11 May 2017

457 visa changes | Our most frequently asked questions

What are the changes to the 457 visa scheme from 19 April 2017?

The Government recently announced the 457 visa scheme will be replaced by a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa program to be introduced in March 2018. Some changes to the 457 visa are already in place to prepare for the new TSS visa program. On 19 April 2017, immediate changes to the 457 visa program were:

Changes to the list of eligible skilled occupations
216 occupations are no longer listed as eligible for the 457 visa and restrictions have been added to 59 of the eligible occupations to immediately limit their use.

Changes to visa validity periods and pathways to permanent residency
Previously 457 visas were generally granted for a period of four years, however from 19 April 2017, the maximum four-year visa period will only be available to those with an occupation listed on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Applicants with an occupation on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will be eligible for a maximum visa period of two years.

What if I have already lodged a 457 visa application and I am waiting for the Government’s approval decision?

The Government has indicated that affected visa applicants and sponsoring employers may be eligible for a refund of government fees for the nominations and visa applications. This is the case whether or not the associated nomination application was approved prior to the changes taking place.

Are there going to be further changes?

Further changes to the 457 visa program are planned for 1 July 2017 as part of the transition to the TSS visa, which will soon replace 457 visas. These changes include:

– Possible further adjustments to the eligible occupation lists
– Additional requirements for mandatory skills assessments
– Changes to training benchmarks for 457 sponsors
– Mandatory police certificates for 457 visa applicant

How does this impact my work visa options? 

If your occupation is no longer listed as an eligible occupation, it is worth seeking guidance from an experienced migration agent to determine any other visa options available to you. There are some pathways that are currently available and which may be removed following the introduction of the TSS visa in March 2018.

The Government is yet to clarify how current 457 visa holders will be impacted by the changes following March 2018. We suggest that 457 visa holders investigate their options to apply for permanent residence by seeking professional assistance as soon as possible.

If you’d like to understand more about the 457 visa changes and how they may impact you, we are happy to help. Simply contact us on 08 6263 4406 or

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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