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DIBP Announces Amendments In Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (Subclass457)

27 Mar 2015


Immigration News

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection of Australia has announced significant amendments to Temporary Work (Skilled) visa popularly known as Subclass 457 Visa. The amendments are set to take place in the next few months.   

The DIBP has given its response to the 23 proposals, put forth by the Robust New Foundations report. The proposals are outlined to fast-track the current system and to help businesses and visa holders to navigate easily.

The DIBP is planning to execute few proposals within the next six months. However, the complete details regarding each amendment are not yet revealed. Following are the major amendments that are set to implement on 457 visa programs over this year:

  • Labour-market testing will not be abolished, but the DIBP will minimize the red tape that is currently being experienced by the prospective employers.
  • Government is also planning to make necessary changes to the English language scores. Presumably, the current average IELTS score of 5 will be reduced to 4.5 in any band. And, the new test providers will be announced very soon.
  • The current English language exemption available to individuals who hold minimum five years of continuous education in English will be altered to five years of cumulative study. 
  • Announcements also include the extension of Standard Business Sponsorship approval period from three to five years for established businesses in Australia and 12 to 18 months for start-ups. However, the extension will be applicable to only new or revised agreements, but not to current agreements.    
  • Additionally, the DIBP also extended the notification period, in which a sponsor has to notify about certain events such as changing designation of 457 visa holders.

The income threshold requirement however remains the same. The DIBP has affirmed that the income levels will remain at A$53,900 per year for the coming two years. 

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