The 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa explained

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Taste of the FutureWhen the government unexpectedly announced last April that the 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa would be scrapped in March 2018, many in the restaurant industry panicked. They argue that scrapping the 457 will make it harder and more expensive to get skilled overseas staff.

While there’s no denying the industry will be impacted, getting properly educated and informed on how the changes affect you and what options are available—and taking decisive action now—can determine how drastic the repercussions will be.

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) CEO Juliana Payne completely understands the sector’s negative reaction.

“The industry doesn’t understand why limitations should now be put in place in a system that’s been working relatively effectively for a number of years,” says Payne. “The changes were not widely consulted and people felt caught off guard.”

While a complex and nuanced area of migration and law, the most significant changes to the visa can be summarised as follows:

  • The current 457 visa will be replaced with a new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa.
  • There is now a Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) which includes cooks, café and restaurant managers, pastry chefs and bakers. Businesses can sponsor overseas employees in these occupations for a maximum of two years, after which they can apply for a TSS visa for two more years, but there is no automatic eligibility to apply for an employer-sponsored permanent residency (186 ENS) visa after this.
  • There is also a Medium- and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) which includes chefs. Businesses can sponsor MLTSSL occupations for a maximum of four years. These occupations can apply for an employer-sponsored permanent residency visa after working for the same employer on either their current 457 visa or a TSS visa for three years.

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