The Prime Minister Turnbull’s has recently announced that the Skilled Migration Australia Subclass 457will soon be replaced with a new Temporary Skills Shortage Visa program. This was a shock to those of us who work as Visa Migration Agents and was met with disappointment and despair by many families hoping to make Australia their permanent home. However, the announcement about changes to Australia’s 457 Visa rules may not be the end of your goal of migrating to Australia.

Options available
If you’ve been impacted by these changes but want to remain in Australia, you may still have some alternatives. We’ve listed some options for you to help you understand the changes and reassure you that there is still some hope.

Permanent Residency (PR) through Temporary Resident Transition (TRT)
You may still be able to apply for Permanent Residency if you have worked for an employer with your 457 Visa for longer than two years from March 2018:
• Even if the job is now in the short-term occupation list
• Be aware that some jobs require full licensing when you apply
• You MUST lodge by March 2018

186 Direct Entry PR Visa
If your occupation is on the short-term or medium-term list, you must lodge your Permanent Residency Application by March 2018:
• You need to obtain a skilled assessment and sit an English exam
• Anyone aged 45-49 must lodge BEFORE July 1st, 2017 so act fast!
• It’s best to seek professional guidance about this ASAP.

187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Direct Entry PR Visa
If you live and work in a regional area, you may be eligible to apply for this Visa. The RSMS list was not impacted by the Government announcement:

• Applicants must be younger than44 years old
• If you are aged 45-49, you MUST lodge your application by 30th June 2017
• Your employer doesn’t have to be in a designated area
• Your employer needs approval from a Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
• You may need an English test and a skills assessment

Skilled Visas
The bulk of Trades jobs, IT, medical, engineering and teaching positions are still in shortage. Depending on your occupation, you may be eligible to apply for:
• A skilled independent 189 Visa – for those working in Medium and Long-term Skills List
• A skilled nominated 190 Visa –on a points-based system on what you can offer to Australia
• A skilled regional 489 Visa – a points-based system through State or Relative sponsorship

If you have a 457 Dependent
If you have a 457 Visa and have a partner who is a dependent on you:
• Your partner may qualify for a Visa in their own right
• Get expert advice for further process

Family or Partner Visa
If you have an Australian partner, you may be eligible for this Visa.
• You can register your relationship
• This applies even if you have not lived together for 12 months

NZ Partner
You may be eligible to apply for this Visa if:
• You have married a New Zealander who lives in Australia
• You have been living together for over six months
• Call your immigration expert for further advice

Student Visa
With this Visa, you can study in Australia and:
• Work on a part-time basis during term-time
• Work on a full-time basis during holidays

A new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa
If you currently have a 457 Visa and your occupation has moved to the short-term list:
• You can stay in Australia for the life of your current 457 Visa
• You can extend your stay in Australia for a two-year TSS Visa after that period
If your occupation is on the medium-term list:
• You can apply for a four-year 457 Visa with the possibility of PR after three years.

While the changes to the 457 Visa have caused some concern, we encourage you to stay positive in your efforts to gain Permanent Residency in Australia. If you want advice on your 457 Visa status to feel free to contact registered Immigration agent in Melbourne , who can give you the right direction to your future.

Author's Bio: 

Mandeep Sidhu, Registered Immigration Adviser at Rapid Migration Services in Melbourne. He gives expert advice for Sponsored Visa, Partner Visa, Business or Visitor and Australian Immigration.