Immigration Minister Cracks Down on 457 Employers

webster By Mark Webster
Friday, 07 June 2013

The Minister for Immigration, Brendan O'Connor, introduced the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 to Parliament yesterday.

This Bill introduces a number of important changes, most of which make life more difficult for employers seeking to sponsor for 457 visas:

  • Labour Market Testing for 457 visas: Employers Seeking to sponsor for the 457 program may need to demonstrate they have first sought to fill the position with an Australian permanent resident or citizen
  • Changes to 457 Work Condition: Sponsored employees will have 90 days rather than the current 28 days to find a new employer if they cease employment with the sponsoring employer.
  • Employer Obligations: Measures have been taken to make the current sponsorship obligations more enforceable.
  • Fair Work Ombudsman Powers: The Fair Work Ombudsman will have enhanced powers to inspect workplaces to ensure compliance with Migration Laws.

When will the changes come into effect?

The legislation has not yet passed through Parliament, and it is not yet clear when it will come into effect. With the Federal Election slated for the 14th of September this year, it is likely that the Government will seek to have the changes take effect within the next few months.

Will there be any more changes to 457?

Note that some of the changes previously mentioned by the Minister seem not to be included in this Bill. For instance there is no mention of the following previously announced changes:
  • Increased English Language Requirement for certain occupations
  • Consultation for the purpose of establishing Market Rate Salaries
  • Tougher requirements for over-used occupations such as Program or Project Administrators and Specialist Managers (NEC)
  • Restrictions on issuing 457 visas to labour hire companies

It may be possible for the Minister to enact further changes by issuing legislative instruments rather than changing the law, so it is possible that the above changes will still be enacted.

We will update this page as soon as further details are available.

References

Ministerial Release: New 457 Visa Laws Put Local Jobs First
Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013

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