Employer-sponsored visas: what's new

On 1 July 2013 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection introduced a number of changes to employer sponsored visa programs and implemented visa fee increases across a variety of visa subclasses. On this web page is an overview of the key changes likely to affect the University.

Changes to subclass 457 visa program

English language requirements

The exemption from meeting English language requirements has been restricted to the following:

  • applicants who are nationals of New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and the USA.
  • applicants with a base rate of pay above $96,400 per annum.
  • there are no professional licensing / registration / membership requirements for the position, and the applicant has completed five years or more of consecutive full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where all the instruction was in English.

All other subclass 457 visa applicants will be required to meet English language requirements prior to submitting their visa application. This is likely to result in:

  • a delay in the commencement date to enable visa applicants to undergo testing and obtain results before lodging their visa application. The University recommends commencement dates should be no less than four months from the date of signing the offer of employment which may need extending if there is a delay in testing or visa application processing.
  • current staff members who need to apply for a second subclass 457 visa will need commence the process at least three months prior to their current visa expiry date.

Labour market testing

When the new labour market testing legislation becomes effective (which is expected to be around November 2013), if the University wishes to nominate an international candidate for a subclass 457 visa, it will be required to provide evidence that over the previous four-month period it was unable to identify a suitable Australian citizen or permanent resident who had the skills and experience to perform the role. Details of relevant redundancies over this four-month period will also need to be reported.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be releasing full details of the new requirements. However, once the legislation is introduced, if the relevant documentation is not provided for the full four-month period, nominations and visa applications could be delayed. Whilst the government has indicated that some exemptions from labour market testing may be available, pending clarification, we recommend an external recruitment campaign considered for any role for which an overseas candidate may be sought. Please contact SydneyRecruitment for guidance with recruitment.

Immigration fee increases and additional fees

Subclass 457 visa program - employment

  • Employer nomination fee has increased from $85 to $330 per nomination.
  • Visa applicant fees have increased from $455 to $900 for the primary applicant.
  • Secondary applicant charges of $900 per adult and $265 per child have been implemented.

Employer Nomination Scheme – Permanent Residency

  • Secondary applicants must now pay individual fees - $1,530 per adult and $765 per child.

Training and Research visa – Visiting Academics and Occupational Trainees

  • Secondary applicants must now pay individual fees - $160 per adult and $80 per child

Temporary visas – Subsequent Temporary Application Charge

  • If visa holders apply for a second or subsequent temporary visa whilst located in Australia, Department of Immigration and Border Protection will charge a Subsequent Temporary Application fee of $700 per person in addition to the visa application fees.