Stricter 457 Visa program requirements take effect in July 2013

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Securing a good life in Australia is complicated but attainable. The Land Down Under is a fast-progressing country in terms of economy and tourism, making moving to Australia propitious given the different immigration laws that permit life and job security. However, if you are a skilled migrant moving to the country, bear in mind that the Australian Department of Immigration has implemented stricter 457 Visa requirements since July 2013.

457 Visa: Stricter requirements to roll out in July 2013

Here are some important points:

Nominated position requirement

All nominated positions within the 457 Visa Program must have genuine proof of shortage. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has implemented this requirement to curtail supposed rorting by employers, who need to demonstrate first their efforts at hiring local employees through for example local advertisements before they can resort to the employer-sponsored visa program.

It will be beneficial for skilled overseas workers to coordinate only with compliant employers.

It is important to note, however, that whilst the legislation for this has passed, this is not currently a requirement. It may be a requirement in the future, but a lot will depend on the outcome of the next federal election. IT is quite possible that ‘labour market testing’ will not actually come into effect.

Increase of market salary threshold

The Australian Department of Immigration has increased the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold from $51,400 to $53,900. The increase in salary is partly designed to eliminate a Australian employees’ salaries being undercut. With such increase, the employment system is supposed to be fair for everyone, with skilled overseas workers receiving a salary commensurate with their expertise and experience. Small businesses may in the future be required to present market salary data for all nominees with salary rate less than $250,000.

Prioritisation of English language

DIAC has raised the English language exemptions for nominees originating from non-English speaking countries from the previous threshold amount of $92,000 up to $96,400. If applicants are not being paid a salary of $96,400 per year, then in most cases they will be required to evidence that they have the required level of English language ability.

This will normally mean obtaining an IELTS score of at least 5 (in all four test components). However, depending on your individual situation, you may require a higher score, for example, if registration or licensing requirements dictate that a higher score is required. There are also some limited exemptions to the English requirement.

On contract

One of the important 457 Visa requirements pertains to the contracting process. All 457 nominees must be engaged on contractual employment rather than business contract for services. Nominees should also be hired directly by the sponsor or by a related or associated entity. This ruling is to protect the welfare of skilled overseas workers.

For cost recovery and training

DIAC is going to reinforce the employer’s obligation regarding cost recovery. This is to ensure that employers accept their responsibility of paying for costs of recruitment of overseas workers. DIAC has also put emphasis on the training of Australians. Sponsors need to satisfy the training requirements for the duration of their approved sponsorship.

Before applying for an Australian work visa, it may be beneficial for incoming skilled overseas workers to consult with a reputable migration company like National Visas. The company’s agents are regularly updated with the changes in migration policies, ensuring that all applications are legal, professional, and requirement-specific.

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National Visas offers Personalised Services to help you apply for a visa. National Visas has developed into a world leader in online immigration services. Our Migration Agents are registered to provide Australian immigration advice, as required by Australian law.

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