I wanted to do a quick post before you go into panic mode about the talk of Australia scrapping the 457 visa, so you have a clearer idea of what is happening and what this means to you. I will keep you informed as more information is released about these changes, but for now, it is important for you to understand the changes and Australia’s plans for employer sponsorship, moving forward.

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457 Visa Getting Scrapped?

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Prime Minister, has announced today in a video on Facebook that the Australian Government will be doing away with the 457 visa due to it being misused by businesses who have hired overseas candidates in place of available skilled Australians.

The goal of removing the 457 visa will be to give more opportunities to Australians, and there will be plans put into place to up-skill Australians in order to fulfill shortages internally as a priority.

In my experience, there are grounds to the claims they are making as I know of many companies who have hired overseas nationals, for other reasons than because they had the best skills for the job, and as such, more qualified and skilled Australians were overlooked.

A negative view has developed on the 457 visa amongst many Australians because of how it has been abused in the past; and I feel that the changes coming will remove the frustrations, and ensure that only the best qualified people are hired for the jobs – whether local or from overseas.

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Before You Panic – This Isn’t the End of Employer Sponsorship!

You may by now be going into a panic and feeling as though all chances of migrating to Australia are over. However, do not despair, because there will be two other temporary visas created to replace the 457 visa, which will be very similar to the 457 visa; just with more restrictions.

I believe the 457 visa being abolished could be a good thing as it will remove the the negative connotations that have been attached to overseas skilled workers being employed in Australia. It makes sense to me, because like I mentioned before, Australians have gathered a view in the past couple of years whereby they feel that they are being cheated every time an employer hires an overseas national. This has in turn bred a little bit of unnecessary racism towards migrants in Australia.

This new visa is going to remove a lot of these feelings, as Australian’s will be assured that they will be placed first; and that only the best talent will be hired from overseas.

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What This Means For You

The bottom line for you is that you may still have an opportunity to be sponsored to work in Australia, and that the visa will just have a different name. I set out what is known so far about the new visas.

Basics of the New Visas:

There will be two new temporary visas to replace the current 457 visa: a 2-year visa; and a 4-year visa that will target “higher skills”
The 2-year visa will target a broader range of occupations; however, theseoccupations will be drastically reduced from those on the current list of occupations for the 457 visa
2 years prior work experience in your field will be required to qualify for either new visa
The 4-year visa will require a higher standard of English than currently required fro the 457 visa; as well as police criminal check
Mandatory labour market testing will be required to prove the need to hire the overseas national
Only the best talent will be hired from overseas, and only if the employer cannot fill their vacancy from within Australia.
Those on a 457 visa currently will be allowed to fulfill their visa to its completion
Regional areas with shortages will be targeted for the new visa, where Australian talent cannot be hired, meaning less availability for positions in the major cities in many cases
Australian’s will feel less threatened, and more at ease with migrants to Australia; making for a better experience and more acceptance of migrants in Australia and in the Australian workplace

These changes will ensure that Australian employers still have access to skilled overseas workers, such as yourself; but only to fill proven shortages in the job market in the regions the vacancies are based.

More details are to come on these new visas, and I will update you as they are released.

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