Open Forum – See what you missed!

457 Visa changes and Backpacker Tax

First of all a huge special thank you to Kelly Lloyd – Aurec and Silke Kerwick  – YHA for their extremely helpful and detailed information provided at the Open forum lunch on Friday. The forums would not be possible without your support.

The lunch started off with a lovely warm welcome from our president of BOA NSW Alanna Stevens – Colourful Trips. Alanna has been a massive part of BOA for the last 3 years, taking on the role as president 2 years ago.

There was a great turn out of industry legends that had come together over a yummy hearty lunch, hosted by Mama’s Boi Surry Hills. It was a great opportunity for everyone involved to mingle.

We must not forget the real reason we were at the forum. It was important for us all to understand the changes to the 457 visa which had stirred up a lot of worry and had caused significant upheaval to the industry. If it had not affected us directly then it most certainly would have affected someone that we know and are close too. This is also huge concern within the industry and how it will affect our business.

Kelly Lloyd from Aurec is an experienced migration agent and was able to assist with clearing up some of the confusion. Kelly’s talk was based on, New changes to the 457 – VISA and how it will affect you!?

Kelly who is currently heading the Aurec Migration & Mobility Team has 10+ years of experience within the industry. Currently Aurec has access to one of the largest immigration resource pools available. Kelly’s team works directly with Blue Chip Companies across to sole traders in all industries.

Kelly discussed and covered a huge amount of information at the BOA lunch and here are some main points, that you will find interesting.

What has changed now?

The old occupations lists will be replaced by TWO new ones:

Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) – Valid for 4 Years

Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) – Valid for 2 years

  • 216 Occupations are no longer eligible for 457 visas
  • Caveats have been added to 59 other occupations

Who is affected?

All applicants who submitted a 457 visa from 18th April – 2007

Any applications submitted before 18th April but still pending decision

Current 457 visa holder and wish to switch employer.

Proposed Changes

From 1st July 2017

Further changes to occupation lists

English language salary exemption removed

Mandatory penal checks

Minor changes to the training benchmark

From 1 December 2017

Matching data with ATO

The department will publish information sanctioned by sponsors that failed to meet their obligations

March 2018

Applications for the 457 visa will be closed

Applications for the Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa will open with two new streams

Changes to Citizenship – Summary

Increase residence requirements: minimum of 4 years of PR immediately prior to citizenship

Demonstrate competent English prior to citizenship test

Strengthening Australian values statement: reference to allegiance to Australia and applications make undertaking to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community.

Additions of new questions test for Citizenship about Australian values privileges and responsibilities

Applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community

Strengthening the pledge of commitment in the Australian citizenship Act.

The MIA (the Migration Institute of Australia) has mounted a campaign to assist MIA members (Kelly Lloyd – Aurec Migration) with employer sponsor clients whose businesses have or will be adversely impacted by the changes to the occupation lists announced in April 2017.

Your employer sponsor clients are invited to provide letters or submissions explaining the impact these changes will have on their businesses. The letters may request that specific occupations that have been removed from the lists or those that have been moved from the MLTSSL to the STSOL be reinstated.

Ideally these letters should present the company’s business case, including details such as the impact on its ability to provide services or reduced production, estimates of financial loss if appropriate, effect on ability train or transfer knowledge to Australian employees and the like. You can also put in the impact of not having a residency option.

The MIA will collate these letters and present them to the Department on behalf of MIA members.

If you want to reach Kelly and her team with any questions that you may have surrounding the changes to the 457visa, they are more than happy to help you. Please contact the team via the information below.

Email: Kelly, Amanda or Hannah


Next up we had Silke – The Public Affairs Manager, YHA Australia – Covering Backpacker Tax.

Silke has many years’ experience in the fields of youth tourism and educational & cultural exchanges, gained in the UK, USA and Australia. Since 2000 she has worked for YHA in marketing and communications. Silke is passionate about the benefits that cultural exchanges can bring to the lives of young people, and to their host countries. In an era of increasing isolationism, schemes such as Australia’s Working Holiday Maker programme are more important than ever and need to be protected, so Silke took up the fight against the “backpacker tax” in 2016, and continues to work towards improving conditions for young travellers.

Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa changes – update at 1 June 2017

Below is a snapshot of where the WHM scheme is currently at, following changes announced in late 2016:

-WHMs can now work for 1 employer in 2 locations in Australia, for up to 6 months in each location – see

The “backpacker tax” is now 15% from the first dollar earned by WHMs – see

– The visa fee is staying at $440 (despite the government agreeing previously to reduce it to $390)

-Following the Federal budget announcement, the visa fee will now go also go up by inflation every year

-Caps remain on the countries that can send Working Holiday Makers here on 462 type visas (some as low as 100 backpackers a year)

-The government has yet to implement increasing the age limit of WHMs to 35.

If anyone has any questions at please do not hesitate to contact us on

Again a massive THANK YOU  to everyone that came along and hope to see you next time  🙂IMG_0559IMG_0562 (002)IMG_05633