Reforms for temporary work visa program are expected

A few positives in the reforms for temporary work visa program are expected.

Tony Abbott, The Australian Prime Minister announced last week his plans to make changes to the 457 scheme (temporary work visa) to make the visa process more flexible and efficient for business.

Cabinet has shown support for the 457 visa program, and an agreement with business’ concerns that its over regulation has hindered its potential to improve productivity.

The effects of the reforms should begin to reach employers over the next twelve months.

  1. The process of sponsorship for the program will be streamlined, with applicant monitoring and regulation being reduced for low-risk applicants and focussed on those who are deemed high-risk. This will make the process easier and more efficient for employers who source talent from low-risk countries such as (Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (SAR), Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of San Marino,, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom – British Citizen, United Kingdom – British National (Overseas), United States of America, Vatican City.)
  2. Sponsorship requirements will be reformed, ensuring that businesses that opt to hire internationally save time and money in doing so. Included in these reforms will be a much needed increase in the flexibility of the evidencing of candidates’ English language proficiency.
  3. The changes to the program will also increase sponsorship approval periods for start-up businesses to 18 months.

Source: HC online

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