Changes to 457 Visas Focusing on the Hospitality Industry, Digital Industry and Supply & Distribution Managers – Navigating the Way Forward

May 2, 2017

In light of the announcement by the Turnbull government on 18 April 2017, significant changes have been proposed and begun to be implemented as of 19 April 2017. The most notable change has been the severe reduction to the number of eligible occupations for 457 applications, effective immediately, impacting on current lodgements as well as future lodgements.

The good news for those affected by the removal of their occupation is that the Department are offering refunds for 457 visa and nomination applications lodged prior to 19 April 2017 which would now not be approved. 


The Department has replaced the previous Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL) with the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). The new STSOL contains all the eligible occupations for a 457 visa.

Only two occupations impacting on the hospitality industry were removed and are not on the STSOL:

  • Bed and Breakfast Operator
  • Licensed Club Manager

Only four occupations impacting on the digital industry were removed and are not on the STSOL:

  • ICT Support and Test Engineers NEC,
  • ICT Support Technicians NEC,
  • Multimedia Designer, and
  • Web Developer

The full list of removed occupations can be found here.


Hospitality Industry

The most pertinent to the hospitality industry is Group C – Occupation specific caveats. This group of occupations has specific requirements for specific occupations. There are multiple occupations within the hospitality industry listed here as follows:

Caveat excluding positions in a limited service restaurant –          Café and Restaurant Manager

–          Chef

–          Cook

Caveat excluding positions involved in mass production in a factory setting –          Chef

–          Cook

Caveat excluding position which predominantly have responsibility for managing hotel or motel staff –          Hotel or Motel Manager


Caveat excluding positions related to mass or standardised production, including positions based in a franchise or factory as opposed to specialist production –          Pastry Cook
Caveat excluding positions that involve full or partial production of food product for distribution to another location –          Pastry Cook
Caveat excluding positions that predominantly involve the use of pre-prepared food product from another location –          Pastry Cook

What is the difference between being sponsored as a chef and a cook?

There is now a clearer distinction between chefs and cooks. Cooks are expected to spend the majority of their time preparing food on a daily basis, whereas Chefs are expected to have completed a diploma or higher qualification and apprentice Chefs being classified as a ‘Cook’.

What is a limited service restaurant?

The caveats in relation to a limited service restaurant, are in relation to:

  • Fast food or takeaway services,
  • Fast casual restaurants,
  • Drinking establishments that only offer a limited food service,
  • Limited service cafes including, but not limited to, coffee shops or mall cafes, and
  • Limited services pizza restaurants.

These are in respect to the way food is ordered, served and consumed and not the quality of the food.

Supply and Distribution Managers

The occupation of Supply and Distribution Manager (ANZSCO 133611) has had a caveat placed on it. This means that there are now further requirements that need to be met for this occupation in relation to 457 visa applications.

The caveats for this position are as follows:

  • You are unable to be sponsored if your nominating sponsor has an annual turnover of less than $1 million (AUD)’;
  • You are unable to be sponsored if your nominating sponsor has fewer than five employees; and
  • You are unable to be sponsored if your nominated base salary is less than $65,000 (AUD)

The caveats are designed to ensure that Supply and Distribution Managers under the 457 scheme are planning, organising, directing, controlling and coordinating the supply, storage and distribution of goods produced by an organisation. This is as opposed to undertaking the roles of Purchasing and Supply Clerks that are not on the occupation list for 457 visas.

Digital Industry

More importantly for the digital industry is the impact of the newly introduced caveats on to three different classes of occupations. This caveats require specific and further information to be provided with 457 applications in three different categories.

The most pertinent to the digital industry is Group A – Caveats relating to work experience only.

This group of occupations has a mandatory requirement for two years relevant work experience in the following occupations:

  • Graphic Designer
  • ICT Project Manager
  • ICT Support Engineer
  • ICT Systems Test Engineer
  • Software Tester

This is interpreted to mean two years of full time work experience in the same or a similar occupation. This caveat is now to be treated as an additional requirement on top of those requirements outlined under the nominated position with ANZSCO.

For our Principal Lawyer’s interview with Lawyers Weekly on the new 457 changes, please click here.

For more information on Immigration Solutions Lawyers, please click here.