Changes to the 457 visa

On the 25th of February 2014, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) announced the Independent Review of Integrity in the subclass 457 visa programme. More than twelve months later, it appears the Federal Government is announcing some changes to the 457 skilled visa program, which will help remove some of the rorts and abuse.

Changes to the 457 visa
Changes to the 457 visa

There were 51 recommendations in total and the majority of these will be adopted by the government over the next twelve months. Below is a summary of what the government has and has not chosen to implement:

  1. Labour market testing will stay for now. This means employers are still required to test the local market for suitable employees before sponsoring someone on a 457 visa. The argument against the test is that it is costly, ineffective and does not achieve much.
  2. English language test will become more flexible. Applicants will now have to average a score of five across the four components, instead of passing each one.
  3. Penalties will be issued for sponsoring workers in exchange for payment.
  4. The DIBP will be cross checking pay records with the tax office.
  5. A skilled migration ministerial advisory council will be appointed.
  6. Money derived from the visa scheme will be used in a more effective way towards training programs for Australians.

Businesses all over Australia, including farmers and miners are endorsing these changes and very happy with the outcome.

We will provide you with regular updates as the government releases more information around the other recommendations they will be implementing.

Click here to read more.