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Notable Changes In The Subclass 457 Visa Scheme
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Recently, on the 1st of July 2013, some crucial changes were introduced in the 457 program and it is essential that every employer sponsoring their employees towards this visa should be aware of these changes. It is expected that these changes will have a significant effect on the way in which businesses have previously used these programs. Some of the expected impact of these programs is discussed below:
Even the applications that were lodged before 1st July 2013 and have not been decided upon will not be provided any exemption from the new requirements that are outlined below:
Application fee: It is found that a great increase has been brought about in the application fee to be paid towards 457 Australian Visa. Earlier the fee for 457 visa was $455 and now it is $900. For 457 nomination, it was $80 and now it is $330. The fee towards SBS approval remains the same. Earlier, no fee was charged for 457 dependant irrespective of whether they are under 18 or over 18, but now the fee is $255 and $900 respectively. Earlier, there was no fee for onshore extension, but now, it is $700. So, the total new fee is $3505, which was $955 earlier.
Sponsorship cap: Earlier, Standard business sponsors were provided the opportunity to sponsor any number of employees under 457 Australian Visa. But, now, they will have to justify the number of workers to be sponsored as a part of the approval process. Only the immigration department will decide on the number of workers that an employer will be able to sponsor. There will be a specific limit and once this cap is reached, the employer will have to apply again for altering the terms to permit sponsoring of more employees.
Newly established businesses: Earlier, the validity period lasted for three years and employers were able to sponsor subclass 457 visa holders for a maximum period of four years. From July 2013, newly established businesses with less than one year of existence can get approval only for 12 months. For more details in this respect, businesses can get in touch with contractor management companies, who can provide the right kind of information in this respect.
Sponsorship training requirement: From the date of approval, the training obligation will be valid for 12 months. For meeting the obligation, it is essential that businesses will have to keep the complete records of training.
As mentioned earlier, further details in this respect can be obtained from contractor management companies.
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