The Australian Government have announced proposed changes to the Subclass 457 Visa to be rolled out between now and Mar 2018, culminating with the 457 visa being replaced by a new ‘Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS)’ visa.
From Apr 2017 the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) and Skilled Occupations List (SOL) have been replaced by the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) respectively. The changes to the list also include the removal of 200+ occupations.
Full details of the proposals can be found here: Proposed changes to 457 visas.
If you are a new 457 visa candidate unsure of how the proposals will affect you, or an existing 457 holder requiring information on future applications or Permanent Residency pathways, please feel free to contact a member of our team who will be happy to discuss.
There has been some important news for applicants of the following visa classes who have been patiently waiting for a resolution of their matter.
The Assistant Minister for immigration has set a cap for offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas which takes effect on 22 September 2015. The following offshore GSM visas are affected:
- Skilled Independent (subclass 175)
- Skilled Sponsored (subclass 176)
- Skilled Regional Sponsored (subclass 475).
The cap sets the maximum number of places that can be granted in the 2015–16 financial year for these visa subclasses. This total has already been reached. Therefore, applications for these visas that were not finalised before 22 September 2015 are taken not to have been made and the relevant visa application charge will be repaid to affected applicants.
The DIBP have advised that applicants affected by the cap and cease arrangements are eligible for a refund of the visa application charge and must claim the refund using Form 1424
Completed forms and supporting documents can be sent to Cap&CeaseRepayments@border.gov.au and further information on this can be found on the DIBP’s website
Exciting changes have been proposed within the 457 visa programme that could potentially cut down on red-tape, streamline the application process and strengthen the integrity of the programme.
Following an independent review into the 457 visa programme, the Assistant Minister for Immigration has announced a number of recommendations that are supported by the Australian Government.
Some of the more noteworthy recommendations include:
- The Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration will be reconstituted as a tri-partite advisory council;
- Standard Business Sponsors will be approved for five years and start-up business sponsors for eighteen months;
- More realistic and less onerous English language requirements;
- Current training benchmarks replaced with an annual training contribution to a government training fund. Contributions will be based on the number of sponsored subclass 457 employees and the size of the business. The training fund will be used to support a wide range of training initiatives throughout Australia for youth, apprentices/trainees from target groups, including Indigenous Australians and those in rural and regional areas; mentoring programmes and training scholarships that address critical skills gaps in the current Australian workforce such as nursing and the IT sector and training initiatives in areas such as the aged care and disability care sectors;
- Rewarding Australian employers who are complying with their sponsorship obligations, by providing them with streamlined processing for their nominations and visa applications
- Greater collaboration between the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to uphold the integrity of the subclass 457 programme by cross checking to ensure that employers are paying overseas workers the correct wages and entitlements;
- Criminalising fraudulent activity in the subclass 457 programme where it will be a criminal offence for sponsors to accept payment from visa applicants for a migration outcome.
The government will look to introduce the majority of the recommendations within the next 6 months, however further consultation may be required in some instances.
Responding to the announcement, Angela Chan the National President of the Migration Institute of Australia believes that “the review is a win- win for all stakeholders, as the government’s response will benefit Australian business; provide safeguards for overseas skilled workers and at the same time, ensure jobs for Australians are protected. The government’s response is well balanced and the integrity of the subclass 457 programme will be strengthened by these changes,”
While these changes have not yet been implemented, we’re always happy to answer any questions our clients may have and discuss how the proposals may benefit their business. Please feel free to contact us today via our Sydney Office on +61 2 9112 3999 or our UK office on +44 1622 320 202
The annual immigration report for the year 2012/2013 has shown a large scale increase in 457 visa applications for skilled IT professionals, with Developer Programmers named as the top nominated occupation. When combined with the recent SkillSelect occupation ceiling reports for Independent Skilled Migrants, it’s clear that thousands of skilled IT professionals are responding to industry demands and looking to bring their expertise into Australia.
If you’re an IT professional and want a quick and easy assessment of your visa eligibility, enter your details into our online assessment form and one of the QuickVisas team will be in touch shortly.
DIBP annual report
We’re pleased to announce our support for a once in a lifetime event to meet with the Former WBO Middleweight World Champion & WBC Super-Middleweight World Champion, Nigel ‘The Dark Destroyer’ Benn. The event will be held on-board the Starship Sydney, overlooking Sydney Harbour on the 1st November 2013.
Nigel has been using his legendary status to assist Australian youths at risk using boxing as a medium, and to promote the profile of Australian boxing world-wide. During the event there will be the opportunity to bid on unique memorabilia with all auction proceeds donated to the Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC).
For more information and to book your tickets, please visit: http://bigticketevents.com.au/nigel-benn-sydney/
We are always looking for new ways we can improve the service we offer to our clients and incorporate as many facets of the migration process as possible. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that we have formed a working relationship with a UK Immigration Advice company who are happy to assist our Australian business and personal clients with their UK immigration needs.
UK Visas are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and authorised UK Immigration advisors. For more information and contact details, please visit their website at: http://www.ukvisas.co.uk/
From the 1st July a number of changes have been implemented to the 457 visa programme. The changes are designed to reduce any abuse of the system and to ensure that Australian businesses seek to employ local labour before considering migrant workers. As well as facing increased monitoring to ensure businesses meet their obligations, sponsors are now also required to:
- Attest that the nominated position is a genuine needed position within the business
- Attest to having a strong record or commitment to employing local labour
- State how many candidates they wish to be permitted to nominate throughout the Standard Business Sponsorship term and demonstrate why they propose that number
- If renewing an SBS, demonstrate that they met the training benchmark requirements during the previous term.
Applicants for a 457 Visa also face increased criteria, including the need to demonstrate a set level of English Language proficiency and certain occupations now requiring a positive skills assessment before a 457 Visa can be granted.
Read More: New 457 visa requirements
The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship have announced new visa pricing arrangements to be introduced from July 1st 2013. The new system will now see an application charge for the main applicant and each additional secondary applicant.
Depending on the circumstances, additional fees may also be applicable for a non-online application or a subsequent temporary visa application made onshore.
New visa pricing arrangements
The Acting Minister for Immigration and Citizenship – Senator Kate Lundy has announced proposed changes to Australia’s visa pricing system to take effect from 1st Jan 2013. Fees for numerous visa classes are to be increased, particularly visas that are in high-demand.
Changes to visa pricing from the 1st Jan 2013 include:
- On-shore partner visa applications to increase from $3060 to around $4000
- Off-shore partner visas to increase from $2060 to around $2700
- Skilled Graduate visas to increas from $315 to $1260
- The 457 temporary skilled worker visas to increase from $350 to around $455
- Working Holiday Visas will increase from $280 to around $360
Proposed visa fee increases
Chris Bowen – The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship today announced a plan to extend tourist visas for parents of Australians in recognition of the current waiting times for parent visa applications.
Suitable applicants wo have applied outside Australia for a parent visa may be able to obtain a five-year tourist visa with a 12 month stay on each entry. Applicants not currently in the parent visa queue may may be considered for a tourist visa of up to 3 years, with a 12 month stay on each entry.
The grant of the extended tourist visas will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are subject to requirements including; adequate funds, health insurance meeting health and character criteria.
Extended tourist visas for parents