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Reforms to the Temporary Work (Skilled) subclass 457 visa

Reforms to the Temporary Work (Skilled) subclass 457 visa

On 23 February 2013, Minister for Immigration & Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor MP announced measures to reform the subclass 457 program.

The reforms are being made to ensure that jobs for local Australian workers are protected and Australian businesses should only be sourcing the skilled workers they need where they are unable to find suitably skilled labour in the domestic employment market.

The government recognises that in some industries and some regions there are genuine skill shortages that can only be addressed by the use of temporary foreign labour, through the 457 visa program.

The changes to the program will include:

  • Employers must demonstrate that they are not nominating positions where a genuine shortage does not exist
  • The English language requirements for certain positions will be raised
  • The enforceability of existing training requirements for businesses that use the program will be strengthened
  • The market salary rate 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 tightened to stop employers who have routinely abused the 457 systemStakeholders will be consulted to ensure market rate provisions more effectively protect local employment.

We understand that the legislation changes will come into force on 1 July 2013, although the Department of Immigration and Citizenship may start to implement certain changes internally sooner than this date as part of the application process.

As soon as we are aware of the legislative requirements with the changes, we will provide a further alert.

For full details of the announcement, please click here

Please contact our Migration Team should you have any questions or concerns regarding the new changes.