On 19 April 2017, the Department of Immigration substantially shortened the list of approved occupations for 457 visas:

  • Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) replaced the previous ‘Skilled Occupation List’ (SOL)

  • Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) replaced the previous ‘Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List’ (CSOL)

All new 457 grants will be for two years only, instead of four years, if the occupation is on the STSOL. 

On 1 July 2017 and March 2018, further significant changes will be implemented.  Most importantly, the Employer Nominated permanent residence pathway, the subclass 186 visa, will become more difficult to obtain.

The following changes will occur on 1 July 2017:

  1. The occupation lists will be reviewed and occupations could be added or removed

  2. English language exemptions will be removed and all applicants for permanent residence will have to show “competent” English, being an IELTS score of 6 in each component

  3. All applicants for Direct Entry permanent residence must be under the age of 45; and

  4. Applicants who qualify for permanent residence as a result of holding a 457 visa must be under 50 years of age.

From March 2018, permanent residence through the Employer Nominated pathway will be the subject of further restrictions:

  • an upper age limit of 45 (from 50) for most applicants

  • occupation must be on the MLTSSL (unless an additional occupation approved for regional areas)

  • at least three years’ relevant skill and work experience; and

  • a pathway to permanent residence through Temporary Residence Transition stream requires three years instead of two years on a 457 visa.

We will endeavour to keep you updated with the changes in Australia Immigration Law.

Authors: Rachel Drew and Deena Goh


Rachel Drew, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0617
E: rachel.drew@holdingredlich.com


The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources. 





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