Spotlight on the 457 Working Visa Australia Changes
Recently there has been a great deal of media attention about changes to the visa system, in particular, the 457 visa. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated that the changes to the visa system are designed to ensure that Australian workers are put first, but what does this mean for those looking to immigrate to Australia?
Working Visa Australia Tough Talk:
When discussing the 457 working visa, Australia politicians have all been making some tough talk. Conservative senators including Pauline Hanson have said the changes were needed due to One Nation, but others such as Cory Bernardi have cited party pressures. Essentially, all this tough talk about changes have been centred around the four year visa system for skilled migrants to obtain permanent residency will be replaced to protect Australian jobs.
The Effects on Current 457 Visa Holders:
Currently, there are 95,000 skilled migrants in Australia who hold a 457 visa. These visa holders will be unaffected by the changes and will still have a possibility for permanent residency when they reach the end of their four year term. However, Mr. Turnbull has said that the 457 visa will no longer be allowed to be used as a passport to job opportunities that should or could go to an Australian. This means that there are changes afoot for new candidates seeking a working visa to Australia.
The New Program:
The replacement visa scheme will be implemented as a two year temporary option that has been specifically designed to encourage recruitment of the “best and brightest.” This will not allow permanent residency when it concludes to keep recruitment and immigration in the national interest.
The new program does have new restrictions, but Mr. Turnbull has stated that the government does recognise the value of businesses retaining access to skills needed to grow. This announcement has been met with a backlash. Many have pointed out that 457 visa holders represent less than 1 percent of the 12 million strong workforce in Australia. Trade unions have dismissed the changes as “tinkering” that will not promote any real changes. According to NSW Unions secretary, Mark Morey, a “root and branch review” is what is really needed. This would properly tackle wage theft and migrant exploitation while maintaining and improving Australian Standards.
The Prime Minister has countered and maintained that these changes are about the protection of jobs for Australian workers and that Australians should be given priority. Under the new scheme, the list of occupations to qualify for a visa will be reduced from the current 200 plus. The new visas will be limited to a two year period, with a possible extra 2 year period, and candidates will need to show previous work experience. A second visa will require a proper criminal check and a higher standard of language skills in English.
If you were considering a 457 visa, you might need to evaluate your options for a working visa to Australia. Fortunately, 888 Migration is here to help. Our team of advisors can guide you through the options for a working visa, Australia regulation changes, and qualification criteria.
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If you would like to have your application managed by experts who can get you the best outcome, then call 888 Migration Services and talk with us about how we can help.
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