Top 3 things To Look Out For When Responding To Recent 457 Visa Program Changes

By Amanda Tinner
June 2017

With so many changes to the Australian visa program already implemented and further changes to be implemented over the next nine months, what should HR people now be asking themselves, what should they be planning for and what should they be telling the business?

Longer Lead Times

Looking at the changes we have had in April and what we can expect on 1 July and next March, what is the most important take away for HR teams to plan for?  Longer period of time to on board staff from overseas.  I would advise you to look at time frames around the 4-6 months mark before you could expect a 457 visa holder to be in your office and ready for work . Why? Well these are the changes coming up and I have highlighted and commented on what will add to delays.

From 1 July 2017, police clearance certificates will be mandatory for each applicant aged 18 and over where they have spent 12 months or more in one country in the last 10 years.  Lets say you have a candidate who is a UK citizen and during the last ten years they have lived in the US for more than 1 year.  There are 2 police certificates they need to apply for (UK and USA).  The FBI can take up to 6 months if they don’t live in the US.

From March 2018, labour market testing (LMT) will be mandatory for all 457 visa applications, unless an international obligation applies such as a Trade Agreement.  What does this mean as far as time lines are concerned?  At the moment, Australia has several Trade Agreements with countries such as Japan and South Korea.  If your candidate does not hold a passport from a country that Australia has a Trade Agreement with then it is likely that the business will have to advertise the role.  To ascertain exactly who and what occupations will require LMT will entail a front end assessment.  To add to the time frames, the LMT must be done before the visa application is lodged.

Level of uncertainty

With approved occupation lists now in the hands of the Department of Education and Training, we can expect a more fluid movement of what is hot and what is not.

The hot occupations will go on to the long term list and be approved for a stay of 4 years. This visa may lead to employer-sponsored permanent residence after three (3) years in Australia

For the not so hot occupations (i.e. not in demand), the visa will be approved for 2 years with a possibility of another 2 years and no further visa.

HR are now faced with the prospect of offering a 2 or 4 year contract with no certainty of another visa.  The hook of a possible sponsorship for residency should no longer be on your agenda.  Just a simple, “we will see what happens in 2 or 4  years time “is all you can offer at the moment.

More Cost

We have been advised that 1 July each year, Visa Application Charges will increase by CPI.

March next year will see the obligation to show the 1% spend on training levy disappear and be replaced with a fee per nomination implemented.  What does this mean ?  Each time a nomination is lodged for a 457 , the business will have to pay with $1200 or $1800 for each year the visa is granted.  The amount of the levy depends on the annual turnover of the business.

Below is a calculation of expected costs for a family of 4 applying for a 2 year 457 visa  lodged post March 2018: –

  • DIBP Nomination Fee $330
  • DIBP Application fee for the principal applicant $1,080
  • DIBP Application fee for the spouse $1,080
  • DIBP application fee for the child (over 18 years) $1,080
  • DIBP application fees for the child under 18 years $270
  • Training Levy fund (applicant works for BHP) $3,600

TOTAL AUD $7,440


Amanda Tinner
Visa Executive Pty Ltd

MARN 0325139
Fellow of the MIA

Mob: +61 (0) 409 969 525
Skype: trounson


About the Author:

The Employee Mobility Institute is Australia’s peak industry body specifically focused on global workforce management, including talent mobility. Its mission is to advocate, promote, represent and support the growth of the Australian / New Zealand Talent Mobility Industry.

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