Changes to the skilled 457 visa
18 Apr 2017 — The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) is closed to new applicants. If you are a current visa holder, see your obligations.
The Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa was introduced in 2018 (replacing the subclass 457 visa)

After a review of torts and abuse in the 457 skilled visa program, the federal government has announced some changes.

The Federal government indicated that it would reduce regulation and at the same time strengthen the visa.

Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash today released the government’s response to a review into allegations of rorts (a fraudulent or dishonest act or practice) and abuse.  Fifty-one recommendations will be adopted by the government.

There will be an increased focus on sponsors of 457 visas and also more resources will be made available to monitor the sponsors.

What the Assistant Immigration Minister said.

“We’re also looking at the introduction of a new penalty making it unlawful for sponsors to be paid for a migration outcome, greater transparency around the department’s sanction processes, increased information sharing among key government agencies, in particular the Australian Taxation Office.”

The review did not support the allegation that there was widespread abuse and dishonest practice. However, scrutiny is being tightened up to ensure that abuse does not take place.

All the recommendations made in the review have not been adopted, for example, the review asked for the abolition of labour market testing, labour market testing requires employers to test the local market to see if suitable candidates are available to fill a job before a job is offered to a foreign worker. This practice is to continue to ensure jobs are first filled by suitably qualified Australian citizens.

The government is also reducing the English standard required when testing, Trade unions have raised health and safety concerns which may endanger people in the workplace if a suitable standard of English is not maintained.

Good response from Business community

In general, the business community has responded favourably to the review however there is a view that the regulations could have been softened further.  These changes are to be put into place by the end of this year, there is however a call from Trade Unions for a broader inquiry into Australian temporary work visas. Trade Unions are concerned that regulations are being relaxed at a time of high unemployment in general and more specifically in the youth sector.

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