Subclass 457 visas continue to be a hot topic in the media but lately the Subclass 400 temporary work visa category is also coming under scrutiny.
The Subclass 400 visa enables businesses to engage applicants with highly specialised skills knowledge or experience that cannot be reasonably found in the Australian labour market. Depending on the industry, this can include highly technical skills such as equipment installations, maintenance and relief work. It provides a visa holder a 3 to 6 month stay in Australia and does not require employer sponsorship.
As 400 visas are intended for highly-specialised work, the visa category has come under scrutiny with Fairfax Media recently reporting that out of the 46,000 Subclass 400 visas granted in 2016-17 (and for each of the five years the visa category has existed), up to half were issued to workers in industries which the Immigration Department classed as “not specified” or “other services”. Fairfax implied that businesses are exploiting the Subclass 400 visa category for purposes other than highly-specialised work and that some visa holders are being paid below average wages. The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers also accused multiple companies of abusing the visa category, saying that positions previously filled by 457 visa holders are now being filled by Subclass 400 visa holders.
While some companies may be high users of the visa category, the Subclass 400 Visa can be a legitimate visa option for businesses provided that the applicant and requirements of the position meet the eligibility requirements, including the need for highly specialised skills, knowledge and experience.
The role and requirements of Subclass 400 work visas are currently being examined by the Government as part of its review of Australia’s work visa programs. With greater Government scrutiny over the visa category, this can often result in increased Government processing times and additional requests for further information. Interstaff will update you on any developments as they arise.
Read more about Subclass 400 visas or if you have any queries, contact [email protected] or 08 9221 3388 to speak to a migration agent about various business or work visa options that may be available to you.
Interstaff Migration Agents