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Employer Sponsored Visas / 457 News

Timing of subclass 457 visa changes and other details released by DIAC

Further details of 457 changes

Further details on the planned changes for 457 visas have been released by DIAC on their website.

“The measures being brought forward include:

  • the introduction of a genuineness criterion under which the department may refuse a nomination if the position does not fit within the scope of the activities of the business
  • an increase in market salary exemption threshold from $180 000 to $250 000 to ensure that higher paid salary workers are not able to be undercut through the employment of overseas labour at a cheaper rate
  • the removal of English language exemptions for certain positions. Many long-term 457 workers go on to apply for permanent residence, and  this change will ensure that the 457 program requirements are brought into line with the permanent Employer Sponsored program which requires a vocational English ability. This change will benefit visa holders by ensuring that 457 visa holders, who have an ongoing position with their employer and want to apply for permanent residence in the long-run are not disadvantaged because of their language ability. Applicants who are nominated with a salary greater than $92 000 will continue to be exempted from the English language requirement
  • enhanced regulatory powers for the department to ensure that the working conditions of sponsored visa holders meet Australian standards and that subclass 457 workers cannot be exploited or used to undercut local workers
  • amendments to existing training benchmark provisions to clarify that an employer’s obligation to train Australians is ongoing and binding for the duration of their approved sponsorship, including for newly established business
  • amendments to clarify that 457 workers may not be on-hired to an unrelated entity unless they are sponsored under a labour agreement
  • amendments which will allow the department to refund a visa application fee in circumstances where an employer nomination has been withdrawn.”
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Changes to 457 visa program announced and reactions from business

Changes to 457 visa program announced

On the 23 February 2013 the Minister for Immigration Brendan O'Connor announced that there will be changes to the 457 visa program.

The changes announced are:

“Under the changes:

  • Employers must demonstrate that they are not nominating positions where a genuine shortage does not exist
  • The English language requirements for certain positions have been raised
  • The enforceability of existing training requirements for businesses that use the program will be strengthened
  • The market salary exemption will rise from $180 000 to $250 000
  • On-hire arrangements of 457 visa workers will be restricted
  • Compliance and enforcement powers will be beefed up to stop employers who have routinely abused the 457 system
  • Stakeholders will be consulted to ensure market rate provisions more effectively protect local employment.”

http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/bo/2013/bo193683.htm

What we still do not know?

The details of the changes to English levels changes have not been released.

The date from which the changes will be implemented.  It has been reported that the changes will be from the 1 June 2013:

http://brw.com.au/p/business/tighter_regime_needs_more_compliance_777FVeWDihQrSpqQwQ3KyM?goback=%2Egde_2950255_member_217501318

But there has not been an official release on the changes by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as yet.

Reactions to the proposed changes?

The announcement has been received negatively by Australian business:

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2013/s3697369.htm

http://myresources.com.au/news/27-latestnews/7256-business-urges-caution-on-visa-changes

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/business-warns-against-visa-changes-20130224-2ezll.html

If you want to know more?

You can contact Chris Johnston at Work Visa Lawyers.

Changes to 457 visa program announced?

On the 23 February 2013 the Minister for Immigration Brendan O'Connor announced that there will be changes to the 457 visa program.

The changes announced are:

“Under the changes:

  • Employers must demonstrate that they are not nominating positions where a genuine shortage does not exist
  • The English language requirements for certain positions have been raised
  • The enforceability of existing training requirements for businesses that use the program will be strengthened
  • The market salary exemption will rise from $180 000 to $250 000
  • On-hire arrangements of 457 visa workers will be restricted
  • Compliance and enforcement powers will be beefed up to stop employers who have routinely abused the 457 system
  • Stakeholders will be consulted to ensure market rate provisions more effectively protect local employment.”

http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/bo/2013/bo193683.htm

What we still do not know?

The details of the changes to English levels changes have not been released.

The date from which the changes will be implemented.  It has been reported that the changes will be from the 1 June 2013:

http://brw.com.au/p/business/tighter_regime_needs_more_compliance_777FVeWDihQrSpqQwQ3KyM?goback=%2Egde_2950255_member_217501318

But there has not been an official release on the changes by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as yet.

Reactions to the proposed changes?

The announcement has been received negatively by Australian business:

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2013/s3697369.htm

http://myresources.com.au/news/27-latestnews/7256-business-urges-caution-on-visa-changes

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/business-warns-against-visa-changes-20130224-2ezll.html

If you want to know more?

You can contact Chris Johnston at Work Visa Lawyers.

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

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DIAC Announces Additional Funding for 457 Visa Processing

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has announced an additional $10 million will be allocated towards 457 visa processing in as part of Budget 2011–12.

DIAC makes the following statement in relation to the role of the 457 program:

“The program is uncapped, demand-driven and highly responsive to the economic cycle. It provides a flexible avenue for employers to fill immediate and short-term skill vacancies where Australian workers are not available.”

The increase in funding is consistent with consistent statements made by the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, that he favours demand driven migration policies which target skills shortages.

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/457-additional-funding.htm

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Demand for 457 Work Visas Grows While Net Overseas Migration Falls

On 3 June 2011 the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) released the ‘Outlook for Net Overseas Migration May 2011’. The DIAC paper provides insight into the trends of Australian Government migration policy.

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