In July, Interstaff attended a roadshow by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) which advised of recent changes to the 457 Visa program to more accurately reflect the needs of the Australian economy.
Australia’s 457 Visa program helps to address labour shortages in the economy in circumstances where positions are unable to be filled locally. However, with Australia’s unemployment rate currently at 5.7 per cent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, changes in the economy have prompted the DIBP to re-examine the 457 Visa program.
The use of the program has decreased with the contraction of the economy and there has also been an increase in the refusal rate of nomination applications from less than 1% at 1 July 2013 to 10% in the past year.
The DIBP discussed the evaluation of the 457 visa nomination and visa applications under the new policy guide governing the ‘genuineness’ criterion. Business sponsors nominating overseas workers are required to demonstrate the ‘genuineness of position’ to the government as part of the application. Applications will need to adequately prove:
- That the position is genuinely required by the business
- That the tasks of the position align with the nominated occupation
- That there is a genuine need to employ a visa holder for the position
More rigorous investigations by the Department as it applies the new ‘genuineness’ policy could lead to 457 visa applications being delayed and more detailed requests for information.
We encourage sponsors and visa applicants interested in understanding more about these issues to contact us regarding the requirements.
The DIBP also provided an update on its Accredited Sponsor framework, which provides eligible 457 Visa sponsors access to faster visa processing. Read the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s updates on Accredited Sponsorship or read more about the 457 Visa program.
Source: The Australian Bureau of Statistics and Interstaff.