The Federal Budget papers released on 14 May 2013 includes some important changes to the Australian migration program.
Key changes outlined in the 2013/14 Federal Budget include a decrease in the skilled migration program. The skilled program will reduce by 700 places. Whilst the family migration program will benefit with an increase of 700 places.
There is a significant increase to the 457 visa application charge from 1 July 2013. The application charge is expected to increase from $455 to $900. The sharp increase is intended to increase revenue for the government by $198 million over the coming years. As significant fee increases result in a rush to lodge visa applications, we advise that there is likely to be a some delay in the processing of 457 visa applications post 1 July 2013.
The 1 July 2013 fee increase coupled with the previously released legislative changes to the 457 visa program such as the “genuineness” criterion, will mean DIAC will receive an influx of 457 visa applications before the changes come into effect. It is important that employers and visa applicants take these changes into consideration when reviewing relocation and employment start dates in Australia.
We encourage you to contact Expat’s visa team to efficiently manage the 457 visa process for you, before the 30 June 2013 deadline.