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457 visa program review is released

457 visa program review

22.09.2014

Recently the Australian Government released the report of an independent review of the 457 visa program. The government is yet to respond to the report.


On 10 September 2014 the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection released the report of an independent review of the Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa program.  

The report is titled Robust new foundations: a streamlined, transparent and responsive system for the 457 programme – an independent review into integrity into the Subclass 457 programme. The full report can be found here.

The report was written by a four-person panel. It makes 22 groups of recommendations.

Principal recommendations

The panel’s recommendations include:

  • Abolish the legislative requirement for labour market testing.
  • Align the earnings threshold for demonstrating the market rate with the top marginal tax rate threshold (currently $180 000).
  • Retain the current Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold at $53 900 p.a. until it is reviewed within two years.
  • Allow a regional concession to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.
  • Replace training benchmarks with an annual training fund contribution.
  • Ease the English language requirements.
  • Streamline accreditation, approval and compliance processes for sponsors.
  • Review the fee structure for applicants.
  • In every employment contract, include standard information on the visa holder’s rights and a Fair Work Information Statement.
  • Require 457 visa holders to work for at least two years in Australia before transitioning to the Employer Nomination Scheme or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, and requiring them to have worked at least one year with the nominating employer.
  • Improve enforcement and monitoring through better cooperation between the ATO and DIPB.
  • Require visa holders to advise DIPB of their tax file number.

Nothing confirmed at this stage

Many of the recommendations are expressed in terms such as ‘that the government give consideration to …’. So there is likely to be further discussion before the government states which suggestions it will implement.

Where to from here?

Sponsors and visa holders or applicants wanting to keep on top of changes to the 457 visa program can seek migration advice from Haag Walker Lawyers.


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