Changes with immediate effect are as follows:

  • Visa applicants must have an occupation on the new Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL); and
  • From 19 April 2017, the maximum duration of 457 visas for occupations that are on the new STSOL will be two years; and
  • For 457 visa applicants, whose occupation is on the new MLTSSL, the maximum duration of the 457 visa will be four years.

Further changes may take effect from 1 July 2017, as follows:

  • Occupation lists: the STSO List and the MLTSS List will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment.
  • English language requirements: the English language salary exemption threshold, which exempts applicants whose salary is over $96,400 from the English language requirement, will be removed.
  • Training Benchmarks: The Government has announced that the May 2017 Federal Budget may include changes to the Training Benchmark requirement. We will advise further on these changes as they are announced.
  • Character: all 457 visa applicants will be required to provide a national Police Clearance Certificate with their application (this is not required at the current time).
  • Skills Assessments: there may be further changes to the client cohorts for whom mandatory skills assessments are required.