Review of 457 visa programme announced

by Ray Clancy on February 26, 2014

in Australia, Australia Immigration, General Information

The subclass 457 visa programme in Australia, one of the most popular with overseas workers, is to be reviewed, it has been announced.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, said that an independent review will be carried out in line with an election commitment.

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An independent panel will be investigating important aspects of the 457 programme including non-compliance rates among sponsors

The visa programme has undergone a number of changes in recent years and now a panel of experts with experience in industry, government and migration will look at it again.

Cash explained that given the importance of the 457 visa programme in supporting employers in industries and regions which are experiencing skill shortages, and the potential of the 457 programme to contribute to productivity growth in the Australian economy, a review of the integrity of the programme in light of these reforms is warranted.

‘The review will aim to provide recommendations on how to maintain the integrity of the 457 visa programme, while not placing unnecessary administrative burdens on business,’ she said. ‘This is in line with the government’s commitment to evidence based productivity reform,’ she added.

The panel will be led by John Azarias, a former public servant whom Cash said has an excellent understanding of migration issues. The others are Professor Peter McDonald, Katie Malyon and Jenny Lambert. The independent panel will provide the final report to the Assistant Minister by the middle of 2014.

Cash pointed out that the panel will also be investigating important aspects of the 457 programme such as non-compliance rates among sponsors as well as examining the existing compliance burdens on employers.

‘While the Coalition is a government committed to deregulation and the removal of unnecessary red tape, we are equally committed to ensuring the integrity of the 457 programme,’ she added.

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