Immigration Minister to Restore Business Confidence in Skilled Migration

webster By Mark Webster
Tuesday, 08 October 2013

In the last days of the Labor Government, a series of changes were introduced to the 457 employer sponsored visa program. These changes were supposedly a response to the "widespread rorting" of the 457 program - claims the Government was unable to substantiate.

Changes which came into effect from 1 July 2013 include:

  • English language testing for more 457 visa applicants
  • Significant increases to visa application fees
  • A limit on the number of employees which can be sponsored by an employer during their sponsorship approval
  • Changes to the training requirement for sponsors
  • Shorter visa validity for newly established businesses.
  • Penalties for Employing Illegal Workers

    From 1 June 2013, businesses face fines of $15,000 or more if they engage workers in breach of their visa conditions. The fines operate on a strict liability basis, and company officers and directors can be personally liable unless they implement processes to verify visa work rights.

    Introducing Labour Market Testing

    On top of this, a "Labour Market Testing" requirement is due to be introduced for sponsoring 457 workers before the end of 2013. Labour market testing will require employers to advertise the position during the 4 months prior to sponsoring the 457 application, and explain why they were unable to source an employee from the Australian labour market.

    What Happens Now?

    Employer groups such as theBCA and AMMA are putting pressure on the government to reverse the changes made to employer sponsorship by the outgoing Labour Government.

    Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has indicated that the changes have made Australia less competitive and has put key projects at risk. He is seeking to restore business confidence in the skilled migration program - a sign that change is on its way.

    Many businesses are reliant on sponsoring key staff from overseas - and will be eagerly awaiting the announcement of changes which will hopefully reduce the cost and red tape involved.

    Register for our Seminar with AHK and Berlitz

    We are giving a seminar on recent changes to employer sponsorship this Friday Morning. We are doing the seminar with the German Chamber of Commerce and would be pleased to have you as our guest.

    Date and Time: 11 October, 7:00am for 7:30 start to 9:00am

    Location: Press Room, Radisson Blu, 27 O'Connell Street, Sydney

    Click here to register your spot!

    Need Help With Your Visa?

    If you are looking to sponsor employees and don't know where to start, feel free to Contact Us and talk to one of our experienced migration agents.

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