Matthew Halliday MARN 0701626
On 10 September, the Department released the report it commissioned reviewing the operation and integrity of the subclass 457 visa. According to news reports in the Australian, it seems likely that the Minister will ignore the review's recommendation to remove labour market testing, a recent addition to the program that has been proven to be of limited effectiveness. Not surprisingly, many employers have been disappointed by this due to the extra costs and time required however news that the English language requirements may be relaxed has been more welcome.
Overall, the review confirmed that the program was meeting its aims of allowing employers with a legitimate need for skilled employees to fill the gap in the Australian work force without displacing Australian workers while also increasing training of Australians and ensuring that overseas workers enjoy the same work rights and entitlements as Australian employees.
The review does however make 22 recommendations including :
- Formation of a tripartite ministerial advisory council whose main tasks will be to make recommendations on the occupations that should be included in the department’s 457 occupation list.
- Risk profiling businesses by streaming applications by company turnover namely $4m, $1m and the remainder (the higher the turnover, the lower the risk)
- Increasing sponsorship period to 5 years
- IELTS 5 to an average score of IELTS 5
- Retention of Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold at current levels for 2 years
- Abolishing current training benchmark and instead making a contribution per foreign employee payable to the government.
- Strengthen Monitoring via information sharing between ATO, FWO and DIBP
Currently less than 1 percent of the work force in Australia is made up of subclass 457 visa holders. The Immigration Minister stated that the panel found no evidence of widespread rorting claims.
Want to read more? Read the report at: