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457 Visa Changes for HR & Business Owners

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Legislative changes to replace the 457 Visa program with the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa will take place over a number of phases from 1 July, 1 November and March 2018. The changes will have considerable implications for businesses employing visa holders.

In this presentation, business migration experts, Interstaff address:
• Case examples and strategies on managing visa changes
• How changes to sponsorship obligations will impact the way you manage 457 visa holders
• How to prepare your business for the TSS Visa including business cost implications.

Interstaff has three decades of experience in business migration and are trusted by a range of business clients from local businesses to multinational organisations across Australia and internationally.

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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457 Visa Changes for HR & Business Owners

  1. 1. • Context • 457 Visa Changes • New Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) Visa • Case Examples • Strategies Agenda
  2. 2. Context: 457 Visas Immigration Department Statistics • Increase in the number of nomination applications refused • Increase in the number of visa applications being refused
  3. 3. Context: 457 Visas Immigration Department Statistics Cancellation and refusal of visas on character grounds has increased significantly since 2014 demonstrating the centrality of integrity in all applications
  4. 4. Context: 457 Visas - Fast forward to 2017 • Australian government announces the 457 visa program will be abolished • A new program will be introduced to ‘better meets Australia’s genuine labour market needs’ • Concerns from industry including education, technology and start-up sectors
  5. 5. Context: 457 Visas – The challenge for businesses “We are a small country and we need to be able to attract the best skills; it’s absolutely hypocritical.” – Alison Watkins, Coca-Cola Amatil “We have a misconceived view that we are somehow losing jobs. The reality [is that] some jobs are too costly to develop here.” – Peter Coleman, Woodside Chief Executive “We’ve got extremely talented people here [in Australia] and we have extremely smart people coming out of universities. They just don’t have the experience we need.” – Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian (Source: WA Today, 20 June 2017 and Radio National)
  6. 6. 457 Visa Changes The Department of Immigration have announced a phased transition to the new visa regime:
  7. 7. April 2017 • Two new occupation lists ➢ Medium to Long Term Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL) ➢ Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) • Caveats apply to 59 occupations on the lists, 216 occupations removed • Visa Grant period changed to 2 years (STSOL) and 4 years (MLTSSL) • The visa changes were applied retrospectively to those who had undecided applications for 457 visas with the Department of Immigration at 19 April 2017 • It is unclear whether 457 applicants or 457 visa holders at 19 April 2017 will have pathways to permanent residence – to be confirmed by the Government 457 Visa Changes
  8. 8. July 2017 • Mandatory Police Certificates • English language salary exemption to be removed • Mandatory English language requirement introduced • Expanding mandatory skills assessments • Occupation lists may change again after further review • ePLUS system introduced (currently eVisa) – new data collection process to address caveats regarding turnover and workforce details • Nomination applications will require Immigration identifiers for nominees (eg. Visa application IDs) • Policy for Training Benchmarks to be tightened 457 Visa Changes
  9. 9. November 2017 • Collection of Tax File Numbers (TFN) – cross matching with Australian Tax Office. • Department of Immigration to publish details of sanctioned Standard Business Sponsors on its website 457 Visa Changes
  10. 10. March 2018 • TSS Visa Scheme replaces/‘abolishes’ the 457 visa scheme • The TSS Visa will comprise of two distinct streams: ➢ Short Term Stream - 2 year visa ➢ Medium to Long Term Stream - 4 year visa • Skilling Australians Fund to replace training benchmarks • Mandatory Labour Market Testing • Non-discriminatory workforce test New TSS Visa
  11. 11. New TSS Visa Short Term Stream Medium-Long Term Stream STSOL – changing every 6 months MLTSSL – reviewed every 12 months 2 year visa 4 year visa Renew onshore once only Renew onshore English test: no less than 4.5, overall 5 in IELTS (or equivalent) English test: 5 in all bands of IELTS (or equivalent) Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement Pathway to permanent residence after 3 years
  12. 12. Skilling Australians Fund • Administered by Commonwealth Department of Education & Training in partnership with the States and Territories • Provide training for ‘high need industries and occupations’ • Small Business (turnover: less than $10m) ➢ TSS: $1,200 per visa per year ➢ 186/187: $3,000 per applicant • Medium to Large Business (turnover: $10m or more) ➢ TSS: $1,800 per visa per year ➢ 186/187: $5,000 per applicant • To be paid at the time of nomination application - not refundable in event of visa refusal New TSS Visa
  13. 13. • MLTSSL is a list of ‘critical’ skills needs • Offers a pathway to permanent residence On this list: Chefs, Secondary Teacher, Neurologist, Software Engineer, Surveyors, Fitters etc Emily is a Civil Engineer in Dublin, married with 2 children • Offered a job in a medium sized business based in Melbourne • Emily wants the security of long term residence in Australia • Her sponsor wants a permanent team member for the long term • Civil Engineer is the MLTSSL • Currently, 457 Government fees for Emily and her family are $2,980 Case Example – MLTSSL 4 year visa
  14. 14. Options for Emily and her sponsor from March 2018: • TSS visa – 4 years with a transition path to PR after 3 years ➢ Costs: Training Levy: $ 7,200 Government fees: $ 6,330 TOTAL: $13,530 ➢ 2 to 3 months ➢ Training Levy costs not recoverable from visa applicants • 187/187 visas (Direct Entry Stream) ➢ Costs: Training Levy: $ 5,000 Government fees: $ 7,345 TOTAL: $12,345 ➢ 9 to 12 months ➢ Training Levy costs not recoverable from visa applicants Emily - Civil Engineer
  15. 15. Options for Emily and her sponsor from March 2018: • 189 visa ➢ Costs - Government fees: $ 7,345 ➢ By invitation only and points test ➢ Occupation on the MTLSSL only ➢ 9 to 12 months • 190 visa ➢ Costs - Government fees: $ 7,345 ➢ By invitation only and points test ➢ Occupation on the MTLSSL or STSOL (State or Territory Must nominate) ➢ 9 to 12 months Emily - Civil Engineer
  16. 16. • STSOL is a list of skilled occupations that will be changed every 6 months • No PR for these occupations (from March 2018) Occupations on this list: Sales & Marketing Manager, Corporate General Manager, ICT Managers, Mechanical Engineering Technician, Chemical Plant Operator etc Sergio is an experienced Managing Director from Spain with no family members migrating with him • Sergio has been offered a job with an Australian technology company as a Managing Director (on the STSOL) • He is 48 years of age • Sergio reads and writes English but he is not a confident English speaker • Currently, 457 government fees for Sergio are $1,390 Case Example – STSOL 2 year visa
  17. 17. Options for Sergio and his sponsor from March 2018: • TSS visa – 2 years with NO transition path to PR ➢ Costs: Training Levy: $ 2,400 Government fees: $ 1,480 TOTAL: $3,880 ➢ 2 to 3 months to obtain the TSS visa ➢ Training Levy costs not recoverable from visa applicants • Mandatory English test • The occupation ‘Managing Director’ is subject to a caveat requiring the Australian business to show that it: ➢ employs 5 or more staff and ➢ has a turnover of more than AUD$1m • No clear pathway to PR – applicants over 45 are subject to limited exemptions from 1 July 2017 and applicants under the STSOL stream will not have access to PR from March 2018 Sergio - Managing Director
  18. 18. Occupations removed from relevant skills list – no longer eligible for the 457/TSS or PR visas 216 occupations were removed including: Case example – Occupation Removed Petroleum Engineer* Industrial Engineer Driller Maintenance Planner Marine Transport Professional Ship’s Engineer /Master/Officer Sales Rep (Industrial Products) Engineering Technicians Petroleum or Gas Plant Operator Others, including marine occupations Ship’s Engineer, Master and Officer are not available for the 457 program as a result of caveats *Chemical, Materials, Electronic, Production or Plant Engineers also off the list
  19. 19. Marcel is an experienced Marine Engineer – he has worked all over the world • Marcel has been offered a job as a Marine Engineer by a Perth based business • His employer submitted a nomination application prior to the 19 April changes and it was approved under the occupation Ship’s Engineer • Marcel is now ready to lodge his visa application but his occupation has been removed from the 457 visa occupation list Marcel – Ship’s Engineer
  20. 20. Marcel is an experienced Marine Engineer – he has worked all over the world • Marcel has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and a significant amount of his duties will be to manage the power generation system for the vessel/installation on which he works • After careful consideration of the duties of Marcel’s role, his employer submits a new nomination application for Marcel under the occupation Electrical Engineer and Marcel submits his visa in line with that nomination. • Job descriptions/positions can sometimes fit into more than one occupation classification – it is important to consider this as an option if it is reasonable to have more than one classification for your positions Marcel – Ship’s Engineer
  21. 21. • Processes • Timelines for obtaining visas may extend with the new requirements – build this into your onboarding process • Police checks – we suggest asking candidates to provide police certificates or asking candidates to complete the visa character declaration prior to submitting visas and paying training levy contributions • Consider other (non employer sponsored) options for PR or plan for a 3 year transition to employer sponsored PR • Procedures • Understand your sponsorship obligations & schedule workshops to refresh your knowledge annually or bi-annually - sanctioned sponsors be published from November 2017 • Review and develop a strong understanding of all the declarations you make in signing off nomination application forms and letters associated with your applications Strategy 1
  22. 22. • Workforce planning • Identify and recruit as early as possible to allow for the widest range of visa options • Consider renewing 457 visas (if required) before March 2018 • Develop full migration strategy • Consider visas outside of employer sponsored program where appropriate • Consider the use of short term work visas where appropriate • Consider benefits eg, more cost-effective options available • Review job descriptions • Determine the range of occupation classifications that are suitable. Strategy 2 – Plan
  23. 23. Strategy 3 - Budget • Conduct a cost forecast based on your current 457 visa holders/applicants using the new TSS costs to get an understanding of the costs to your business • Consider sharing costs, where possible, the visa application fees with visa applicants • Budget for risk • Training levy fees will effectively be non-refundable or only refundable in very limited circumstances • No visa guarantee – ensure your business understands the cost risk where health, character or other issues are present
  24. 24. Thank you For additional resources or to have a discussion on the work visa options available to you, please get in touch with our registered migration agents at visas@interstaff.com About Interstaff Established in 1988, Interstaff has three decades of experience in business migration. Based in Perth, Western Australia, we specialise in strategic solutions and are trusted by a range of business clients from local businesses to multinational organisations across Australia and internationally. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. www.interstaff.com

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