Reforms to be introduced to the Subclass 457 Program mean that
Standard Business Sponsors (SBS) will be required to prepare
supporting documents at least 1 - 2 months in advance to fulfil
stricter Subclass 457 Program requirements.
The 457 visa program is the most commonly used program to enable
Australian employers to fill skill shortages by recruiting skilled
overseas workers where they cannot find suitable Australian
The changes to be introduced on the 1 July 2013 include:
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will be
introducing a requirement for the nominated position to be a
genuine vacancy within the business. DIAC are concerned that
positions may have been created purposely to secure a 457 visa
without consideration of whether there is a suitable skilled
Australian worker available.
Tip: Business's should first demonstrate
that they have been actively seeking to employ an Australian worker
to fulfil positions within their business (for example advertising
the position locally). If the business is not able to find a
suitable Australian candidate for the position after searching for
a reasonable period of time, the activity of advertising for the
position will be considered as demonstrating a genuine need for the
business to employ a skilled overseas worker.
The market salary exemption threshold will be increased from
$180 000 to $250 000 to ensure that higher paid salary workers are
not able to be undercut through the employment of overseas labour
at a cheaper rate.
Tip: SBS's will be required to demonstrate
market salary data for all nominees being offered a salary less
DIAC will be strengthening the English language requirements by
removing exemptions for nominees from non-English speaking
backgrounds who are nominated with a salary less than $92 000. The
definition of English language will be better aligned with the
permanent Employer Sponsored.
457 nominees are to be engaged on an employment contract (as
opposed to a business contract for services) and not on-hired to an
unrelated entity unless they are sponsored under a labour
agreement, or in an exempt occupation.
DIAC will be reinforcing the existing obligation regarding
recovery of costs to ensure that sponsors are exclusively
responsible for certain costs.
DIAC will be strengthening the requirement for sponsors to
train Australians by introducing an ongoing and binding requirement
to meet the existing current training requirements for the duration
of their approved sponsorship.
Tip: Businesses that have been in operation for
less than 12 months, and all businesses that will be newly approved
as a SBS, will most likely be subject to sponsorship monitoring by
DIAC. In particular businesses will be monitored on their on-going
commitment to meet the training requirements as per the training
details they have submitted with their SBS application.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Federal Court handed down the largest-ever court fine for breaches of the Subclass 457 business sponsorship program.
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