Ban on Subclass 457 in Australia & Its Impact on the Australian Student Visa

The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has introduced a ban on subclass 457 visa on Tuesday, 18th April 2017. The ban only affects the temporary work visa and does not affect post-study work visa.  According to the statement given by Turnbull, the temporary work visa program will be banned and it will be replaced by a new framework that will have fewer spots and requirements which will be more stringent. However, this ban will not have any impact on the student post-study work visa category which falls under class 485. It will also not affect the international students who are applying for a part-time work visa in Australia while studying.

However, this ban will affect the people who have applied/are looking to directly apply as for foreign workers for the temporary work visa with sponsorship from an Australian employer. The repercussions of the ban are that those who want to migrate to Australia will first have to Study in Australia for a period of 2 years for a degree-related course and PSW leading to migration. This indirectly strengthens the study route to Australia which will lead to increased numbers in Australia. As a matter of fact, there are 95,000 people currently in Australia on the 457 visa. Let us find out what does it mean for you if you already have a 457 visa or hope to work in Australia someday.

What is a 457 Visa?

It is a temporary work (skilled) visa (subclass 457). It is for foreign citizens according to which a skilled-worker is allowed to travel to Australia to work in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor for up to 4 years. Workers have to be sponsored by an Australian business and the business should prove that they could not find a suitable Australian worker to fill the job. The 457 program has been targeted by the federal government for some time now claiming that Australians were missing out on their jobs to foreign workers.

What are the Changes?

  • The 457 visa sub-class will be entirely abolished. This will be replaced with two new visa programs, one will be two-year and one four-year this will be called the temporary skill shortage visa.

  • The news visas will come into force in March 2018. There are 650 jobs which are currently available for 457 holders and that number will be reduced by 200 under the new program.

  • According to Turnbull, the new visa policy will ensure that the Australian businesses have access to the workers from overseas in order to fill only the real skill gaps. This will also ensure that the Australians will get to work wherever there are opportunities.

What are the consequences of Subclass 457 ban?

  • On a general note, the new visa holders will not be able to apply for the permanent visa as easily as the 457 holders are.

  • The employers will have to spend more money to sponsor a foreign worker, with the fee for a four-year visa doubling to $2400 and a two-year visa summing up to $1150.

  • The changes are being done to put national interests of Australians and their jobs first as said by Turnbull several times during the conference to announce the changes.

  • The new visas will take one year to come into force. However, there are few changes which would take place from 19th April 2017 like significantly condensing the occupation lists which are used from skilled migration visas including the subclass 457 visa from 19th April 2017.

  • To break it down the temporary work visa is being replaced with two temporary work visas.

What About Those Who are Already on 457 Visas?

  • The PM says that 95,000 people who are already in Australia are not in immediate danger of deportation and that those already on 457 visas would be protected from the changes.

  • For those who are already on a 457 visa at the moment, a “Grandfathering Arrangement” will be made. They will continue under the conditions of that visa.

What Next?

  • As of now the visa of 457 holders are safe. The trouble will come when the 457 holders will want to extend their stay. It is unclear whether they will be able to extend their stay under the 457 program or would be shifted to the new temporary visa program once their current visa expires as there have been no comments from the PM regarding this.

  • Turnbull said that English requirements would be raised and there would be more stringent criminal and background checks. The details of the same are not yet disclosed.

Conclusion

The ban has no impact on the students and the post-study work visa is not affected. This means that the students who are already there are safe for now. However, the direct work visa which the international students apply in order to work in Australia will be affected. The 457 visa holders can face some trouble while extending their stay regarding which no comments are received from the PM yet. The applicants who are applying for jobs in Australia directly will undergo strict criminal and background check and the English requirements will also be demanding.

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