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Employer Sponsored Visas / 457 News

457 visas still popular with small firms in WA

 

An interesting article by Myriam Robin about 457s in WA:

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/managing-people/057723-why-small-wa-firms-are-turning-to-457-visas-we-can-t-compete-with-the-big-miners-on-wages.html

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If you require further information regarding a 457 application or your Australian visa options you contact our offices on (08) 7225 5091 or +61 8 7225 5091 or

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

 

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The Coalition’s approach to skilled migration, 457 visas and English testing – Scott Morrison in his own words!

Scott Morrison is likely to be announced as the new Minister for Immigration.  He was the Shadow Minister for Immigration  and Citizenship from 8 up until the Federal election on the 7th September 2013.

This is what Scott Morrison has previously said in relation to:

  • Skilled Migration
  • 457 visas
  • English language requirements

Skilled Migration:

At the Brisbane Resource Industry Migration Forum for AMMA on the 8 August 2013:

"The Coalition believes in a well run migration program that focuses on skills and creates jobs for Australians," Mr Morrison said.

Source:

http://www.amma.org.au/newsroom/media-releases/3394-coalition-s-skilled-migration-program-will-restore-business-confidence-scott-morrison

Paper by Scott Morrison to Address to the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, Sydney

Wednesday 17 July 2013.  At page 4:

“During the Howard years skills based migration increased from less than 30% of the permanent

program under Paul Keating to almost 70% by the time they left office. The Howard Government

also introduced the temporary skilled visa, the 457.

Research by Monash University showed that during the Howard years the percentage of Australians

who were concerned about immigration levels being too high almost halved, from more than two

thirds to just over one third. Over the same period our permanent immigration intake doubled.”

http://www.affinity.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Morrison-Doing-far-more-to-build-our-nation-170713.pdf

On 457 Policy under Brendan O’Connor

Scott Morrison was highly critical of the statements made by Brendan O’Connor in relation to claimed 457 rorts.

In a radio interview on the 2 May 2013 Scott Morrison said:

 “Well this report obtained by the Coalition under freedom of information demonstrates some fairly routine housekeeping changed to the 457 scheme. 

It certainly doesn't anywhere justify the sort of inflammatory rhetoric and trash talking of skilled migration that the Prime Minster and Minister O'Connor have engaged in, nor does it in any way provide any evidentiary basis for the sort of claims they've made about 10,000 people rorting the system and so on.”

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3750563.htm

At the Brisbane Resource Industry Migration Forum for AMMA on the 8 August 2013:

“Until this year the skilled migration program enjoyed bipartisan support. Labor’s attack on skilled

migration through the measuresintroduced to choke the 457 migration program with union red

tape was nothing more than economic vandalism,” he said.

http://www.amma.org.au/assets/media/2013MediaReleases/Aug/MEDIA%20RELEASE_Coalitions_killed_migration_program_will_restore_business_confidence_Scott_Morrison.pdf

Skilled Migration and English Language Requirements

On English Language Testing:

Paper by Scott Morrison to Address to the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, Sydney

Wednesday 17 July 2013.  At pages 6 and 7:

“IELTS is a quality program – used by more than 6,000 organisations across 135 countries, including

immigration departments and authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. IELTS

conduct around 1.9 million tests per year.

But we must be wary of creating a closed shop on English language testing or having English

language testing used as a non-tariff barrier by trade unions trying to crash the skilled migration

programme as an industrial tactic.

We should be moving towards a more competitive framework.

Australia needs to have the capacity to have progressive levels of English language capability. We

also need greater flexibility; the notion of having an English language test that is fit for purpose,

instead of a one size fits all.

There can be no argument that English skills are important. They are critical not only for personal

safety but also for participation and social cohesion.

English language skills are important to ensure awareness of compliance with occupational health

and safety rules. They are also important in allowing a visa holder to communicate and connect with

their employer, their colleagues and their community.

Temporary migrants, whether they are students or workers, can be highly vulnerable to abuse. An

understanding of English helps them access services and understand the protections available to

them, whether they are trying to rent a flat, understand the terms and conditions of their

employment, open a bank account or take out a loan.

The United Kingdom accepts over 30 language assessment systems in addition to the IELTS.

One of those providers is the renowned Cambridge English Language Assessment – formerly the

ESOL – with 4 million candidates sitting the tests in 130 countries.

The rationale behind Cambridge is that “tests need to be fit for purpose, offering users a range of

solutions that meet diverse needs”.

The level of language skills required of someone applying to come to Australia should also take into

account how long they intend to stay.

We also need more than a one-off time freeze snapshot. If a person has been living, working and

actively engaging in Australia over a number of years, it is in their interests as well as that of the

community that as their active engagement grows, their level of proficiency does not stay static;

ideally it would develop and improve over this time.”

The 457 and English Language Testing:

 

In an address to the National Press Club Mr Morrison said:
"There is also a need to revise the English language test that now requires a score of at least five in all four categories of the IELTS test," he told the NPC.

"These tests can be used a little like a non tariff barrier to trade by unions seeking to crash the system as an industrial system."

Source: article by  Malcolm Farr, National Political Editor, 30 March 2011, news.com.au

Comments by Chris Johnston Principal of Work Visa Lawyers:

The information above is statements made by Scott Morrison in the lead up to the 2013 elections .  The extent to which promises made prior to an election will result in government policies is an unknown.

In relation to 457 visas, it is clear that Scott Morrison is a critic of the 457 policies when he was a shadow Minster. 

The open question is whether the 457 labour market testing measures will come into effect.   The relevant Legislation is the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013.  The legislation will come into effect within 6 months of the Act receiving royal assent and the last day for this to happen would be the 29 December 2013.

The Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill allows for occupations to be exempted from LMT.  The new Coalition Government could chose to make a large range or all occupations exempted from LTM, to avoid the LMT legislation having any practical effects.

Sources:

AMMA Media Release, 8 August 2013

http://www.amma.org.au/newsroom/media-releases/3394-coalition-s-skilled-migration-program-will-restore-business-confidence-scott-morrison

http://www.affinity.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Morrison-Doing-far-more-to-build-our-nation-170713.pdf

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3750563.htm

Article by  Malcolm Farr, National Political Editor, 30 March 2011, news.com.au

Do You Need Help in Relation to Australian Visas?

If you require further information regarding Australian Visa application charges or your Australian visa options you contact our offices on (08) 7225 5091 or +61 8 7225 5091  

This information is accurate on the 09 September 2013. 

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457 Visa Changes - What Visa Applicants need to know! English levels up, Application Fees up, TSMIT up…

Here are some of the changes introduced from the 1 July 2013 that are important to 457 visa applicants:

English Requirements now more difficult for many

English levels of Functional English must now be proved for all levels of occupations nominated from the CSOL:

-      an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score of at least 5 in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening, or

-      a score of at least 'B' in each of the four components of an Occupational English Test (OET).

Prior to 1 July, the requiements only applied to trade level position such as cook, baker and mechanic.  Now the apply to all positions on the CSOL, nominated for a 457. For example, now Civil and Mechanical Engineers, Marketing Specialists and Software Engineers.

TSMIT Up

TSMIT is now $53,900 and all nominations must be paid TSMIT or higher.  Please note, that Market Salary is also a relevant guide for the amount to be paid to the nominated position.

Market Salary Exemption Up

Market Salary – the exemption from Market Salary requirements has been increased from $180,000 to $250,000.

More Discretion to Refuse based on Skills and Qualifications

The Department has strengthen the skills requirements for Subclass 457 visas by requiring the Subclass 457 visa applicant to have the skills, qualifications and employment background that the Minister considers necessary to perform the tasks of the nominated occupation.

In my opinion this will help make the Department feel more comfortable in refusing an application without requesting further information.

Genuine Test – More discretion to refuse

Introduction of a ‘genuineness test’ to be conducted by departmental officers to ensure that the position associated with the nominated occupation is genuinely required to address skills shortages in Australia.

Condition Requiring Licencing Post Grant

457 visa holders must seek to obtain any mandatory registration, licence or membership for their occupation within 28 days.  The licensing requirement will effect occupations such as electricians.

All Electronic Lodgement

All applications for standard business sponsorship, approval of nominations and Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visas to be lodged electronically.  The backup system to this is said to be lodgement by email. My comment, this sounds like it could be a real mess when the system crashes, like it does the last day of the program year almost every year late June.

Workers have more time to find another sponsor after ending employment

Workers have been given more time to find another sponsor after ceasing employment.  This time have been extended from 28 days to 90 days.

Fees Up

457 Sponsorship remains the same at $420

457 Nomination from $85 to $330.

457 Visa applicant – primary applicant now termed base applicant from $455 to $900

457 Visa applicant, secondary applicant over age of 18 from $0 to $900

457 Visa applicant, secondary aged under 18, from $0 to $225

New fee - Subsequent temporary application fee will apply in some circumstances, $700 per applicant.

Refer to this blog for an example of 457 fee costs post 1 July 2013.

http://www.workvisalawyers.com.au/news/entry/explanation-of-new-australian-visa-charges-system-based-on-number-of-applicants-and-the-new-subsequent-temporary-application-charge.html

Source: DIAC website

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/changes-457-program.htm

Need Help?

If you require further information regarding a 457 application or your Australian visa options you contact our offices on (08) 7225 5091 or +61 8 7225 5091  

This information isaccurate on the 30 July 2013.  DIAC will changes visa requirements in an ongoing manner and all current requirements must be established prior to lodging an application. 

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457 Visa Application Fees to Rise and Labor plans advert campaign to promote recent 457 policy announcements.

It has been reported that form the 1 July 2013 the 457 visa application fee will increase from $455 to $900. See article:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-14/nrn-fedbudget-457costs/4689874

Labor has plans for Radio Adverts  to Promote a Crackdown on 457 Visas.  See article:

http://www.afr.com/p/national/labor_ads_to_promote_work_visa_crackdown_35rbIW85h1LS1vpVSYOs6I

This will be at same time as ATO Investigations of 457 Visas. See article:

http://www.workvisalawyers.com.au/news/entry/student-visa-and-temporary-work-visa-holders-are-you-currently-being-investigated-for-tax-fraud-.html

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457 changes may impact on rural Australia and other news

Changes to 457 may cause problems for rural Australia

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2013/s3713417.htm

An explanation of what the 457 visa is used for and which industries use it the most:

http://theconversation.edu.au/explainer-457-visas-in-australia-12622?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+15+March+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+15+March+2013+CID_bdc251a0c90e9bfee82a3254a362f6ef&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Explainer%20457%20visas%20in%20Australia

Kevin Rudd praises contribution of migrants and 457 changes may impact on rural Australia

Commentary on Kevin Rudd’s recent speech on the contribution of migrants

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/kevin-rudd-lauds-migration-amid-ongoing-row-over-457-visas/story-fn9hm1gu-1226592443517

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