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Is the 457 Visa on the Decline?

Written By Michael Walker
Thu, Sep 18, 2014
Michael Walker

The Department of Immigration’s recently released report, indicated a 25% decrease in 457 visa grants in the year 2013.

The biggest decline was in the mining and construction sectors, which saw declines of 42% for sponsored positions within the mining industry and 40% in the construction industry. It should be noted that Australian migration trends bear a direct correlation to Australia’s unemployment and workforce participation rates. In other words, as the economy suffers from global shocks such as a fall in commodity prices, the migration graph also trends downwards. Even the smallest rise in unemployment, sees a converse decline in migration numbers.

However, as has been the case for sometime, Australia does have somewhat of a ‘patchwork’ economy, with industry sectors such as mining, feeling the greatest affect of the drop in demand for commodities, as well as steadily high Australian Dollar. In contrast, the hospitality industry has continued to utilize the 457 visa program. This seems to be reflective, particularly in the Eastern States, of a growth in services sector of the economy, with NSW, Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria being the highest paying States/Territory.

The decline in the mining sector in particular, has seen Western Australia no longer being the state that pays the highest wages to 457 visa holders. Of course this is not surprising, as the economy overall has felt the affects of the decline in the mining/resources boom.

With the current Minister initiating a review into the 457 visa program, indicating that the Government wishes to preserve the integrity of the sponsored work visas, while at the same time cutting away the red tape which currently bedevils the program, TSS Immigration is confident the 457 visa program will remain buoyant in the year ahead and provide Australian employers with the opportunity to fill the skill gaps, which they cannot do from the local labour market.

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