Australia temporary work visa changes

July 29, 2015
A slew of changes took place to obtain short-term visas for those seeking to work in Australia for the last six months. In addition to regular subclass 457 visa options for working on a temporary basis in Australia, the recent changes in Australia immigration, may now offer subclass 400 visa to be appropriate in some circumstances.

Subclass 400 visa-longer visa terms

The temporary subclass 400 work visa is a short term work visa given to a fixed term for highly specialized assignments; changes to subclass 400 visa are in effect from November 23, 2014. Subclass 400 visa does not require an employer sponsorship and has fewer requirements than subclass 457 temporary skilled work visa. Now it is possible to apply for subclass 400 visa for six months of stay. Previously, only maximum stay of six weeks was allowed, in special circumstances it extends to three months.

To obtain subclass 400 work visa, a strong business case must be put forth, applicants must also show the evidence that their presence shall not adversely impact the Australian workers including their remuneration according to Australian wages.

Changes on Australia temporary work visa requirements

Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) considers the evidence that special expertise or advice from overseas required includes to show the shortage of Australian workers, evidence that an applicant employer unsuccessfully tried to hire an Australian worker for the proposed requirement.

In general, the six-month subclass 400 visa terms granted under exceptional circumstances, if likely the assignment extends beyond six months a subclass 457 visa should be requested. Further, it is difficult to obtain a second subclass 400 visa for the same requirement and duties

Changes in subclass 457 visa

Subclass 457 skilled visa (Temporary work) is a choice in case a subclass 400 visa cannot suitable for the proposed work assignment. The Australian government on March 18, 2015, announced the following recommendations.  

A minimum average score of 5 across all four competencies in International English Language Testing system (IELTS) for the 457 work visa applicant with a continuous study for four years in an English speaking institution rather than the previous five years of cumulative study requirement.

For Standard business sponsors, the approval terms have increased from three to five years and twelve to eighteen months for start-up business sponsor.

However, some recommendations that require consultation with the stakeholders may not come into force before 2016. In overall, there are positive changes to maintain the integrity of the 457 visa program. Easing the terms and regulations would reduce the administrative burden to both applicants and employers.

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