Publish Date: Mar 25, 2013

The Minister for Immigration recently announced a review of the requirements for hiring overseas workers on subclass 457 visas.

The Minister for Immigration announced this review following an industrial dispute at Werribee which centred on the use of subclass 457 visa holders when suitably qualified Australian workers were available.

When announcing the review, the Minister for Immigration highlighted the need for Australian workers to be given a "fair go".

The review will look at introducing a requirement that employers demonstrate that there is a genuine shortage of workers in a particular industry, raising the English language requirement and providing more resources to the Department of Immigration to undertake compliance audits to ensure that employers are not abusing the subclass 457 visa stream.

The Liberal Senator, Arthur Sinodinos, was noncommittal about whether the Coalition would support any plan to tighten up the availability of subclass 457 visas.

If you are thinking about recruiting people from overseas you should be aware that changes to the system may be in the pipeline.

At the moment businesses that are already approved to employ people on a subclass 457 visas need to show that there is a genuine need for the employee, that the employee will be retained on terms that are no less favourable than an equivalent Australian employee and that the foreign worker has the necessary skills and the ability to carry out the main duties of the position.

Our immigration lawyers have a wealth of experience advising Australian and overseas businesses, as well as prospective employees about the process of obtaining long-term work visas for foreign nationals. We work closely with our clients to ensure that they are fully informed of the consequences of employing a foreign national or, in the case of the employee, their rights while working in Australia. We can also assist in presenting the information necessary to obtain a visa and preparing the application itself.

If you want advice from our Australian immigration lawyers, please contact us immediately on +61 2 8268 4000.

Article written February 2013. The law may have changed when you read this. Phone us for up-to-date advice.
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