457 Abuse At An All Time Low

Over the past two years the 457 visa program has become the focus of many political and union discussions with a concern that employers are exploiting the system to get cheap labour from overseas.

An investigation by the Department Of Immigration And Boarder Control (DIBP) found this was not the case with less then 5% of referrals from the fair work ombudsman leading to some course of action.

457 Visa Investigations

Below shows a breakout of these statistics for last year with 243 cases referred by the ombudsmen to the DIBP of which just over 10% led to some course of action. It should be note that only 2% actually led to a cancellation of a current 457 visa.
457 Visa Abuse 2014 Explanation of 457 Visa Abuse

In the previous year, 1,024 cases were referred of which just over 2% actually led to some course of action.

457 Visa Abuse 2013

So What Is The Trend For 457 Visa Abuse?

The number of cases referred to the DIBP has gone down from 1,024 to just 243 which could be due to a few factors:
1) The 457 visa scheme changed in 2013 which has provided more clearer policies reducing cases referred
2) The fair work ombudsman has become better at identifying cases which don’t need to be looked at by the DIBP
3) The number of 457 visa holders in Australia is dropping due to issues ranging from application fee rises, the falling dollar and higher unemployment.

The actual DIBP are themselves monitoring over 2,000 cases to ensure employers comply to the working visa requirements such as their employees having 457 visa health insurance.

Why Does The 457 Visa Program Remain In The Spotlight?

Most media report on the 457 visa are led by Australian unions such as the Transport Workers Union who want to protect their members (and wage levels) from the so-called threat of overseas workers.

This included a recent press release from an FOI request that claimed over 20% of 457 visa wages were paid below the correct salary or working in a position not stated on their visa but this was later found not true due to incorrect assumptions made on the data.

A 457 visa review is also in progress by the current Australian Government (Liberal Party). This party is generally more relaxed with skilled immigration to Australia with the possibility of making changes to the policy which are pro-business. These potential changes will ensure that this visa remains in the Australian media for some time as politics will be involved. It should be noted at any changes that the government want’s to change may need to go through the Australian senate which the current Liberal Party does not control so the bill may be rejected or amended before becoming the new policy.