Employer sponsored visas have been a controversial issue since an integrity report was released in September 2014. The 457 visa scheme in particular has come under heavy scrutiny, especially with recent examples of visa abuse such as the 7-Eleven franchise scandal. Since 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been closely scrutinizing approved visa holders and their business sponsors and have strengthened their assessment criteria to prevent future abuse.

New policies from the Department include:

•    Greater scrutiny of  ‘self-sponsorship’ for  457-visas.
•    Increased scrutiny of businesses who wish to apply for business sponsorship.
•    Greater requests for the ‘genuineness’ of the nominated position

In 2017, these stricter requirements will continue to effect 457 visa applications-employers and applicants should therefore tread carefully when considering this visa option.

As well as increased scrutiny, 2017 will see a reduced list of occupations eligible for nomination, with the following jobs possibly being removed this year:

  • Cafe or Restaurant Managers.
  • Customer Service Managers.
  • Project and Programme Administrators.

As well as facing clampdowns at a federal level, state governments have also begun to impose their own requirements for 457 visa holders. As of January 1st, the South Australian state government is requiring 457 visa holders to pay school fees for any children who are attending public schools. These fees are based on the income level of the visa holder and the number of children in  their family.

It remains to be seen whether this year will see further restrictions on employer sponsored visas; however, it is certain that it will remain to be an issue of contention for 2017 and beyond.

AIMS consists of a team of expert migration agents and solicitors who provide professional assistance to people who intend to migrate to Australia or Australian residents and citizens who wish to bring their family here. Whether you are seeking to study, work or establish a business in Australia, we can advise you on your options and assist you in securing the right visa.  For more information or to set up a consultation with one of our agents, give AIMS a call on 03-9078 6819 or email us at team@thinkvisa.com.au.