International Students in Australia: Other Options after 457 Visa Abolition

For international students who would like to stay in Australia after their studies here, there are some other options after the 457 visa changes.


Overview of Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa 457


The previous Visa 457 allowed skilled workers to work for Australian employers for up to 4 years. To be eligible for Permanent Residence, the employees are just required to work for 2 full years and satisfy the Australian Government regulations.


Many students from China, India, Vietnam, etc. have chosen this visa to look for employment opportunities in Australia as the 457 visa does not require education levels or fields of study; it only required a business to act as the sponsor, the applicant to have an eligible occupation, certificates of experience in the chosen occupation and a minimum  of IELTS 5.0.


Still, there have been many concerns over exploitation of migrant workers in Australia with 457 visas, who depend on their employers to remain in Australia. Controversy has also arisen over this visa programme being abused when business send workers to work in Australia and pay them less.


Indeed, foreign workers on 457 visas have helped to fill the blue-colour labour shortage in restaurants, hotels, farms, nail salons, etc. These positive benefits are also a double-edge sword; it is suggested that 457 visa holders can ‘snatch away’ employment opportunities of local people. “Australia is the most successful multicultural nation in the world - we are an immigrant nation. But the fact remains, Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs”, said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.


Therefore, on April 18, 2017, the Government announced that the 457 visa will be replaced with TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa in March 2018.


On 1 July 2017, there were certain changes to 457 visa, including:

  • Eligible occupations: the eligible occupations list has been revised. Please see here.
  • Requirements for English language: the current English Language Salary Exemption Threshold (ELSET) has been removed. English language test results must be provided for applications lodged on or after July 1, 2017.
  • Police clearances: It is mandatory to provide police clearance certificates. For character and police certificate requirements, please see here.
  • Mandatory skills assessments: the skills assessment programme has been expanded to include additional nationalities for a small number of existing occupations.

Other options


Following 457 visa abolition from March 2018, there are other options for international students who wish to stay in Australia after they have finished their studies.


Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa


TSS visa requires applicants to have at least 2 years’ work experience in their skilled occupation and higher English skills. The sponsoring business must explore local recruitment options in a non-discriminatory manner before sponsoring an overseas employee.


The occupation list for this type of visa is also condensed, and only certain occupations are allowed to apply for a Permanent Resident Card after at least three years’ work experience. Other cases must return to their home country after the visa expires.


Thus, for international students who plan to study in Australia in the future, it is important to choose an occupation prioritised for TSS visas if they wish to consider residency in Australia. Also, work experience, English language skills and other professional skills are significant to be recruited by Australian businesses.


For more information about this visa, please see here.


Temporary Graduate Visa 485


Another opportunity after graduation is visa subclass 485. 485 visa is for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution. It lets you stay in Australia temporarily after your studies; specifically, 18 months for Graduate Work stream and two to four years for Post-Study Work Stream. Students between the ages of 18-39 will have higher chances to get this visa.


For more information about this visa, please see here.


Work and Holiday Visa 462


This is also a great way for young people to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. You might be able to get this visa if you are at least 18 but not yet 31 years old and have a passport from the list of 20 countries.


For more information about this visa, please see here.


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If you are looking for a premium-quality ELICOS course in Australia before commencing higher level studies here, or to improve your English language skills for work or life back in your home countries, you have come to the right place. Scots English is committed to the highest quality of educational outcomes and the provision of quality student services evident through the delivery of our range of English language courses to international students. Come and join us!