Sluggish 457 Visa Application In July – Sept 2014

The latest statistics released by the Australian government has shown that 457 visa applications remain flat since the government 2013 changes in July last year.

2014 Statistics For 457 Visa Lodged

Over the last quarter (1st July 2014 to 30th September 2014) just under 14,000 applications were lodged whereas the average prior to 2013 visa changes changes made last year was 18,000 (down 28%).

The largest change that occurred in July 2013 that caused the large number of applications of occur in June 2013 and subsequent fewer applications since was the dramatic rise in application fees. The illustration below graphically shows how dramatic the fee increases were.

457 Visa Changes In July 2013

The proposition of applications made on-shore continues to increase for the subclass 457 visa program.

Last year 46% of applications were made onshore which increased to 49% (almost half) in the more recent quarter. This may indicate that the 457 visa scheme is becoming more popular for those already on an existing visa such as the working holiday visa who may find it easier to secure a position in Australia that can be filled by a 457 visa applicant. It should be noted that applications made from those studying in Australia as an overseas student were less likely to apply for the 457 visa program (applications down 12%) which may be related to the higher application fees.

Applications Granted For The Subclass 457 Visa

While officially the last quarter saw 4.2% more applications granted for the 457 visa program this doesn’t mean the program has become more popular. Instead it reflects the Department of Immigration and Boarder Controls inability to handle the huge influx of applications made in June 2014. As the graph below shows, the number of visas granted in July 2013 was at a record low as officials resources were dedicated to other tasks (such as answering applicants questions).

2014 Subclass 457 Visa Granted

While the most applications granted were for positions in New South Wales, Victoria saw the largest year on year increase of 14%. Locations with a smaller population including Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory all saw reductions in the number of visa grants. This could be due to an increase in the regional sponsored migration scheme which for remote areas can be more appealing with lower application fees and no condition 8501 health cover requirement.

Top 5 Citizenship Countries

In the last quarter, India remained the most popular citizenship country for those applying for a working visa and saw a 5% increase from the same time last year. This was followed by the UK, China, USA and Ireland.

Top 5 Countries For 457 Visa Holders

It should be noted that Ireland had the largest decrease in applications approved which may reflect the improved economic conditions of that country compared to previous years which led to dramatic economic migration.

Indian citizens were more likely to work in Victoria while UK citizens chose New South Wales. This may reflect the higher Indian population with Melbourne or the skills required within the state that suit the Indian workforce.

Nominated Positions

Over the past 12 months there has been a dramatic rise in the number of applications made by professionals which trade workers and a few other mining industry related positions have decreased.

This could reflect the shift in Australian economy since the mining boom which has changed the skilled worked requirements within the nation.

Nominated Positions In 2014

The nominated occupations for visa holders provides greater insights into the statistics above with IT sector jobs from programmers, software engineers to ICT analysts having the greatest increase in demand.

Nominated Occupations

Marketing specialists and management consultants have also increased in popularity while some traditionally popular positions such as cooks and cafe workers have reduced in popularity.

Overall

The 457 visa market remains sluggish in response to changes that the government made over a year ago and other economic factors. The program transforming with different countries and different professionals using the scheme to reflect Australia’s changing skill requirements and labour shortfalls.