Australia Announced Changes to the Subclass 457 Visa

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March 7, 2013 – The employer sponsored visa for Australia will be subject to some changes from July 1st 2013.

The Subclass 457 temporary work visa will soon have some new rules which were announced by new immigration minister, Brendan O’Connor, last Saturday. According to the minister, some companies are using this visa and foreign workers to discriminate against the locals. From July 1, for employers to sponsor foreign workers they will need to prove that the position they are looking to fill is a genuine position within the company. Additionally, in the aim to prevent or stop the foreign workers from undercutting local wages, the market salary exemption will be raised to $250,000 from the previous $180,000. A higher English language requirement will be imposed on certain jobs.

More Changes Coming for 457 Visa

The Subclass 457 temporary work visa is popular in the areas of mining, hospitality, health, and construction. In WA alone, there have already been 80,000 employer sponsored visas approved during the latter half part of last year, making it the second biggest user of the 457 visa.

According to James Pearson, chief executive of the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry and member of the government’s advisory committee on skilled migration, “It’s disappointing that . . . the Federal Government is making the temporary migration 457 visa system more restrictive, onerous and costly for all businesses”.

This is supported by Steve Knott, Australian Mines and Metals Association chief executive, who says that many foreign workers, each costing $60,000, will be needed for the proposed resources projects in Australia which are worth $650 billion.

“Skilled migration remains a very small, but very important part of our country’s resource investment opportunity,” Mr. Knott added.

Right now, a Perth-based resources company is being investigated by the Immigration Department for allegedly hiring people who come from just one country even if there is no skills-related need.

Despite the election-year rhetoric currently in play in the Australian media, the 457 visa is a very common and important visa which is accessible by tens of thousands of Australian employers and overseas workers.

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