Want to Start Business in Australia? This is What You Should Know

As the eleventh fastest-rising country, Australia has been synonymous with low-risk environment to start business for years. However, ...


As the eleventh fastest-rising country, Australia has been synonymous with low-risk environment to start business for years. However, the latest news indicate that this trend is about to change.

Namely, on 18 April 2017, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the Temporary Work visa, also known as the 457 visa, will be replaced with a completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa by March 2018. “We’ll no longer let 457 visas be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” he said.

What do these reforms really mean and how they will influence both entrepreneurs and foreign employees?

What was the 457 Visa?

The 457 visa was the most common way for Australian business owners to sponsor skilled foreign employees to work temporarily in Australia. It allowed people to spend four years there and bring their family members. In order to be accepted, employees needed to go through a medical checkup, as well as meet some minimum levels of skill and English language requirements. Later on, most of these visa holders applied for a permanent Australia resident visa.

The main purpose of the 457 visa was to fill the gaps in skilled labor. Last year, the majority of 457s were given to cooks, developers, programmers and medical workers. According to the government research, approximately 95.000 people were living in Australia on 457 visas in 2016.

What has Changed so Far?

In 2018, the 457 visa program will be replaced with the Temporary Skill Shortage visa, which will have two different types- a short-term (two-year) visa and a medium-term (four-year) visa. The first one offers a wider range of occupations, but doesn’t grant permanent residency. On the other hand, medium-term visa allows applications for citizenship programs after three years.

However, one of the most radical changes is probably the reduction of occupations eligible for a skilled visa from 651 to 435. The occupations removed from the list included a wide range of creative professions, such as photographers, actors, singers, composers and authors, but also web developers, futures trades, butchers, dental hygienists, TV and radio presenters. Additionally, it is important to know that all applicants now need to have better English language proficiency, undergo a criminal check and be a subject to labor market testing.

Must Read: 10 Important Tips for Taking Your Business Online

Who will be Affected by These Changes the Most?

When he announced these changes, the Prime Minister pointed out that current 457 visa holders won’t be affected by these changes. However, this new system affects the people currently applied for the 457 visa, whose occupations have been removed from the skilled occupation list. In other words, they won’t be able to get the 457 visa as well as the opportunity to apply for permanent residency. The changes also affect employers who were focused on sponsoring their foreign employees for a few years and now need to find a quick solution to the skills shortage caused by these reforms.
Want to Work in Australia? These are your Options

For those planning to move to Australia to work there or start business, there are still numerous options available. For example, if you are under the age of 30, you can enter the country and stay there for a year by applying for the working holiday visa program. Of course, this period can be extended to two years by working for three months in a rural area.

If you are over 30 and your skills are still on a shortage list, you will be suitable for both two- or four-year TSS visas. You could also apply for some other programs, such as the Regonal Sponsored Migration Scheme or the Skilled Independent Visa, according to your qualifications, experience and preferences. In either case, before you take such a huge step, you might want to look for legal help and find out what your rights and obligations are.

How do 457 Visa Changes Influence Startup Community?

Even though these changes were primarily focused on providing Australians with jobs, they have brought numerous changes to startups, as well as other businesses. Given the fact that there is a huge skills gap that cannot be filled right now, these changes might significantly affect the startup community in the future, especially when the IT sector is in question. For example, numerous entrepreneurs predict that, if this trend lives on, they will have to move their headquarters to Europe or the US.

Expert360’s Bridget Loudon confirmed that saying that “457 visas have played a big part in helping us grow so significantly over the past four years and it would be a shame if other high-growth businesses would not be able to achieve that same level of success because of these changes.”
Conclusions

As you can easily conclude, the 457 visa changes affect both small business owners and those who are looking for a job overseas. By having these facts in mind, you will be able to do a further research and determine whether you are ready to start a business in such a turbulent landscape, where attracting and retaining top talent seems quite challenging.
Author Bio: 
My name is Alex Williams. I am a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition.

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