Changes to 457 visa program announced

by Chloe Taylor18 Mar 2015
The federal government has announced that it will implement the majority of the recommendations from a review into the 457 visa program.

This will include relaxing the English language proficiency required to obtain the visa.

Employers will still have to advertise jobs locally before sourcing talent from overseas, however.

According to The Australian, integrity checks will be strengthened, with the government seeking to clamp down on employers who intent to exploit the 457 program.

“We will proactively prosecute and name and shame offenders exploiting overseas workers and misusing the program,” Michaelia Cash, assistant immigration minister, told News Corp.

She said that employers who accept payments in exchange for sponsoring visa holders will face penalties. 

What this means for employers

“Implementation of these reforms will require a range of different actions for government to implement,” said Robert Walsh, regional managing partner, Asia Pacific at Fragomen. “From relatively simple changes to Department of Immigration and Border Protection policy, through to new legislation that will need to pass both houses of Parliament.”

According to Walsh, the details of each change and the timeline for their implementation will become available progressively over the coming weeks and months.

“The overarching message of the agenda that has been announced by government is to reduce the complexity of the process of recruiting and assigning foreign workers to Australia,” he explained. “Employers should expect to see the benefits of these changes flow through the 457 program over the next 12 months, by reducing the time and cost involved in engaging staff through the 457 visa program.”


  • by Anonymous 18/03/2015 3:25:40 PM

    And just when I though immigration policy could not get any worse for this country...the need to speak English has just been lifted!! Great news for those who dont speak english [insert sarcasm here]

  • by Harold bud 18/03/2015 6:14:50 PM

    This will include relaxing the English language proficiency required to obtain the visa. Not to mention relaxing Australian trade proficiency standards as well

  • by L.B 19/03/2015 2:19:18 PM

    Oh the discrimination and racism in Australia continues. If Australians would take these jobs or even be qualified, there would be no need for the 457 visA. Think about it ppl!

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