03 July 2009

Salary changes for skilled migrants to Australia

Salary requirements of all workers on the Australian Temporary Long Stay Business Visa (subclass 457) have changed recently, and there are more changes throughout the coming year.

Salary changes for visa holders

Increases have been made to Australian visa holders' minimum wage.

The first change, already in effect, is the increase by 4.1 per cent of the minimum salary level for all new and existing Temporary Long Stay Business Visa holders.

The second change, to be introduced in September 2009, is a market-based minimum salary for all new and existing Temporary Long Stay Business Visa (subclass 457) bringing these workers into line with Australian workers' wages and conditions.

The changes are part of a seven point plan announced in April by the Government to improve the integrity of the Temporary Long Stay Business Visa program.

The other five measures for the visa program are:

  • Increasing the existing minimum language requirement from 4.5 IELTS to 5 IELTS for 457 visa applicants in trade occupations and chefs, to address concerns about the exploitation of workers from non-English speaking countries and align the 457 visa English language standard with the permanent sponsored visa for trades’ occupations.
  • Progressively introducing formal skills assessment from 1 July 2009 for 457 visa applicants from high risk immigration countries in trade occupations and chefs.  The Government will consult with stakeholders in finalising an assessment framework that reflects Australian standards and meets the expectations of Australian workplaces.
  • Introducing a requirement that employers seeking access to the 457 visa program have a strong record of, or demonstrated commitment to, employing local labour and non-discriminatory employment practices. This will help address concerns that some employers may discriminate against local labour in hiring overseas workers.
  • The development of training benchmarks to clarify the existing requirement on employers to demonstrate a commitment to training local labour.
  • The extension of the labour agreement pathway to all ASCO 5 – 7 occupations, to ensure that employers using the 457 visa program to access these occupations satisfy obligations on local training and employment.

Take the free online skilled assessment to see if you are eligible to emigrate to Australia. 

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

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