On the 18/04/17, Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, announced the cancellation of the 457 migrant visa. Does this mean that the Australian dream is over and that there won’t be any sponsorships in Australia anymore?
For many foreigners who wanted to live and work in Australia, this news came as a big shock. Many work holiday makers used to apply for the 457 visa to stay longer in Australia, and many highly skilled foreign professionals from India, Europe or America used this visa to get sponsorship jobs in Australia. Malcolm Turnbull explained that he wanted to give priority to Australian workers. He explained that this visa had lost “all credibility” because it was only supposed to be used by employers to fill jobs where there was a shortage of candidates, but after a while, people with low-skilled jobs also managed to get it, which defeated the purpose of the 457 visa.
People already working in Australia with a 457 visa will keep their right to work Down Under, but their future in Australia is quite unclear.
The 457 visa will be replaced by another type of visa, the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS), which will involve a smaller number of jobs and which will be of two kinds:
-A “short-term” visa, for a maximum of two years.
-A “medium-term” visa, for a maximum of four years.
The implementation of this reform begins immediately and will end in March 2018.
Both of these will be subject to labour market testing including a requirement for two years of work experience, a market salary rate assessment and a new non-discriminatory workforce test. 216 occupations will be removed, and instead, there will be 268 occupations available for the two year visa and 167 for the longer four year visa.
Obtaining Australian citizenship will also become more difficult.
-You will have to justify a minimum of 4 years spent in Australia as a permanent resident (compared to one year today).
-You will need to take a test to prove that you have a very good level of English (candidates must be able to read, write, understand and speak English).
-You will have to pass a citizenship test that’s much more thorough than before and a criminal check, to ensure that you are in line with Australian values.
-You will need to show that you’re well integrated, and that you’re contributing to the Australian society. For example, you’ll need to have a job, or be part of an organisation, or have children going to school in Australia.
And there are more rules:
-Any candidate caught cheating during the citizenship test will lose all rights to get it.
-Candidates may only fail the citizenship test 3 times (they could try as many times as necessary before). Once this number is reached, the applicant can no longer apply for Australian citizenship.
These changes are implemented immediately, for all new citizenship applications. More information
In any case, it’s still possible to get sponsorship jobs in Australia if you’re motivated, and if you have the right skills. Many companies are more than willing to sponsor foreign talents.