Everything You Need to Know About Changes to the 457 Visa

Everything you need to know about changes to the 457 visa

For a talented chef hoping to start a new life in Australia, the 457 visa seems the perfect way to make your immigration dreams a reality.

The most commonly-used visa has gone through a transition recently in an at tempt to strengthen the immigration process for Australian businesses and prospective employees alike.

The 457 visa, which is in place to address the Australian labour shortage, currently allows eligible employers to identify skills gaps that cannot be filled by local workers. Under the current protocol, employers can sponsor foreign workers with the skill sets desirable for their business. They will then move to the country and commence employment with the sponsoring company. 

Unfortunately, the 457 visa has been misused in the past, with many vulnerable foreign workers being scammed into paying thousands of dollars to a bogus migration agent. The overseas worker then pays hefty travelling fees to cross the ocean and begin work in either an entirely different role, involving forced labour and low pay, or to no role at all. 

The visa has been reviewed to increase the country's capacity to identify and prevent unlawful employer practices, ensuring both businesses and migrants are protected.

Low vs. high-risk applicants 

The department aims to streamline the application process for low-risk applicants, ensuring that their applications go through as smoothly as possible. 

Low-risk candidates are those with a guaranteed intention to work, are in premium health condition with insurance, can communicate with a high standard of English, and have no criminal convictions. 

Furthermore, the government has set about new measures to monitor high-risk applicants who have criminal convictions, cannot prove a genuine position of work or are in poor health without insurance.

The application process for start-up businesses has also been reviewed, with sponsorship approval being granted for 18 months instead of 12.

English language proficiency

Most applicants who are sponsored by a standard business must ensure that they are proficient in the English language with a score of at least 5 across all areas of the IELTS test, including speaking, reading, writing and listening. 

However in an attempt to build up the Australian economy, the government has become more flexible in regards to the level of English spoken by applicants. Migrants should be accepted as long as they have the necessary skills for the role they are applying for. Many skilled trades, such as cooking, do not require workers to speak a high level of English. 

Income threshold

The income threshold for 457 visa permits has stayed at $53,900, allowing workers to live a comfortable life. Standard business employers are required to pay their staff the market salary rate. This means that if the market salary rate is under $53,900, then the position cannot be offered. 

Migration agent

With many cases of improper use, and unprotected workers being exposed to scams, the government is keen to stress the importance for external workers to use an authorised migration agent. 

A registered migration agent can handle your application needs from start to finish, by filling out the appropriate forms, liaising with the necessary officials and keeping you updated in regards to timescales and deadlines. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nix,

    Thank you for putting this together. I've hit 40 this month and did not make it to score 7 on each component of the IELTS exam; as required to obtain positive skills assessment for accountant. Looks like visa 457 might be the only avenue for now....

    Have a nice day~

    Best regards