Tighter rules on skilled visa to be imposed starting July 1

The Australian government is set to implement changes to the 457 visa plan starting July 1, a statement from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said.

The agency said the new rules would help protect the integrity of the program and keep it from being abused by unscrupulous employers.

Beginning next month, the agency will implement and introduce the following changes:

  • – A visa may be issued only if there is a real vacancy and a position is available;
  • – Sponsors who discriminate during recruitment will be penalized
  • – The salary exemption has been increased to protect workers who are paid with higher salaries from being undercut by the cheaper cost or rate of migrant workers
  • – Skilled visa holders who are currently working and want to apply for permanent residence will not be affected by the removal of English language exemptions for certain job positions.
  • – Those who receive a salary that is greater than $92,000 are still exempted from the English language requirement
  • – The requirement to train Australian will be enhanced by some changes that will be introduced during the period of sponsorship
  • – Migrant workers can only work with a company through an employment contract, not a business contract
  • – The recovery cost is the sole responsibility of sponsors.

The agency added that these changes will not have any adverse effect on majority of employers who are currently using the program, albeit it would enhance government ability to identify problems and address issues as well as prevent violations against the 457 visa scheme.

The changes will not also affect the present visa holders but new applicants should comply with the new rules as they would be required to submit more proof to support their record and credibility or honesty in the industry and business.