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On 19 April 2017, the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) announced reforms of the 457-visa programme, which included flow on affects to employed-sponsored visa applications for permanent residency. These changes were slowly implemented in stages, including on the date of announcement from 19 April 2017, on 1 July 2017 (our summary of which you can find here), and further changes due to be implemented from March 2018.

On 19 February 2018, the Department announced further details regarding the upcoming changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) and the Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) to be introduced in March. The Department also issued a summary of the introduction of the TSS visa (see here).

Employer Sponsored PR changes being introduced for March 2018

The key changes being introduced for the ENS/RSMS visa programs are:

  1. Skilled occupation lists: the MLTSSL will apply to the ENS/RSMS, with additional occupations available through the RSMS to support regional employers;
  2. Salary arrangements: the new market salary framework which is being proposed for the TSS visa will also apply to ENS and RSMS including TSMIT requirements;
  3. Residency: the eligibility period to transition to PR will be extended from two to three years;
  4. Work experience: at least three years work experience relevant ot the particular occupation will be required;
  5. Age: all applicants must be under 45 years of age at time of application.

The following additional information have been provided:

  • Exemptions (age/English) – the existing exemptions for age or English will continue;
  • Nominations lodged prior to March – ENS/RSMS nominations lodged prior to March will allow an individual to lodge an ENS/RSMS visa application after March;
  • Transitionary arrangements – please see below table for an indication as to transitional arrangements:
Client circumstances
TRTS requirements expected to apply

Client held a Subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 and continues to hold this visa or a 457/TSS/related bridging visa at time of application


Client lodges a subclass 457 visa application on or before 18 April 2017 which was subsequently granted and continues to hold this visa or a 457/TSS/related bridging visa at time of application

New requirements apply subject to the transitional provisions below:

  • Occupation list requirements will not apply;
  • The age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age with existing age exemptions still available; and
  • The minimum period an applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation as the holder of a 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years
Al other applicants

New requirements apply (e.g. new age requirements and three year transitional period on a temporary visa). 

More information?

If you have further queries please do not hesitate to contact us by email at [email protected] or phone (03) 9016 0484 (Sydney) or (02) 8005 1484 (Melbourne) for further information.

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