The Government has released its response to the Independent Review into the Integrity of the 457 visa program report:Robust New Foundations – A Streamlined, Transparent and Responsive System for the 457 Programme. The majority of changes announced are expected to be implemented over the next six months. The Governments response to the Independent Review can be found here.
Below is a summary of key changes announced:
- Training Benchmarks A and B to be replaced with an annual training fund contributions to the Department of Industry.
- Strong penalties and conviction will be applied for any sponsor who is paid by the visa holder to be sponsored.
- Labour Market Testing will remain, however the Department will examine ways to reduce the burden to employers.
- English language requirements for the 457 primary visa applicant will be changed to overall 5.0 for the IELTS examination, with no less than 4.5 in any band.
- Announcements will be made next month regarding the use of alternate English language test providers.
- Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) approvals will be extended from 3 years to 5 years for existing businesses; 12 to 18 months for start-up businesses.
- Visa Application Charges are being reviewed and are likely to change.
Expat’s Visa and Migration team are experienced in managing the sponsorship and 457 visa application process. We provide step-by-step guidance, ongoing advice and assistance that streamlines the complex visa process; minimising stress for our business clients and individual 457 visa applicants. Contact Expat’s team today to see how we can assist you in planning for these crucial changes.