will be reviewed again.

As of December 2017, the age limit of 45 years will apply to all direct entry nominated permanent visas. Applicants below 50 years will be still eligible for transitional arrangement if other conditions are met. The tax file number collection by DIBP office will commence to match actually paid salary record with ATO database.

As of March 2018:

  • Minimum salary matching TSMITH, currently $53 900
  • Minimum 3 years of work experience
  • New business  training commitment arrangement will be introduced
  • MLTSSL will apply to all new permanent visa applications

Conclusion:

As of today for 457 visa:

For new and pending applications, nominated occupations must be listed on: Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) equivalent of CSOL

Moreover new position requirements must be met as listed on STSOL (if applicable).  457s Visa can be granted for 2 years for people nominating STSOL occupation and for 4 years for MLTSSL listed job.

As of today for RSMS and Transitional.

We can lodge applications as normal using old list but if decision is not made before March 2018, it will affect decision, unless more changes will be introduced in the meantime. We are seeking clarification from DIBP on this matter.