Government responds to inquiry into 457 visa program

The Australian government this month responded to last year’s inquiry into the 457 visa program.

The inquiry, commissioned on 25 February 20145, resulted in an extensive report – published in September 2014. The inquiry focused on the integrity of the program.

The inquiry worked to five key principles (see page 6 of the report [PDF]):

  1. Respect by all parties for the rights and the obligations of 457 visa holders;
  2. Transparency, responsiveness and factual evidence as bases for determination of the 457 occupation list;
  3. Encouragement of productivity and discouragement of misuse through the streamlining and refining of departmental processes;
  4. Simplicity in, and national benefit from, the employer training requirement; and
  5. Strength of monitoring and sanctions.

The government announced that it will act on the recommendations made in the report.

Some of the key recommendations in the report included:

  • removal of employer-initiated labour-market testing, on the grounds that it is open to misuse
  • a requirement that the cost of training cannot be passed to the visa holder
  • changing the period of time for notifiable events, to be extended to 28 days post-event
  • requiring all visa holders to receive a summary of their rights as a visa holder, and a copy of Fair Work Australia’s Fair Work Information Statement
  • obliging the provision of the visa holder’s Tax File Number, to more easily enable information sharing across government departments
  • … and much more besides.

You can read more about the Australian government’s response on their website, where you will also find links to the report from the inquiry.


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