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The Return of Labour Market Testing (LMT)

15.01.2014 06:58 Age: 4 yrs
Category: 475 Visa

Just as we reached the 10-year anniversary of the abolition of labour market testing by the Howard Government in July 2003 … it’s back!

The reasons why it is back, of course, are more than a little bit complicated by current political imperatives, but back it is.

The previous Labor Government got the ball rolling with the introduction of the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Act 2013, which was passed after industry consultations in November last year by the new Coalition Government.

There is no reason to expect that things will be much different this time around. Responsible employers will pick up yet another costly and time-consuming administrative burden way out of proportion to the problems caused by a very few.

But, the changes are now in place, and employers will need to comply with government requirements until they are amended or abolished … again.

The Department of Immigration and Border Security has provided a form asking you to describe:

  • Types of advertising you have used within the last 12 months to fill the position (can be print, online, social media, internal processes, trade publications; paid or unpaid)
  • Where you advertised (name of publication or website; job or careers expo)
  • Dates you placed the ads
  • Any fees you paid and who you paid them to
  • Geographical target audience
  • Number of applications received and numbers hired (if applicable)
  • Reasons candidates were unsuccessful.

If you do not provide information about your efforts to test the labour market in Australia, your application to bring in employees under the 457 visa scheme will be refused.

Again, for complicated reasons, the professions most affected by the necessity to provide evidence of local labour market testing are:

  • Nursing
  • Engineering
  • Trade and technical occupations.

The testing will also affect current 457 visa holders when their visas come up for renewal.

Top level management and professional positions are exempt from labour market testing requirements. Similarly, prospective employees coming from an ASEAN country or a country with which Australia has an applicable trade agreement are exempt.

But the sort of positions that attract the largest number of (often unsuitable) applicants are the ones for which Australian employers will now have to advertise, even when they know from their years of experience where suitable staff can be found.

There are a number of other exemptions that apply as well, so talk to Haag Walker today to find the best way through the regulatory obstacles so you can get back to concentrating on what you do best – running your business. 

Australian Migration Lawyer


Established in 2002, Haag Walker Lawyers has successfully assisted thousands of Australian businesses and individuals to navigate migration law requirements.
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