The Federal Government has announced they will abolish and replace the popular 457 visa with a new visa with increased integrity measures focused primarily on addressing Australia’s skill shortages.

The new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa will be introduced in March 2018 and will be in the form of a:

  • Short-term two year visa, or
  • Medium-term four year visa

In the reforms, The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will collect Tax File Numbers and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records, stepping up the collaboration between the two departments in addressing tax return compliance.

In addition, there are a number of integrity measures that will be included as part of these changes, including more stringent English testing, a two years’ work experience requirement and streamlined occupation lists. Full details of the proposed changes are included on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

What to do

The changes will have a significant impact on businesses with internationally mobile employees. As an immediate action, businesses should consult with their immigration lawyers to determine the impact on their current and future workforce planning. Professionals in the industry are expecting significant disruption to our client's ability to mobilise talent. We will keep you informed as more information on this becomes available.

Given the increased use of data matching, companies should also look to review their past and current assignee population to ensure that there is a robust approach to their assignee tax compliance. This will help to ensure that, in light of the data matching, non-compliance does not impact their visa nominations or cause further reputational risk.