Skilled visa changes likely to restrict labour market and population growth in South Australia

From March 2018, the Australian Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa (subclass 457) will be abolished and replaced by a new program called the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa. Although the program seeks to address genuine skills shortages and prioritise Australian workers, regions across South Australia who face challenges in their local labour markets are likely to find that this new program may further complicate labour shortages and increase costs. Taking the time to understand these changes and how they may impact businesses is important.

In brief

Here’s what happens in March 2018:

  • The Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa will replace the Australian Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa (subclass 457)
  • Increased work experience requirements will apply
  • A higher level of English language proficiency is required
  • There will be Mandatory Labour market testing (LMT) (unless an international obligation applies)
  • Mandatory penal clearance certificates will be required
  • Set Australian market salary rates will apply across all regions of Australia. (This means that regional businesses will need to match market rates of capital cities).
  • A new employer payment must be made into the Skilling Australians Fund, per TSS visa employee:
    $1200 per year (for businesses with a turnover of less than $10m)
    $1800 per year for other businesses.
  • The TSS will comprise of two streams; a short-term stream that lasts up to two years and a medium term stream that lasts up to four years. Only the latter provide a path to permanent residency.

Who’s affected?

These changes will impact:

  1. Australian businesses will be significantly limited by the restricted occupations
  2. Australian employers of skilled migrants will have increased costs relating to visas, employment and training
  3. Current 457 visa holders may not be able to transition to a permanent residency pathway
  4. Regional and local industries may experience additional skills shortages, due to restricted occupations lists.

For further information about these changes and how they may impact your visa application, contact Migration Solutions Contact Us.

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