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457 to TSS transition

As of March 2018, The Government of Australia introduced the TSS Visa and as a result officially abolished the 457 Visa. The Department of Home Affairs, who now overshadow The Department of Immigration, are implementing this change as the pathway to permanent residency on the new TSS Visa is now more difficult than it was on the 457 Visa.


Like the 457 Visa, the TSS Visa will be used by Australian businesses, so that they are able to access skilled overseas workers. Under this new Visa program there are three streams available with corresponding employment periods, the employer must select a stream at the time of lodging an application. The three streams are:

  • the Short-term stream (maximum two year stay, with no eligibility for permanent residency)
  • the Medium-term stream (maximum four year stay, with eligibility to apply for permanent residency after three years)
  • the Labour Agreement stream (maximum four year stay, with the capacity to negotiate a permanent residence option)

Another concerning change made by The Department are the changes to Permanent Residency (186 and 187 Visas). Both the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa (Subclass 186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa (Subclass 187) will be impacted by the introduction of the TSS Visa.


Current subclass 457 Visa holders and applicants applying for permanent residency after March 2018 also face new difficulties during this period of change as transitional arrangements are subject to final approval and in some cases new applications for the TSS Visa to replace the 457 will be required to be made after a specific time frame, predicted to be four years. In some cases 457 Visas and/or the new TSS Visa will no longer be accessible due to changes in the occupations available or due to other changes and an alternative Visa and/or occupation or employer may need to be considered.


These changes are regarded as some of the most complicated changes in migration law and you are well advised to seek a professional assessment.