Sterling Insight

UPDATE – Forthcoming Visa changes in Australia


Further to our update on 1st March 2013 outlining the upcoming immigration changes in Australia, more details have been announced by the country’s Minister of Immigration & Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor MP. 

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has indicated that the main problem with the current use of the Subclass 457 program is that it has been increasingly used by temporary visa holders (such as working holiday makers or students) seeking to remain in Australia, rather than by those who would supplement the Australian labour force.

In addition to the changes previously reported (the new need employers to demonstrate a genuine skill shortage as well as an increase in the required level of English language, the enforceability of existing training requirements AND the market salary exemption level) other measures brought forward to the 1st July 2013 roll out date include:

  • The introduction of a genuineness criterion, whereby the Department may refuse a nomination if the position does not fit within the scope of the activities of the business
  • Enhanced regulatory powers for the Department to ensure that the working conditions of sponsored visa holders meet Australian standards and that subclass 457 workers cannot be exploited or used to undercut local workers
  • Amendments to clarify that 457 workers may not be on-hired to an unrelated entity unless they are sponsored under a labour agreement

Human Resources Departments with employees under this Subclass must ensure that all training expenditure meets training benchmarks and can be verified and ensure that salary requirements meet the market rate and hold proof of this rate.

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