Employer Sponsored / 482, DAMA 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which will allow the department to refund a visa application fee in circumstances where an employer nomination has been withdrawn.”

The full release from DIAC is at:


The Timing of the 457 Changes will be from 1 July 2013

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

“The comprehensive suite of measures will be introduced on 1 July 2013. In the lead up to the changes, detailed information will be made available to assist sponsors and visa holders and their representatives understand the new requirements.”

The Current 457 English Language Requirements include many exemptions

The current English requirement is that the visa applicant must have English language proficiency that is equivalent to 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.

Currently there are a number of Exemptions including:

  • Passport holder from Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America
  • Salaries over $180,000.
  • A large number of skilled occupations according to ANZSCO classification. Refer to details below.

Currently many positions, are exempt according to their major group ANZSCO group, to quote the relevant legislative instrument, the following are currently exempted:

“(ii)   nominated in the application for approval of nomination in an occupation for an approved position in an occupation that is in ANZSCO Major Groups 1, 2, 4, 5,6, Sub-Major Group 31 or Unit Group 3993;”

So the occupations currently exempted from English language requirements include:

MAJOR GROUP 1 MANAGERS – this includes Chief Executives, General Managers, Farm Managers, Construction Managers, ICT Managers and more.

MAJOR GROUP 2 PROFESSIONALS – this includes ICT professionals such as Software Engineers, programmers,  (But please note, many of these occupations have their own Registration or Licensing requirements, which are commonly higher than the 457 requirements)


MAJOR GROUP 5 CLERICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE WORKERS  (But please note, there are very few of these occupations on the 457 approved list which is the CSOL)

MAJOR GROUP 6 SALES WORKERS  (But please note, there are very few of these occupations on the 457 approved list which is the CSOL)

What we still do not know – content of the English changes for 457 visas?

The announcements do not give details as to what the changes will be to the 457 English language requirements.

I have detailed the current exemptions to 457 English language requirements above, and it is possible that some of these exemptions may be removed.

Do you need more information or help in relation to a 457 Visa?

We are able provide you with assistance in relation to 457 visas.  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.

This New posting is accurate on 02 March 2013.


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