457 visa policy update
Amendments to policy regarding evidence of Labour Market Testing (LMT)
If an applicant is not exempt from the LMT requirements and international trade obligations do not apply, evidence indicating that LMT has been completed within the prescribed period must be provided - i.e. evidence of any advertising and details of the fees paid or payable for that advertising.
In accordance with the Migration Act, nominations must be 'accompanied by' this evidence. The Department considers that 'accompanied by' means that this evidence must be provided at the time the application is made. As a result, policy arrangements have been that if LMT evidence is not provided on the same day, the applicant's application will be refused.
As outlined in the Nominations PAM to be released on 14 October 2016, from now on, the Department will, however, accept LMT evidence where provided on the same day as lodgment OR the next day.
These are interim arrangements until further systems enhancements can be delivered in 2017 (TBC) to facilitate pre-lodgment attachments. They are designed to ensure a consistent approach to processing LMT evidence and acknowledge delays that can occur due to technical issues and/or BPAY payments.
Condition 8107 change
Subject to the approval of necessary changes to the Migration Regulations 1994 and approval by the Governor-General, from 19 November 2016 the period that a primary subclass 457 visa holder can remain in Australia after their employment ceases will be reduced from 90 days to 60 days. This change would apply to subclass 457 visas granted on, or after, 19 November 2016.
Minor changes to new sponsorship accreditation arrangements
The 'Visa Grant Threshold' characteristic
One of the characteristics that accredited sponsors must meet is to 'have sponsored at least ten primary 457 visa holders in the 24 months prior to the application for accreditation'.
Going forward, the Department will be taking a more flexible approach. The current visa grant threshold will be replaced by a 'Sponsorship Volume Threshold' – with an applicant required to have had nominations for at least ten primary 457 visa holders approved in the 24 months prior to their sponsorship application being made.
What should be covered in a salary table?
Accredited sponsors must specify salary rates for their Australian employees in an Enterprise Agreement (EA) or internal salary table.
When constructing these salary tables to apply for accredited sponsorship, applicants should ensure that they detail salaries against the occupations as they appear in ANZSCO, and not against an internal business structure. The table should also cover occupations for which the sponsor has previously used the subclass 457 visa programme, or intends to do so.
When does the Department need to be provided with a copy of new template contracts?
Approved accredited sponsors must employ all their 457 visa holders under a written contract of employment (or an assignment letter in the case of an intracompany transferee).
Applicants for accreditation must provide the Department with a copy of the template contract (or letter) that they use.