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Minister announces external review of 457 Visa program

Written By Will Aldous
Fri, Apr 4, 2014
Will Aldous

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, recently announced that an expert panel would be appointed to review the current Australian Employer sponsored 457 visa program. In appointing the panel, Assistant Minister; Senator Michaela Cash said that she wanted the panel to “provide recommendations on how to maintain the integrity of the program, while not placing unnecessary burdens on business”, and that “the panel will also be investigating important aspects of the 457 program such as non-compliance rates among sponsors as well as examining the existing compliance burdens on employers”.

Senator Cash went on to say, that; “it was all part of the Federal Government’s commitment to evidence based productivity reform and deregulation and the removal of red tape”.

The panel is expected to convene by the middle of the year, with the recommendations to the Government at a date to be confirmed. Either way, TSS will be keeping a close eye on progress of the review and we will be updating you as news comes to hand.

Senator Cash flags revamp of the Significant Investor Visa (SIV)

Assistant Minister for Immigration; Senator Michaela Cash last week said that the Department of Immigration would undertake a review of the SIV stream of visas.

Senator Cash said the review was needed as the current and significant “implementation issues” are holding up the program and that the review was in line with the current Governments want to send a clear message to the global economy that Australia is open for business.

The Senator also said the Department would look in to the possibility of introducing a new permanent visa stream for potential investment migrants.

TSS will update you as soon as more detail on the proposed review is announced.

What is Labour Market Testing (LMT)?

Australian employers wishing to sponsor overseas workers on 457 visas, must provide evidence, at the time of lodging the nomination application for the position concerned, that they have gone to the local labour market to test if the position may be filled with the local labour force.

Note, that such evidence must be provided at the time of the nomination application being lodged. There is no provision, under the Migration Act, to allow such evidence to be provided subsequent to the lodgement of the nomination application. If this were to occur, the nomination application will be refused or at best, an invitation to withdraw the application will be given.

For advice on the nature of the LMT evidence which is to be provided, please contact one of TSS Immigration’s registered consultants.

Credit Card payments for Nomination and Visa Applications to incur a surcharge

From the 22nd of March 2014, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will levy a surcharge on all credit card payments for application fees. The DIBP had advised that this has been introduced to recover Bank Merchant fees which apply to credit cards. The surcharge will be applied to both onshore and offshore applications.

The DIBP will announce full details of the surcharge arrangements from 22 March 2014. TSS will update you as soon as more details become available.

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