November 457 Visa Change

From this Saturday the 23rd of November a scheduled change will take place that sees the requirement of market testing by employers in some circumstances.

457 Visa Market Testing

The new market testing requirement for the 457 visa programme requires Australian employers to test a position in the local labour market first before allowing 457 visa applicants to apply for the position. This means that these employers need to have sufficient evidence that they have adequately advertised the position and tried on a number of attempts to find an employee with the suitable qualifications and experience that is Australian.

Labour market testing doesn’t need to occur in all circumstances such as:

  • When the nominated worker is a citizen of Thailand, Chile or NZ
  • The worker is a current employee of a business of an ASEAN country)
  • The worker is currently employed as an Executive or Senior manager within a company that operates in a WTO member country and that employee will be responsible for a substantial part of operations in Australia
  • The worker is a citizen in a WTO member country and has worked at your firm for the last 2 years
  • The occupation advertised is on the except list including:
    • Business Broker
    • Property Manager
    • Youth Worker
    • Jeweller
    • Midwife

These are detailed ruled and there are several other exemptions listed on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website. It’s recommended that employers understand these so they know if they need to show proof of this labour market testing when filling out the 457 visa application.

This change is one of a list introduced since July 1st 2013. This includes a sharp increase in application fees which has seen a drop in 457 visa applications as intensified in a recent 457 visa analysis. Overall, these changes impacted employees but the newest changes impact the red tape for employers which may further lead to a drop in skilled labour entering Australia through the subclass 457 visa. Some politicians have already flagged a review of the current scheme and changes as they are worried about the productivity impact of this critical visa policy losing momentum causing a skill shortage in Australia and placing upwards pressure on skilled labour wages in niche sectors.