The Australian Government is working on bringing about significant changes to their popular work visa – 457 visa program, which enables Australian companies to sponsor a skilled candidate to work in Australia for 4 years.

A number of announcements have been made since the debate about the 457 visa resurged.

The top 3 developments pertaining to 457 visas.

1. Occupations List will be cut down

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton this weekend signalled the government was looking to cut the number of skilled occupations eligible under the 457 visa system.

He remarked that the list had expanded “quite dramatically” under the previous government and he was looking at reducing the number of occupations eligible for migrant applicants.

“I think the list at the moment is expansive and I think we’ll condense it – and that work has already been underway for some time and we’ll have a look at that very soon,” Minister Dutton said.

2. Stay cut from 90 to 60 days

Foreign workers on a 457 visa will only be able to stay in Australia for 60 days after their employment ends instead of 90, under changes by the federal government.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made the announcement on 16th November, saying it will be implemented for those granted visas on or after this Saturday, 19th November.

“The change will assist in ensuring that the 457 programme meets its intent of acting as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, Australian workers,” he said.

3. Timeline unclear for changes to 457 visas

While the stay cut has already been implemented, the work is still underway to review the list of occupations available for the application of 457 visas. Therefore, it is not yet known when the ‘trimmed’ list will be introduced.

The minister’s office confirmed that a review was underway, but no determination had yet been made on when revisions would be announced or what impact the changes would have on migrants currently in Australia on 457 visas.

In September, the Productivity Commission recommended ditching the list altogether, advising the government to use the same high-demand jobs as the permanent migration stream.

According to the latest public figures, there are approximately 95,000 temporary migrants currently in Australia under the program.