The Australian newspaper today reported that Bill Shorten is exploring options to increase the 457 visa fee to encourage the use of local workers.
Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten signalled his support for raising the application fee for 457 visas to reportedly allow for greater government investments in TAFE and technical educational institutions that train people locally. Mr Shorten has backed a Senate inquiry to explore the options.
“Last year the Immigration Minister issued over 10,400 visas for trade and technician jobs yet apprenticeships in these exact sectors are in decline,” Mr Shorten said.
At the heart of the debate, Mr Shorten said foreign workers were being used as a ‘low-cost substitute for Australian workers’, with the media reporting that a sponsoring employer pays a fee of $380 for a 457 visa application and workers pay $1,060. This however does not include the cost of managing compliance with sponsorship obligations associated with employing 457 visa holders.
Read our post on Atlassian co-founder, Mr Cannon-Brooke’s warning regarding the myth portrayed by the media that it is cheaper to employ visa holders than Australian born citizens.
Mr Shorten’s support for an increased 457 visa fee is consistent with his announcement on Labor’s policy on 457 visas last year, which sought to increase the sponsorship fee by $1500 for each additional visa for organisations with more than half the workforce made up of 457 visa holders.
For more information about work visas and sponsorship, contact Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents at [email protected].