Recent changes in Australian skilled working visa

There are various types of visa available for people who wanted to work and stay in Australia. One of these is the subclass 457 skilled visa which is a temporary visa given to workers through the sponsorship of an employer.

As a rule, this visa type is given to migrant skilled workers only when a company or business cannot get an Australian worker to fill in a skilled position or job. Hence, a company can sponsor and hire a skilled worker from abroad.

But before the employer can get the services of a skilled worker, there are three essential things to do. One, the employer must apply to be a sponsor. Second, the employer must nominate the job position that he needs to be filled, and lastly, the employee must apply and secure a visa. The applications for these three requirements can be filed at the same time.

New measures

Following reports of violations and abuses to the 457 visa scheme, the government made some changes to the plan and implement some measures to protect the integrity of the skilled visa program.

These changes will be implemented starting July 1, which include the following measures:

  • • Before a visa is approved and issued, a real vacancy for a job position must be determined. This is done to ensure that the position was not simply created to obtain a visa and also to make sure that there is no Australian skilled worker available for the job.
  • • The government also introduced a provision that gives power to the immigration department to penalize employer-sponsor who may discriminate applicants during recruitment and hiring
  • • The salary exemption limit will be raised to $250,000, from the previous limit of $180,000. This was done to ensure that the salary rate of Australian workers will not be weakened by the hiring of foreign skilled workers who are paid at cheaper rates.
  • • Lifting of English requirement exemption for skilled workers receiving a salary of less than $92,000
  • • Improve the requirements for training of Australian employers to oblige them to comply to training requirement during the period of sponsorship
  • • Skilled foreign workers will be required to sign employment contracts instead of business contracts for services to ensure that they get hired to relevant job positions
  • • The new rule also puts the recovery costs under the care of the sponsors who are the only one responsible for other costs.

Under these changes, skilled visa applicants can expect better and more improved services in the future.