457 Visa Applications Rebound Off A Low Base

Latest figures for May to June 2014 (the second quarter of 2014) show that the number of individuals applying for a 457 visa have rebounded.

Subclass 457 Visa Lodged 2014

As the graph below it, while there is some upwards trends for 457 visa applications the figures are still significantly lower then the period prior to June 2013 when large-scale changes were made to the subclass program including:
1) Dramatic increased in the fees to apply for a 457 visa
2) Changes for employers in the process to advertise for a 457 visa including advertising first locally
3) Changes to the professions and other requirements for applicants.

457 Visa Applications By State

The real loss of applications is highlighted int he table below with all states seeing a decrease in 457 visa applications when compared to the previous period last financial year. Queensland and Western Australia have received the largest drop in 457 visa applications which could also be attributed to the end of the ‘mining boom’ and the subsequent labour needed in the initial mines development.

457 Visa Holders By State Trends

457 Visa Applications By Industry

Like the table above, when looking at applications by industry the picture is also grim with drops across the board. The fact that there isn’t a single industry that has seen more 457 visa applications highlights how the drop has nothing to do with the economy or employment rates within Australia but changes to the scheme itself. Professionals have dropped the least and well as administrative and support services. Accommodation and food services which historically have been the strongest adopters of the 457 visa are one of the highest to drop. This may indicate that with some of the wages for this industry being lower that average, individuals just find the fees for an application too high to justify.

457 Visa Applications By Industry



Subclass 457 Visa Countries

The most popular country that received 457 visa applications that are granted followed by UK and China. UK historically was the highest 457 visa country of origin but a trend over the past several years has significantly reduced this and the increase in 457 visa application fees significantly impacted this group. It could be hypothesised that this group dropped so much when fees increased because citizens of the UK are more likely to have other working options in the EU or countries such a Canada and are choosing to work in those countries instead.

Subclass 457 Visa Countries

Another trend that is occurring is┬áindividuals applying for shorter visas that have fewer requirements (such as 457 visa health insurance). ┬áNot only are these visa’s often processed faster by the DIBP, they also cost less. While they have more restrictions the fact they are becoming more popular shows a flaw in the system with obviously Australian needs more long term high skilled labour, not just stop-gaps which may be lower skilled. The below table used to be standard in government publications on the 457 visa but is now hidden and instead exists on another report. It shows the number of visas granted by visa type.

Subclass Popularity 2014

As you can see the 600 visa and 601 ETA which are both short term, have low application fees and shorter processing times have increased dramatically. Other impacts from the 457 visa changes on the 30th of July 2013 is the spike in regional sponsored migration scheme (187 visa) and the 190 nominated skilled via. None of these visas require the applicant to have overseas visitor health insurance (such as 457 visa health insurance) which means that Australians may be the ones who pay if the individual becomes sick or injured.
Overall, Australia has some important decisions to make over who comes to this country and what their conditions are (ie do they need health insurance).