On 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the 457 visa would be abolished and replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, which the government plans to implement starting March 2018.
Introduced in 1996, the 457 visa is a type of work visa that allows overseas skilled workers to travel to Australia and work in a nominated occupation by an approved sponsor. It lets foreign workers work in Australia for either a 2-year or 4-year period, depending on the classification of the occupation being applied for.
Like the current 457 visa, the new TSS visa programme will consist of two visa streams: the Short-Term Stream (which lasts up to 2 years) and the Medium-Term Stream (which lasts up to 4 years). It will, however, impose tighter restrictions on who can apply and qualify for it. This includes requiring more prior work experience from applicants, a criminal record check, higher English proficiency, and more in-depth labour market testing from employers.
It will also have more limitations for transitioning into permanent residency, with only those under the Medium-Term Stream eligible to apply for permanent residency after staying in Australia for at least three years. (Previously, even 457 holders under the 2-year stream could transition into permanent residency if they passed the minimum Australian residency requirements.)
The TSS visa programme will also remove about 200 occupations from the current 650 occupations that skilled migrants could apply for with a 457 visa.
According to Prime Minister Turnbull, the government made this initiative to prioritise Australian workers while still supporting businesses that genuinely have skill shortages. As of this writing, more details about the 457 visa abolition and its transition into the TSS visa programme have yet to be revealed. But for the latest official details and information, please refer to this notice from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
I Have a 457 Visa. Can I Still Apply for Travel Insurance?
Yes, if you currently hold a 457 visa, then you can still apply for travel insurance as long as you meet our minimum Australian residency requirements.
The abolition of the 457 visa will only affect new applicants, and the government will still uphold the visa conditions of current 457 visa holders until their visas expire. This means you can still apply for travel insurance with a 457 visa if you meet our application requirements.
At Insure4Less, our minimum requirement for non-Australian citizens is at least 3 months of residency in Australia and the intention to return here after your trip.
For more information on our travel insurance policies and guidelines, please refer to our Product Disclosure Statement.
Need More Information?
If you want to find out more about how the changes to the 457 visa applies to our travel insurance policies, please contact our team. We’ll be more than happy to inform you about our latest guidelines and the inclusions and exclusions that apply to your case.