Community concern incites further changes to 457 visa


Seven new changes to the Subclass 457 Visa program announced as part of a Government reform instigated last year

Community concern incites further changes to 457 visa
Community concern incites further changes to 457 visa

Seven new changes to the Subclass 457 Visa program have been announced as part of a Government reform instigated last year.

The 457 program allows employers to hire overseas workers under a temporary, long-stay standard business sponsorship.

Its rationale is to allow businesses access to skills which may not be available locally.

However, a review was prompted after concerns were raised concerns over the exploitation of overseas workers and the undermining of local wages.

The seven measures announced yesterday specify:

The indexation of the minimum salary level for all new and existing 457 visa holders by 4.1 percent on July 1, in line with all employees’ total earnings last year as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics

The implementation of a market-based minimum salary for all new and existing 457 visa holders from mid-September

Increasing the existing minimum language requirement on the international English language testing system from 4.5 to 5 for applicants in trade occupations and chefs

Introduction of formal skills assessment from July 1 for applicants from "high-risk immigration countries" in trade occupations and chefs

A requirement that employers have a strong record of, or demonstrated commitment to, employing local labour

Development of training benchmarks to clarify the existing requirement on employers to demonstrate a commitment to training local labour

Extension of the labour agreements pathway to all Australian standard classification of occupation (ASCO) 5-7 occupations, to ensure that employers satisfy obligations on local training and employment.

Despite a slow-down in the Australian economy and decline in demand for 457 visas, the Government says there is still a need to implement these measures and restore public confidence.


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