Australia announced replacements to its skilled visa program in a bid to ensure that the program was not misused but rather utilized for meeting the shortage in skills in the country. According to the Ministry of Immigration and Border Protection, the Australian government will act on the suggestions of a recently published independent review, belonging to 457 visa category in order to bolster integrity and make sure that workers in Australia are given priority and support of employers.
The committee was given the task of examining compliance within the 457 visa by sponsors of foreign workers such that the program would be utilized for the purpose for which it stood, that is, to meet the skill shortages of the Australian labor market. This revised panel held extensive consultations across Australia with over 140 shareholders and accepting 189 written compliances that was inclusive of unions, academics, businesses and industry bodies.
Highlighted recommendations of the review include aiming employers who misuse the program, higher transparency with regards to the department’s sanction processes and energetic sharing of information amongst vital government bodies. The government has come up with a new penalty and is hoping to implement it on those who make unlawful for sponsors to accept payment in lieu of sponsoring for a worker under 457 type visas.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will work in tandem with the Australian Taxation Office to ensure that immigrant workers under this visa get their fixed salary without any cuts. These recommendations will be implemented throughout 2015.