The Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visa) Bill 2013 was passed in July 2013. Although there are some positives for employers that are sponsoring overseas workers, generally they do not assist.
The Sub-Class 457 Visa allows skilled workers to come to Australia and for businesses to hire overseas workers on a full time basis for up to four years. The purpose of the Visa is to fill a skill shortage.
The most draconian change is that employers must now prove that they attempted to hire Australian citizens and permanent residents before hiring overseas workers. An employer must provide evidence of any retrenchments or redundancies in the four months prior, any testing undertaken and evidence of attempts to recruit local workers.
There is an increase in application fees from $455 to $900 but there are also a lot more additional fees that are payable such as fees for secondary applicants which includes children or spouses.
Perhaps the only positive for employers and workers alike is that if a worker ceased employment with a sponsor, they had to find another sponsor within 28 days or leave the country. This period has been extended to 90 days which will give workers a better opportunity to find other employers and proposed sponsors an ability to complete any applications.
With the recent change in government, it will be of great interest to see if there amendments to the recent changes.
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