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16 Dec 2016

How Labor leader, Bill Shorten plans to tighten 457 visa rules

Mr Bill Shorten is arguing the 457 work visa program is putting locals out of work and says he has a ‘comprehensive plan’ to address Australia’s unemployment rate.

His plans include more strict requirements for businesses to test the local labour market before employing visa holders, and a review of the way in which the government determines the list of skilled occupations, which allows 457 visas to be granted. Here’s three ways he plans to tighten the 457 temporary work visa program under a Labor government:

1. Jobs will need to be advertised for a minimum of four weeks and under more strict labour market testing obligations. There will be a toughening on job advertisements that target only overseas workers or specified visa class workers, as well as advertisements that set skills and experience that are believed to be unrealistic and unwarranted for vacant positions.

2. Business sponsors who have more than a set proportion of 457 visa holders in their total workforce will be required to employ 457 workers under a labour agreement instead of as a standard business sponsor. Specifically, Mr Shorten says the rule should apply to specific sectors, such as sponsors in the construction sector who currently have more than 15% of their workforce comprised of 457 visa holders, and those with five or more 457 visa holders.

3. Mr Shorten also promised a Labor government would more strongly enforce licensing requirements and skills assessments of 457 visa workers in occupations where it is mandatory to hold a licence, registration or membership.

Mr Shorten also recently proposed a private bill to parliament that includes a requirement for employers to advertise jobs locally against a more strict criteria and for longer periods of time before allowing offshore recruitment.

The Coalition has responded to Labor’s plans with a its own promises to tighten rules for skilled foreign workers as part of an overhaul of Australia’s visa system.

Read our post about the effects of proposed visa changes on 457 visa holders according to Australian migration journalist, Peter Mares.

Source: The Guardian.


Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).


Filed in: Visas

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