14 April 2009

Australian 457 visa applications now have English language requirements raised

The English language requirement for 457 visa applicants has been raised by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) so that temporary Australian visa holders are better protected from exploitation.

The new 457 visa English language requirement from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has been raised from 4.5 to 5 for trades and chef applicants only.  This means that trades and chefs lodging an Australian visa application for the Subclass 457 visa will now have the same English language requirement as the sponsored permanent Australian visa applications for trade occupations. 

The new requirement came into effect yesterday, 13 April 2009, and will affect all Australian visa applications lodged for the Subclass 457 visa, as well as all current 457 visa holders who are applying for an extension of their visa. 

Soon to come into effect is the indexation of the minimum salary level for 457 visa holders, which will be 4.1 per cent from the 1 July 2009, and market-based pay rates from September 2009, which is designed to encourage employers to exhaust local labour opportunities before utilising temporary Australian visa holders.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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