Grandfathering Provisions for 457 Holders or Applicants as of 18 April 2017

Migration Downunder were represented at the Migration Institute of Australia National Conference in Melbourne last week – by two of our senior registered migration agents – where the Department announced that 457 holders and applicants as of 18 April 2017 will not need to meet all of the new requirements that are being introduced mid March 2018.

This includes anyone who had applied for a new 457 visa prior to 18 April 2017 and that visa was granted after 18 April 2017.

These visa holders will be able to access certain existing permanent visa provisions under the Temporary Transition Stream:

  • occupation requirements remain the same (i.e. there are no restrictions as long as the nominee continues to work in the same position for the same employer for two years out of three, as approved for their subclass 457 visa);
  • the age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age;and
  • the work experience requirement will remain as two out of the three years on a subclass 457, prior to nomination remaining at two years.

Further clarity has been added to other provisions from March 2018 to ENS and RSMS

  • Work experience: At least three years work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required instead of the current 2 year requirement
  • Training requirement: The contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund (training levy to all ENS and RSMS applications) will come into effect from March 2018 (subject to being passed by parliament). The contribution will be paid in full at the time of nomination and is set at $3000 for businesses with turnovers of less than $10 million dollars, and $5000 for other businesses.
  • Age: Applicants for ENS and RSMS must be under 45 at the date of application from March 2018

It is encouraging to have confirmation that some level of grandfathering will apply who held a 457 or who applied for a 457 as of 18 April 2017.

However, exact details of the Migration Regulations which will apply from March 2018 are not yet available. If you are currently eligible we would strongly suggest that you look at applying prior to changes coming into effect.

Changes From 18 November 2017

Perth metropolitan area is no longer included as a ‘regional’ area for RSMS purposes.

Significant changes have been introduced to the 4020 Public Interest Criteria.

4020 can result in refusal of a visa if false or misleading information is provided. Previously the Department of Immigration looked at information provided in either:

  1. The current application being processed; or
  2. A visa which has been held by the applicant within the last 12 months; or
  3. An application which has been refused in the last 3 years

The changes will mean that an application can be refused if false or misleading information is provided for visas held or visas applied for within the last 10 years.

Identity – a new visa condition, 8304, will require a visa holder to maintain a single official identity post grant when dealing with Australian State, Territory and Federal Governments. It is a breach of the visa condition if the person doesn’t do this and the visa can be cancelled. The intention of this change is to reduce the risk of identity fraud. If the visa holder changes name, they will need to notify the relevant Australian government agencies they deal with as soon as practicable.

Health debt – a new visa condition 8602 will be introduced on all temporary visa applications. A visa won’t be granted if a person has an outstanding health debt. The person may enter into an arrangement to pay it off or show compelling circumstances but this is being used to alleviate costs to the public health system where a person was able to obtain treatment without paying and having no consequences.

Character – broadening powers to cancel visas to prohibit activities which endanger or threaten individuals.

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