Latest Australian Visa Changes

Ruling Made Against 457 visa sponsor (and Australia first)

Department of Immigration and Border Protection today won a case against a Victorian employed who was underpaid a visa holder under the salary threshold rules. In total the employee was underpaid by $10,000.

To show the seriousness of the matter the penalty for the company was $46,000(AUD) plus costs. Its the first time a court action went under the Migration Legislation Amendment (Worker Protection) Act 2008 with two issues:
1)The obligation to pay equivalent terms and conditions
2)The obligation to keep appropriate pay records.

Its the employers responsibility to ensure that 457 visa holders employment conditions once they come to Australia to work for their sponsor.

New Occupation List

A new 457 visa skilled occupation lists was released that will be applied to all applicants from the 1st of July 2012. The PDF can be viewed here.

This list is the first time that visa programs have combined in the professions that are valid to streamline the application process and reduce confusion.

Examples of visas streamlined into this process include:

  • The State Nominated (STATSOL)
  • The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENSOL)
  • Subclass 442 Occupational Trainee

Overall four occupations were added while another four were removed compared to the previous financial year.

Increase To The Income Threshold For 457 Visa Holders

In the 2012/13 financial year the threshold for the skilled migration threshold increased by 4.2% in line with Australia’s average weekly earning.

This means that ‘temporary skilled migration income threshold) will be $51,400(AUD).

All Australia businesses must now pay employers this wage or market rates if they are higher.

This rate is set as a safety net for 457 visa holders to ensure they have enough income to live independently within Australia.