The Minister has said the 457 visa occupations list will be ‘condensed’ - which means cut or reduced.
The Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton has been reported to have said on Sunday 20 November when speaking to Sky News:
"We are having a look at it right now and I think it will be condensed," (Herald Sun, 19 November 2016)
In the interview, Minister Dutton acknowledges that there are shortages in regional areas for occupations which do not have such shortgages in larger cities. He states:
"So it is a different picture across the country and we need to respond accordingly. That is the nuance that we try and provide for, but I think the list at the moment is expansive and I think we will condense it and that work has already been under way for sometime and we will have a look at that very soon." (Herald Sun, 19 November 2016)
This comment follows on from comments last week which included a press release about the changing of condition 8107 to allow less time for 457 holders who lose their job. In the press release on the 16 November 2016, Minister Peter Dutton’s office states the following:
“The Subclass 457 programme was not effectively managed by Labor, as with so many other areas of government
“Labor’s mismanagement saw the Subclass 457 program grow from around 68,000 primary visa holders at the end of June 2010 to more than 110,000 when they were removed from office.
In comparison, under the Coalition the number of 457 visa holders in Australia has fallen by around 13,000, while over the same period almost half a million new jobs have been created for Australian workers”
With the Minister making such strong statements on the 457, you can be confident that change is on the way.
How will the condensing of the list take place?
The current system is that all occupations on the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List ( the CSOL) are available for 457 visa applications.
The CSOL is also the reference point for General Skilled Migration visas including the 190 and 489 visa.
It may be that the Minister will specify a new list under Regulation 2.72(10)(aa), which will be narrower than the current CSOL list. This could effectively create a list that is narrower than the CSOL and is just for the 457 visa.
Lodging 457 visas before the list is cut may be something to consider for some businesses
When the list is cut, then it will be impossible to lodge visas for occupations that have been removed. At the moment we do not know what occupation will be removed. But it may be that businesses choose to lodge their 457 visas soon, to avoid missing out on being able to.
In situations where there have been similar changes to criteria, such as raising the English standards for the RSMS 187, there was a very large surge in applications.
There seems to have been more press about 457 in the last week than there was in the last six months.
Several politicians have made statements about the need to cut 457s:
Commentary on the 457 visa has included:
457 occupation list to be 'condensed', says Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, Amy Remeikis, 20 November 2016
Upcoming change to the subclass 457 visa, Wednesday, 16 November 2016