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2018 will see the implementation of Temporary Skill Shortage Visas, changes to the Occupation Lists, plans to introduce mandatory provisional visas before permanent residency and changes to Parent and Partner Visas. The Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (subclass 457) will be replaced with Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa From March 2018, the current 457 visa program will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. The TSS visa will be comprised of a Short-Term stream allowing stays of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream allowing stays of up to four years. The Short-Term stream visa is renewable only once. The STSOL occupation list will apply for Short-Term Stream applicants. The Medium-Stream visa holders may renew their visas onshore and may apply for permanent residence pathway after working for three years in Australia. The MLTSSL occupation list will apply for Medium-Stream visa applicants. This stream is relatively similar to the current 457 visa. Tighter Regulations for both streams: Increased Work Experience Requirements Higher English Language Levels Requirements Mandatory Labour Market Testing Set Australian Market Salary Rates Additional Character, Anti-Discrimination and Training Requirements More information: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/WorkinginAustralia/Documents/abolition-replacement-457.pdf Discuss Temporary Skilled Visas on our forum Changes to Occupation lists in 2018 A number of changes were made to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) in April 2017 and again in July 2017. CHECK IF YOUR OCCUPATION IS IN THE MEDIUM AND LONG-TERM STRATEGIC SKILLS LIST (MLTSSL) HERE Though the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skill List (MLTSSL) is likely to remain the same, the STSOL which is a list of occupations nominated for temporary and short-term visas is likely to see some changes. Some of the occupations flagged for removal from the Short-term Skilled Occupation List are Accommodation and Hospitality manager, Hair or Beauty Salon Manager, Recruitment Consultant and Building Associate.. University Tutor, Psychotherapist, Property Manager, Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Representative may be added to the list. It is also likely that Skilled Occupations List will include Airline Pilots in 2018 to address the shortage of pilots in Australia. Following lobbying from the peak body for regional airlines, it has been reported that the Skilled Occupations List will be revised to allow foreign pilots to come to the country on a two-year work visa. Discuss Skilled Visas on our forum Plans to introduce mandatory provisional visas before permanent residency in Australia and reducing the number of visas from 99 to 10 The Government undertook public consultation to transform Australia’s visa system in 2017. The Australian government discussed plans to introduce mandatory provisional visas where migrants may need to spend a certain period of time before they are granted permanent residency and also to reduce the number of visas from 99 to 10 to simplify the process. The Department received 255 submissions and approximately 184 representatives of industry, academia, community and government participated in roundtables across the country, with an additional 60 industry representatives participating in immigration reform workshops. In December 2017, the department in a consultation summary said while approximately 55% opposed a provisional period, among those who supported the principle of provisional residence, a provisional period of a minimum of two years was most popular. 88% of the submissions supported visa simplification with suggestions that importance be given to transparency around decision making, reduced processing times and a system that was easier to understand and navigate. The department though has not set a timeline for its implementation and says, ‘This is a long-term programme of improvement to the way we deliver our services. There is no immediate impact for visa applicants or holders. The first step will be broad consultation with the market on the design and build of a new visa processing platform.’ We are likely to hear more about these plans in 2018. Discuss Visas, Residency & Citizenship on our forum Temporary sponsored parent visa In the 2017-18 federal budget, a new temporary sponsored parent visa was announced - to be available from November 2017. However, the new visa which will allow migrants’ parents to stay in the country for extended periods has been delayed. The Bill enabling the new visa to come into effect has not yet been approved by the Senate. Here are the six must know facts about the new long stay visa for parents: 3-year-visa will cost $5000, a 5-year-visa will cost $10,000 and a 10-year-visa will cost $20,000, with the opportunity of a single renewal for another five years at the same price. 15,000 people each year will be granted this long stay parent visa. Children/Sponsors will be required to pay for their parents' private health insurance. The children will also need to act as financial guarantor on any extra healthcare costs their parents rack up in Australia. Those on the new visa will not be allowed to work, however, the government hopes they will take on family roles which would see “reduced pressure on childcare facilities.” Those sponsoring their parents for the new visa need to be Australian citizens or permanent residents, or “eligible New Zealand citizens”. The visa-holders would not be allowed to reapply beyond the 10 years and would have no pathway to permanent residency. Discuss Parent Visas on our forum Partner Visa Proposed changes to Partner Visa were expected in 2017 but it has been deferred to 2018. This is because the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016(Cth) (“the Bill”) is still before the Senate and has not been enacted. If the Bill is enacted, it will establish a sponsorship framework for partner visas, placing more focus on the assessment of sponsors. In particular: The sponsorship assessment would be separated from the visa application process Sponsors would need to be approved before visa applications are made Legal obligations would be imposed on approved sponsors If sponsors fail to meet their obligations, sanctions may be imposed In certain circumstances sponsors can be barred from sponsorship The new regulations propose partner visa sponsorship applications would need to be lodged under stricter criteria and approved before the overseas partner visa application could be lodged. The new two-step process is expected to delay the lodgement of the overseas partner application and require the overseas partner to have a valid visa until a visa application for the overseas partner can be lodged. Discuss Partner Visas on our forum
Cerberus1 posted an article in NewsAs expected, the federal govt used yesterday's budget to outline its plans to abolish the 457 visa and replace the scheme with short and medium-term streams. Application fees for the short-term, two year visas will increase by $90 to $1150, while four-year visa applications will cost $2400 apiece. In addition to this, companies will also be charged annual foreign worker levies. Under the existing scheme, employers have contributed one of two per cent of their payroll to training if they employed foreign workers. But as the requirements have proved almost impossible to police the govt is taking a different route. From March 2018, businesses that employ foreign workers on certain skilled visas will be required to pay money into a "Skilling Australians" fund. Companies turning over less than $10 million per year must make an upfront payment of $1200 (per visa, per year) for each employee on a temporary visa. They must also make a one-off payment of $3000 for each staffer sponsored for a permanent skilled worker visas. Businesses with turnovers above $10 million will be required to make up front payments of $1800 for each worker on temporary visas and $5000 one-off levies for those on permanent skilled visas. The levy is expected to rake in $1.2 billion over the next four years, which will be funnelled into a new Commonwealth-State skills fund. "States and territories will only be able to draw on this fund when they deliver on their commitments to train new apprentices," Mr Morrison said in his budget speech.
Cerberus1 posted an article in NewsBy Robert Williams 03/05/2017 Email admin[at]pomsinoz.com India’s Prime Minister has voiced his reservations to the Australian PM about the Government’s recent decision to phase out and replace the 457 visa next year. India was perturbed by the Federal Govt’s announcement last month that the popular 457 visa would be stopped in 2018 and replaced and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa which will assist businesses in addressing bona fide skill shortages. The TSS Visa is a four year visa is your occupation is on the Medium and Long term Strategic Skilled List (MLTSSL) or two years is your occupation isn't on the MLTSSL The Australian PM described the changes as being “in the national interest”. At present, Indian nationals make up a quarter of 457 visa holders - the most of any nationality. India had hinted the move to replace it could affect trade negotiations, which the two countries had only just pledged to revive during Mr Turnbull’s recent India visit in early April. Now, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Modi himself has “expressed concern” to Mr Turnbull about the possible impact of visa changes. In response to the announced Visa changes, India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued a terse statement, saying that it was “examining the consequences” of the new policy, adding that it would look at the matter “in the context” of trade negotiations. Elsewhere, Anisha Gupta, an Indian migration has suggested that Visa changes will damage Australia’s longer-term ability to attract both skilled workers and students with an eye to their futures. “I’m receiving a lot of calls from the applicants, as well as the people who have already applied for the visa — how will that affect them?” she said. (Current visa holders will not be affected by the changes, which will see the introduction of two new temporary skills visas — a two-year visa and a more specialised one for four years “targeted at higher skills”.) Ms Gupta warns changing the visa system will likely hurt Australian universities’ efforts to attract Indian students, especially those seeking degrees in the 200 professions the Government is removing from the list of those eligible for skilled worker visas. That would affect the students if they think their occupations are out of the list, so they might choose another country which has a more favourable immigration policy for them,” she said.