The Australian government has
recently announced changes to some of the rules of the Subclass 457
Visa, including extended sponsorship periods, a reduced market salary
threshold, an extended notification period and more flexible English
language testing requirements.
The changes implement some of the recommendations of last year’s independent review of the 457 Visa, most of which have been accepted by the government
Business Sponsorship Terms
The period of standard business sponsorship has been extended from three to five years, and for start-up businesses the period has been extended from 12 to 18 months.
Market Salary Exemption Threshold
Applicants earning above A$180,000 (previously A$250,000) are now exempt from the requirement that their salary is in line with market salary rates. The threshold has been adjusted to match the threshold for the top rate of income tax.
Notification of Changes
The timeframe for approved business sponsors to notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of any changes in a 457 visa holder's work duties, or cessation of employment, has been extended from 10 days to 28 days. This change has been made to allow sufficient tim for compliance with the notification requirements, and to align with other comparable reporting periods that must be met by businesses.
English Language Testing
The government has slightly relaxed the English language requirement rules as follows: