Changes to Employer Sponsored Visas including Replacement of 457 Visa

Changes to Employer Sponsored Visas including Replacement of 457 Visa


There have been some significant changes to employer-sponsored visas announced on 18th April 2017. Some of these changes take immediate effect, and others will be rolled out between now and March 2018. While Regulation and policy are still being finalised, below is a snapshot of some of the major changes:



  • 457 visa applications can still be applied until February 2018. However, the list of approved occupations has been reduced from 651 to 435 occupations effective immediately. This new list is called the Combined List of Eligible Skilled Occupations, incorporating a Medium and Long Term Strategic List (MLTSSL), and Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). The combined list, i.e. of eligible 457 occupations can be viewed here.
  • For the updated Medium and Long Term Shortage List, see MLTSSL's (i.e. list of occupations for 4 year 457's). For the list of "removed occupations, see it here
  • Some occupations (59) will have additional caveat requirements. Konnecting has drafts of these caveats and will advise clients on a case by case basis.
  • Pending 457 cases are impacted by the changed occupations lists. If a pending case with occupation on old CSOL but now removed from combined list, then the Department will provide an opportunity to withdraw, and request refund of Visa Application Charges. Details TBA.
  • From July 1, 2017, further changes to English levels (removal of high salary exemption)occupation review, minor changes to training benchmarks and character requirements. Details TBA.
  • Some good news! DIBP advice for 457s, "Processing times continue to improve with initial assessments now generally occurring 24 days after lodgement for most the caseload - and still within 2 days for accredited sponsors".



Effective March 2018, TSS replaces 457 Visa. 


  • Minimum two years' work experience
  • Labour market testing is required for all occupations covered by TSS, except those exempted by international trade agreement
  • Pass the mandatory criminal checks

A. Short-Term TSS Visa

  • Valid for two years
  • Targeted occupations reduced to 200 from the estimated 650 classifications previously covered by 457 Visa
  • Optional two-year extension available before a visa holder must leave the country to apply again.
  • Offer no prospect of permanent residency
  • Application fee: $1150

B.  Medium-Term TSS Visa

  • Valid for four years
  • Targets higher skilled workers from 183 classifications
  • Workers can apply for permanent residency
  • Requires higher English language proficiency
  • Application fee: $2400

For more details about TSS, visit



  • From 19th April 2017, the occupation lists for permanent employer sponsored PR visas changes from the old CSOL list to the STSOL.
  • From July 1, 2017, a maximum age limit of 45 at the time of application for Direct Entry streams, and 50 for Temporary Residence streams.
  • Pending ENS/RSMS cases - waiting on finer detail before we can advise on these.
  • From March 2018, the MLTSSL list will apply and at least 3 years' work experience will be required. Salary must meet TSMIT including RSMS (currently set at $53,900). 3 years' residence to apply for PR under 457 transition.
  • Some Regional Area concessions will apply (TBA)
  • Employer Training requirements to be strengthened (details TBA).


Change of occupation lists affecting subclasses 189, 190, 489, 485. Contact us for details.



For existing clients, particularly with pending cases we are reviewing the new Regulations and Policy for each case and will advise accordingly. As you can imagine with such mammoth changes, we are fielding a lot of enquiries, so your patience is appreciated.


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