The handling of the abolition of the 457 Visa program by the Government has been “terrible”, creating uncertainty, extra cost and confusion amongst business owners.
According to Teddington Legal founder and Director Mark Gardiner, SME?s have been left in limbo when it comes to their ability to sponsor foreign workers looking to be employed under a 457 Visa.
While the government announced changes commencing with immediate effect in April, it also signalled that further changes would be introduced on from 1 July, 1 December and 1 March 2018. The full extent of these changes is not known and it means that both employers and employees don?t know how they will be impacted by the changes and whether it changes their future employment plans altogether.
On 18 April 2017, the Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018.
The TSS visa programme is to be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.
“Rather than create clarity on the issue, the proposed introduction of the new visas have created uncertainty,” said Gardiner. “We have had clients need to leave the country because they are no longer eligible for the visa they had submitted an application for and for many 457 visa holders a pathway to permanent residency in Australia has been closed. Whole families located both in Australia and overseas are having their plans change before their eyes.”
The stated aim of the Government’s changes is to help businesses address skill shortages in the workforce, to assist Australian works and to strengthen Australia?s temporary and permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programmes.
“The changes have done the opposite. More than 200 occupations have been removed from the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List; age restrictions have been tightened and new language requirements introduced. Further, employers who have employees on a 457 visa, now have to pay additional fees.”
This has created the need for advice more than ever before. “Business owners need to talk to an immigration lawyer, to navigate through this mess and work out the best course of action.”
Teddington Legal was special guest at a recent mybusiness podcast where he discussed 457 Visas.
Teddington is a metropolitan multi-lingual boutique law firm specialising in the provision of legal solutions and advice to businesses and their owners. It disrupts the traditional law firm model by creating a new business model of inclusion, diversity and efficiency. Teddington uses its knowledge of the law to help build businesses, to connect the commercially minded and the legally precise to develop their ideal business. This approach provides a strong contrast to the individualistic and competitive culture of the traditional law firm.