The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have announced new visa changes to the 457 program from 1 July 2013. The updated visa changes include;
Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold Increase (TSMIT)
The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) has been increased as of 1 July 2013. The previous TSMIT was set at AUD51 400 and has now been increased to AU53 900. If you are an employer and wish to access the 457 visa will need to ensure the market salary rate for the position you are seeking to fill meets or exceeds this TSMIT.
Changes to Language Requirements
If you are applying for a 457 visa and are required to hold a licence, registration or membership that is mandatory to perform the occupation nominated in relation to the applicant, you must demonstrate that he or she has competent English, proficient English, concessional competent English or superior English of at least the standard required for the grant (however described) of the licence, registration or membership.
Occupations Excluded from Fast Food Industry
If are an employer in the fast food or takeaway food services business, you can no longer put employees through in the following occupations for a 457 visa: Cook, Chef and cafe or restaurant manager.
The following provisions have been added to the criteria currently listed for standard business sponsor. You, as a sponsor must now provide the number of persons who you propose to nominate during the period of your approval as a stand business sponsor. Also, the number of people who are being nominated must be reasonable according to the Minister or if the Minister proposes another number, you must agree in writing to nominate no more than the number you originally proposed.
Obligation to Provide Training
If you have sponsored at last one primary sponsored person, you must comply with the requirements relating to training, specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing for a period of 12 months commencing on the day the person was sponsored.
The business is required to show that the training that has been, and continues to be, provided to employees who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents is related to the purpose of the business.
The training benchmarks for an established business are:
A) Recent expenditure, by the business, to the equivalent of at least 2% of the payroll of the business, in payments allocated to an industry training fund that operates in the same industry as the business.
B) Recent expenditure, by the business, to the equivalent of at least 1% of the payroll of the business, in the provision of training to employees of the business.
Expenditure that can count towards this benchmark includes:
- Paying for a formal course of study for the business’s employees who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents or for TAFE or University students, as part of the organisational training strategy
- Funding a scholarship in a formal course of study approved under the Australian Qualifications Framework for the business’s employees who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents or, for TAFE or University students, as part of the organisational training strategy
- Employment of apprentices, trainees or recent graduates on an ongoing basis in numbers proportionate to the size of the business
- Employment of a person who trains the business’s Australian employees who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents as a key part of their job
- Evidence of payment of external providers to deliver training for Australian employees
- On-the-job training that is structured with a timeframe and clearly identified increase in the skills at each stage, and demonstrating
Expenditure that cannot count towards this benchmark includes training that is:
- Delivered on-the-job, other than on the job training which meets the requirements outlined above under the heading ‘expenditure that can count towards this benchmark’
- Confined to only one or a few aspects of the businesses broader operations, unless the training is in the primary business activity
- Only undertaken by persons who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents
- Only undertaken by persons who are principals in the business or their family members
- Only relating to a very low skill level having regard to the characteristic and size of the business.
More clarification about these visa changes will be provided once they are known.
If you have any further queries in relation to the subclass 457 visa changes or wish to lodge an application, please contact a member of the migration team at Ferguson Cannon Lawyers.