The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has indicated it will seek to implement the following recommendations in relation to the 457 Temporary Employer Sponsored Work Visa Programme over the course of the next six months.
– English language requirements – the current country based exemptions will not be extended to additional nationalities however there will be an amendment to the English language scores required. The current proposal is to amend this to require an average IELTS score of 5 overall, with no less than 4.5 in any one band (currently a primary 457 visa applicant requires a score of at least 5 in each band). In addition, the introduction of additional test providers should be announced shortly.
– English language exemption – the current exemption available to individuals who have completed at least five years of continuous studies in English will be amended to allow five years of cumulative study to be relied upon.
– Labour market testing may not be abolished, however, the Department will examine ways to reduce the burden to employers and red tape in this process
– Standard Business Sponsorship approvals – these will be extended from three to five years for an established business in Australia, and from 12 to 18 months for a start-up business.
– The Australian Tax Office (ATO) and the Department have signed an MOU which allows information to be shared on 457 visa holder salaries.
Source: The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and recommendations provided in the Robust New Foundations report.