457 visa – July 1st 2017 – changes to the occupation lists

Occupation lists MLTSSL and STSOL

For subclass 457 temporary business visas, there are two occupations lists which are relevant, being the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short Term Skilled Occupation List.

Applicants with occupations on the MLTSSL will be approved a visa for a period of 4 years. Applicants with occupation on the STSOL will be approved a 2 year visa only, with no transition to permanent residency as per the April changes.

Below is a link to the combined list of occupations, indicating whether they are on the MLTSSL or the STSOL.

https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/Skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/combined-stsol-mltssl

18 occupations have been removed from the lists completely and these include:

  • Equipment Hire Manager
  • Fleet Manager
  • Picture Manager
  • Property Manager
  • Psychotherapist
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Real Estate Agent Principal
  • Real Estate Agent Representative
  • Ships Engineer
  • Ships Master
  • Ships Officer
  • University Tutor

27 occupations have been added to the approved lists including:

  • Research and Development Manager
  • Web Developer
  • Life Scientists
  • Butcher
  • ICT support roles
  • Music professionals
  • Metallurgists
  • Horse Trainers

22 occupations have been moved from the STSOL to the MLTSSL including senior management positions (CEO), University Lecturers and Environmental Scientists.

Caveats

Caveats were introduced in April 2017 for certain occupations,  but all applications lodged with a caveated occupation were not being processed due to the Minister not having the power to introduce the caveats – the DIBP did not know how to deal with these applications so they were simply “on hold”. A new legislative instrument came out on 1 July 2017 giving the Minster the power to caveat certain occupations so we hope to see applications in these caveated occupations being processed again!

We will of course advise during the 457 process if the occupation is caveated and what caveat applies.

English Language Requirements

The English Language Salary Exemption Threshold which exempted applicants whose salary was over $96,400 from meeting the English language requirements, has been removed for applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017.

English language test results must therefore be provided with all applications lodged after 1 July 2017 unless the applicant holds a passport which exempts this, being UK, USA, Ireland, Canada and NZ.

English language is evidenced if the applicant has equivalent to one of the following scores below:

  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall test score of at least 0 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the four test components
  • An Occupational English Test (OET) score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four components
  • a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL IBT) total score of at least 36 with a score of at least 3 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 12 for each of the test components of writing and speaking
  • A Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic overall test score of at least 36 with a score of at least 30 in each of the four test components
  • A Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 147 in each of the four test components.

Exemptions

  • Primary applicants who are a citizen of, and hold a valid passport issued by, one of the following countries: United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland.
  • Primary applicants who have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was delivered in English.
    • In relation to secondary education, full-time study is the standard number of contact hours that a student would undertake in the relevant country.
    • In relation to higher education, full-time study is the completion of at least three subjects in each semester or trimester of study
  • Primary applicants who are:
    • nominated in an occupation that requires them to hold registration, licence or membership;
    • have been granted the required registration, licence or membership; and
    • were required to demonstrate a level of English language competency equivalent to, or better than, the level of English language proficiency that is required under the Subclass 457 programme, in order to be granted the required registration, licence or membership

Mandatory skill assessments

Passport holders from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan applying for a subclass 457 visa in the occupation of Chef or Cook have been added to the list of applicants who will require a mandatory skill assessment from TRA.

Character: Police Clearances

The provision of police clearances has become mandatory for all 457 visa applications lodged after 1 July 2017. Applicants will be required to provide a police clearance from all countries they have resided in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.

Please contact our office should you have any queries about the above.