Minimum salary for 457 visas increased

by Ray Clancy on July 5, 2012

in Australia Immigration

TSMIT important as 457 workers are not eligible for government benefits

The minimum salary level for Australia’s 457 visa programme has been increased to $51,400, officials have announced.

This visa stream has a minimum salary threshold to ensure that visa holders have sufficient money to support themselves in Australia. This salary threshold is called the ‘Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold’, or the TSMIT for short.

The TSMIT is important as 457 visa holders are generally not eligible for government benefits and support.

The other key purpose of the TSMIT is to ensure the 457 programme is only used for positions which require skilled and experienced workers, rather than entry level positions.

To ensure that this threshold keeps pace with increases in Australian salaries, the TSMIT is indexed annually in accordance with average weekly earnings (AWE).

For the period February 2011 to February 2012, the latest available AWE increased by 4.2%. For the previous financial year, the TSMIT was set at $49,330. Now, as of 01 July, the increase has been applies, taking the TSMIT to $51,400.

The new TSMIT is assessed at the time nomination applications are decided. So any nomination applications, regardless of when they were lodged, if assessed from now on must be paid a salary that is greater than $51,400.

The 457 programme recognises that higher salaries reduce the risks that low levels of English proficiency pose for overseas workers. Therefore higher paid visa applicants are not required to meet the English language requirement. The salary level for this exemption has been increased from $88 410 to $92,000.

Meanwhile, a new electronic Resources Sector Jobs Board has been created to provide greater access to jobs in the booming mining industry.

Dave Oliver, secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said that it will help Australians find jobs and prevent the exploitation of foreign workers, helping to ensure they are afforded the same rights, protections and conditions as Australian workers.

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