A lot of questions have been asked since the announcement of scrapping the 457 visa yesterday, and I wanted to answer some of them for you immediately, to help you work out whether you will still qualify for sponsorship in Australia.

You should find that it isn’t all as bad as you think and my advice to you is to work hard in the next year to secure 457 visa sponsorship whilst it is still available, because it is sure to become harder to get sponsored in Australia after March 2018.

I set out below the most commonly asked questions in the past 24 hours, and the answers.

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When Will the 457 Visa No Longer Be Available?

According to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the 457 visa was announced that it would be abolished yesterday, 18th April, 2017. However, this will only come into effect as of March 2018, when it will be replaced by two new sponsorship visas. Click here for more information.

This means that employers can continue sponsoring overseas nationals on the 457 visa until March 2018. However, the visa rules have been tightened and many occupations removed from the list of qualifying occupations. More on this below.

Will Sponsored Jobs Still be Available at SponsoredJobsInAustralia.com?

Yes. Sponsored jobs will continue to be posted at sponsoredjobsinaustralia.com whilst the 457 visa is available, and will continue to post sponsored jobs when the new sponsored visas are in effect.

I plan on keeping the website up to date with changes as they occur so that you know what is happening through the process of these visa changes, and so you can continue to improve your chance of being sponsored in Australia.

New sponsored jobs have been posted today, increasing the total number of sponsored jobs available to 2841, and can now be accessed by members. Details of new jobs posted will be sent out in a separate email shortly.

Which Occupations Are Being Removed?

This is probably the question that affects the majority of you the most – is my occupation still sponsorable?

Even though the 457 visa is still available, around 200 occupations have been removed from the previous Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL); and a new list has been created, called the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). The previous Skilled Occupation List (SOL) which was used for general skilled migration to Australia, has also been replaced by the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

However, instead of providing separate a separate STSOL list, the government has created a combined list of eligible occupations, and marked the occupations that are not available in certain circumstances for the 457 visa with triple asterisks (*).

You can view the new combined eligible occupations list by clicking here.

The occupations that have been removed from the list shouldn’t affect too many of you, since they are mostly quite low level occupations and a lot of arts-focused occupations.

Click here to view the list of occupations that are no longer available for employer sponsorship.

What if My Occupation Isn’t on Any of the Lists?

In the 457 visa section of the Australian immigration website, it indicates that some jobs that aren’t on the MLTSSL list can still be sponsored, but only for up to 2 years, and it will not lead to permanent residency. It is not clear if that means that jobs that have been removed from the previous CSOL fall into that category, or whether this only applies for jobs that aren’t listed, but also weren’t amongst those that were removed. It seems that being sponsored under these circumstances will also involve the employer having to prove that they were unable to find a suitable Australian or Permanent Resident to fill the vacancy.

Can I Now Only Get Sponsored for 2 Years?

At this stage, under the updated 457 visa, you might still be eligible for a 4-year visa; and to qualify for this visa you must have an occupation that is on the MLTSSL, and meet the requirements for that occupation.

If I Am Sponsored, Can I Still Bring My Family to Australia With Me?

Yes. If you are sponsored, you can include your dependents as part of your application.

If I am Sponsored on a 457 Visa, Will I Lose it After March 2018?

No. Once you have been approved to be sponsored on a 457 visa, that visa is valid until its completion.

Can I Get Sponsored From Inside Australia?

Yes. At the moment, you can apply for your sponsorship visa from inside or outside of Australia. However, you will not be able to apply for the 457 visa if the visa you hold for Australia has a ‘No Further Stay’ condition.

If you are not sure whether your current Australian visa conditions prevent you from applying for a further visa while you are in Australia, you can contact to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to find out by clicking here.

Are the Regional Work Visas Affected (subclass 187 & 489)?

The Skilled Regional Subclass 489 visa and the Regional Sponsored 187 visa are still in effect, and to qualify for the 489 visa, you need to be nominated for an occupation that is on the new MLTSSL list; whereas there are different occupational arrangements in place for the Regional Sponsored 187 visa.

Click here to learn more about the Skilled Regional 489 visa

Click here to learn more about the Regional Sponsored 187 visa

Will Changes to Sponsorship in Australia Affect Permanent Residency Applications?

General Skilled Migration including visa subclass 189 & 190, now abide by the new MLTSSL list that has replaced the previous SOL list. You can view the list of qualifying occupations by clicking here.

To learn more about the General Skilled Migration stream and other options for working in Australia, please click here.

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