Abolition of the 457 Visa Program by Australia

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The Australian government abolished the 457 visa category that allowed employers to sponsor skilled foreign talent to work in the country for up to four years. The 457 category has now been replaced with the harder-to-get Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa that lets overseas workers be brought in on a temporary basis making it hard for Indian professionals to work in the country.

New Temporary Skill Shortage Visa from March - 2018

The Effect of the Move

  • The move would affect more than 90,000 immigrant workers, with maximum impact on Indians.
  • Indians account for more than 1 in 5,457 visas granted as of Sept. 30,2017.

Key Facts

  • The 457 visa was used by professionals in all fields, mostly Indians using it work in the IT sector, accounting for 16 % of the over 100,000 such visas issued by Australia in 2015 - 16.
  • The Australian government has also made the qualifying criteria for the TSS more stringent.
  • The process to shut down the 457 visa was set in motion months ago.
  • The 457 visa aspirants, eventually acquire citizenship had been crucial. In a 2013 survey, over 70 % of holders of this visa category had said that they planned to apply for citizenship. The recent change would make getting citizenship much harder.
  • A 457 visa holder can only work in a nominated occupation for the sponsor employer.
  • 482 Visa is the newly introduced replacement- allows immigration and at basic level requires Individual band score of 5 in IELTS exams for the candidates.
  • For STEM employers to pay a ten percent of the salary they offer to the foreign worker at the Skilling Australians Fund per year.


  • TSS visa applicants need to have two years of relevant experience and fluency in the English language, among other things.
  • Australia would also mandate labour market testing to ensure that locals get a fair deal.
  • TSS requires employers to first try and find an Australian citizen or permanent resident for a job, and only bring in foreign talent when there is no local talent available.
  • Under the TSS visa category, those who get the visa for four years are eligible to apply for permanent residency (PR) after three years in the country.
  • However, those who get the TSS for two years could renew their visa only once and have no provision for PR.

457 Visa

  • In Australia, the 457 visa was the most common visa for Australian or overseas employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work temporarily in Australia.
  • The full title of this subclass of visa was Temporary Business (Long Stay) and was introduced soon after John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996.
  • The title of the visa was changed to Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa on 24 November 2012.
  • Applications are processed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) .
  • On 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the 457 visas will be replaced with two new visa categories.
  • A 457 visa holder can only work in a nominated occupation for the sponsor employer.
  • Medical practitioners and general managers must work in their nominated occupation but they can work for employers other than their sponsor or an associated entity of their sponsor.
  • The specific occupations to which this rule applies are listed in Exemption from the requirement to work directly for the sponsor.
  • The worker must also not have ceased employment for more than 60 consecutive days

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