Upcoming changes for 457 visa | Implications for exporters

22.06.2017 Heath Baker
Upcoming changes for 457 visa | Implications for exporters

The ECA wants to know how the changes to the temporary work visa (457 visa) may affect exporters. We have a short window of opportunity to tell the government specific occupations where, if the government tightens visa conditions as planned, it will cause problems for your business. Please respond by completing this short survey.

The survey will close Wednesday 28 June.

What are the changes?

Previously, there were 651 occupations where foreign employees were eligible for 457 visas. These visas entitled workers to stay in Australia for four years, and gave them the option to apply for permanent residency after two years.

In April, the government announced it was abolishing the temporary work visa (457 visa) and will introduce a temporary skills shortage visa (TSS). Only 435 occupations would be eligible for this visa class, meaning 216 occupations would no longer be able to come on temporary work visas.

In addition, for some occupations the TSS will only entitle workers to stay for two years (short-term stream). These workers will have the opportunity to apply to renew their visa once, but will have no opportunity for permanent residency.

For occupations where visas will entitle workers to stay for four years (medium term stream), workers can keep renewing and there will be a pathway to permanent residence after three years.

What do we want to know?

We want to know of any specific occupations where, if the government tightens visa conditions as planned, it will cause problems for your business.

For the list of removed occupations, we want to know if any are essential for your business, and you have previously been unable to recruit the right skill set from Australian residents.

For occupations on the short-term stream, we want to know if the more restricted visa conditions will stop you from attracting talent. Will workers be put off by the prospect of only having visa certainty for two years, and a maximum stay of four years?

Please think about any people you currently employ on 457 visas. Would they have been able or willing to work for you under these new visa conditions?

What are the occupations that will be affected?

The full list of removed occupations is here. These occupations will no longer be eligible for work visas. Occupations include:
  • biochemist
  • biotechnologist
  • corporate treasurer
  • electronic engineering draftsperson or technician
  • food technologist
  • legal executive
  • multimedia designer
  • optical mechanic
  • production manager (manufacturing)
  • research and development manager
  • sales representative (industrial, or medical and pharmaceutical products)
  • surveying or spatial science technician
  • telecommunications technician
  • web developer
The government has not provided list of occupations eligible for the short term stream. But have been able to extrapolate that the occupations may include:
  • advertising manager/specialist
  • chemist, chemistry technician or chemical plant operator
  • Chief Executive or Managing Director
  • Chief Information Officer
  • company secretary
  • customer service manager
  • database administrator
  • economist
  • environmental consultant/manager/scientist
  • graphic designer
  • ICT account manager/BDM/customer support/manager/ sales rep/trainer
  • ICT project manager/ quality assurance engineer/security specialist/support engineer/system test engineer
  • industrial pharmacist
  • management consultant
  • manufacturer
  • marketing specialist
  • mathematician
  • mechanical engineer technician
  • medical technician/laboratory technician
  • multimedia specialist
  • network administrator/analyst
  • physicist
  • sales and marketing manager
  • science technicians
  • software and applications programmers, software tester
  • statistician
  • supply and distribution manager
  • systems administrator
  • University lecturer/tutor
  • web administrator/designer
We will review all answers to this survey. However, please note we will only follow up for further information if you are a member of the Export Council of Australia.

If you are interested in becoming a member, please visit our website for more information or contact us on 02 8243 7400 or

If you have any queries regarding the ECA’s survey or the ECA’s Trade Policy work for our members please don't hesitate to contact me. 

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