Good news! It’s become easier for you to fulfil your dreams and make the move Down Under!
The Australian government has recently implemented changes to the sub 457 visa, more commonly known as the working visa. The review of the working visa has come about in an attempt to boost the Australian economy by attracting more skilled foreign workers.
What is the 457 visa?
The working visa allows thousands of skilled prospective expatriates to move to Australia on a temporary basis.
Upon applying, businesses will pay to sponsor applicants to travel over and work for them for a maximum of 4 years. This process is highly beneficial for both the business and the employee alike, as it combats the shortage of skilled workers in the local labour markets, which has become a more pronounced issue of late. Overseas candidates who possess skills in joinery or the culinary industry, to name a few, are highly desirable and for many Australian businesses, this is an opportunity that cannot be missed.
Additionally, the exchange allows individuals from other countries to temporarily reside in a fantastic country that they have always wanted to live in. The promise of a stable job means that candidates have a regular income of up to $53,900 per annum, which makes it a lot easier to find residency, something that can be challenging for a traveller who doesn’t have a steady income.
Monitoring high-risk applicants
The government’s revision of the visa aims to crack down on high-risk applicants for good.
High-risk applicants are categorised as individuals who have a poor grasp of the English language, hold criminal convictions, do not possess health insurance and have no desire to legitimately work once they enter the country. The government ensures that stricter monitoring processes will decrease the amount of high-risk applicants being granted a visa.
However, it works both ways, as some employers have been caught exploiting the visa too. Vulnerable skilled workers have been tricked into paying excessive fees to unauthorised migration agents who set up fake contracts with businesses. Leaving the poor employee to potentially travel thousands of miles across the ocean, only to find that they have no job or even accommodation to live in on arrival.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the government also aims to reward low-risk applicants by speeding up the visa process. This means that if you have no criminal convictions, health insurance and a good level of English, you could find yourself sunbathing on the Gold Coast sooner than you think.
Changes to the English proficiency requirements
In the past, the acceptance of your visa application depended upon your level of English language skills.
Immigrants used to have to be able to score at least 5 on the IELTS test across the main areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing to be accepted. However, since the review, the Australian government has claimed that this level is not always necessary.
Applicants should be granted a visa providing that they can speak English to a good enough standard and efficiently perform the role they are being sponsored to do.
Before you go
If you are skilled in a particular trade and you’ve got your heart set on moving to Australia, then the 457 visa is the document for you.
The changes have made it more accessible for low-risk applicants, and the relaxation of the English-speaking policy has given many applicants the opportunity to gain entry when they wouldn't have been able to before.
However, there are still things to look out for. Before you make the plunge make sure you have a legitimate employer and you are happy with the role you will be working as for the next 4 years. A registered migration agent can put your fears to rest, they will help you fill in the paperwork, send off the right documents and streamline the whole process.
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