01 July 2008

Temporary Australian visa holders given better conditions

New plans from the Australian government include better working conditions for temporary visa holders. The plans from the Rudd government include harsher penalties for employers of workers on temporary Australian visas (subclass 457) and increased powers for immigration officers.

Employers found to be exploiting workers on these visas could face up to ten years in jail and an AUD$110,000 fine. The increased powers for immigration officials would mean more searches on companies to ensure they are complying with the Australian visa requirements.

A paper discussing these changes was released by Senator Chris Evans, the Immigration and Citizenship Minister, and forms part of a major review of the Australian visa system in April. The move also comes as the number of people allowed into the country on a temporary Australian visa increases to 100,000 for the first time. Plans will come into place next month to increase the salary for people on a temporary Australian visa by 3.8 per cent.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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