Existing 457 visa holders not affected by changes, says DIAC

by Ray Clancy on July 8, 2013

in Australia Immigration

Existing 457 visa holders not affected by changes, says DIAC

Existing 457 visa holders not affected by changes, says DIAC

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is reminding existing visa holders that the new changes to the 457 visa will not affect them. However a spokesman said that they should note the changes to the English language and skills requirements if they plan to change employment, change their occupation or seek a further subclass 457 visa.

All subclass 457 visa applications lodged before 1 July 2013 but not finalised, will be subject to the new visa requirements as will all subclass 457 visa applications that are lodged after 1 July 2013. ‘In some circumstances further evidence to demonstrate claims for a subclass 457 visa may be required,’ the spokesman added. He also pointed out that all subclass 457 sponsorship, nomination and visa applications must now be lodged online. Paper applications are no longer accepted.

‘The changes will not adversely affect the majority of employers who are using the programme appropriately. The changes will, however, strengthen the government’s capacity to identify and prevent employer practices that are not in keeping with the purpose of the subclass 457 programme,’ said the DIAC spokesman.

Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “Anybody had any experience or able to provide a 457 approval time frame for the Sydney office? MA says recently has been under 4 weeks, which for us should be by the end of next week (hopefully!)”

‘If the department has any concerns that an employer is not committed to training Australians, or a nominated position may not be genuine, then they may be requested to provide additional justification before a sponsorship or nomination can be approved. Sponsors are also required to understand their new obligations,’ the spokesman added.

Accountants and business advisors KPMG also pointed out that higher fees have been introduced when lodging applications and additional charges. Fees now apply to each family member included in the application or where making a subsequent visa application in Australia, on top of the base application charges. There are also no longer any occupation based exemptions from the English language requirements.

The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold is now $53,900. The increase will apply to all nomination applications decided on or after 1 July 2013, regardless of lodgement date. Market rate salary exemption has increased from $180,000 to $250,000. Also since 1 July 2013, the Superannuation Guarantee contribution payable by employers increased from 9% to 9.25% of ordinary time earnings. An increase to 12% will be introduced in stages between now and 1 July 2019.

Subclass 457 applicants are required to demonstrate that they have the skills, qualifications and or experience to fill their nominated position if required. The regulations have been amended to allow a departmental officer to refuse a visa application without having to request additional information. It is now more important than ever that applications be prepared and lodged correctly up front,’ said KPMG.

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