The technology industry will likely breathe a sigh of relief that the majority of IT roles eligible under the former 457 skilled migration visa will continue to be available under a revamped program.
The new program consists of two classes of visa that are tougher on market testing, previous work experience, and English language skills, among other changes.
Existing 457 visa holders will be protected by grandfathering arrangements, but new applicants will be restricted to either a two-year or four-year visa.
The two-year scheme offers no opportunity for permanent residency, while the four-year scheme only accepts permanent residency applications after three years. Both visa classes will come into effect next March.
Among the 200 jobs cut from the list were ICT support and test engineers, ICT support technicians, and web developers. Telecommunications cable jointers and telecommunications technicians were also removed from the list.
The majority of IT jobs listed under the former 457, however, have remained eligible in the new program.
Applicants for the short-term, two-year TSS visa can apply for the below technology roles:
Analyst/ programmer, data and telco cabler, chief information officer, computer networks and systems engineer, database administrator, developer/ programmer, ICT business analyst, ICT account manager, ICT business development manager, ICT customer support officer, ICT manager, ICT project manager, ICT quality assurance engineer, ICT sales representative, ICT security specialist, ICT support engineer, ICT systems test engineer, ICT trainer, hardware technician, multimedia specialist, network administrator, network analyst, software and application programmer, software engineer, software tester, systems administrator, systems analyst, telco engineer, telco field engineer, telco linesworker, telco network engineer, technologist, web admin, and web designer.
Those wishing to access a four-year TSS visa have a smaller pool to play in:
Analyst/ programmer, computer network and systems engineer, developer/ programmer, ICT business analyst, software engineer, telco engineer, technical cable joiner, telco field engineer, telco network engineer, telco network planner, and technologist.
Both visas will require applicants to have:
- Two years' prior work experience
- A higher standard of English than previously required
- A clean criminal history check
- Employers to have completed mandatory labour market testing in almost all cases.
The two-year visa will cost $1150 per application and the four-year visa application is priced at $2400.
The IT industry is the biggest sponsor of 457 workers: 7530 IT workers were on the visa in Australia last June, according to the Immigration department [pdf], a 6 percent increase on the prior year.