THE AUSTRALIAN Government has publicly released the report of the independent 457 Visa Integrity Review Panel, noting its 22 recommendations support ‘robust new foundations’ for Australia’s key temporary skilled migration program.

Releasing the report yesterday (September 10), Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the Coalition government “is committed to ensuring the 457 programme is optimised to meet the needs of both the Australian community and the business sector”.

Senator Cash, who is a keynote speaker at next week’s AMMA 2014 Skilled Migration Conference, said almost 200 submissions were received and 150 organisations from various stakeholder groups were consulted.

Click here to read the review’s full report and recommendations, many of which directly reflect suggestions made by AMMA in its submission to the Review Panel.

Some of the most important proposed changes for resource employers include:

  • New processes to speed up the negotiation process for skilled migration labour agreements;
  • A reduction in the cut-off for market salary rate comparisons from the current $250,000 to $180,000 (its former level);
  • More practical and flexible standards for English language testing; and
  • The removal of Labour Market Testing requirements when lodging a 457 visa application.

While the government will announce a detailed response to the review panel’s recommendations shortly, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, yesterday flagged early support for the first three changes listed above.

However, when questioned by media after his formal speech, Minister Morrison said the government would likely not support the ‘complete removal’ of Labour Market Testing. In today’s press, the Minister indicated this is largely guided by the position of crossbench Senators, whom have flagged opposition to any legislation that seeks to remove Labour Market Testing from the skilled migration program.

AMMA will provide a more detailed analysis of the 457 Visa Review Panel’s recommendations in next week’s News Update. In the meantime, any members with urgent enquiries should contact AMMA’s policy team via [email protected] or 1300 627 771.

Click here to read coverage of this matter in today’s Australian Financial Review.
Click here to read AMMA’s press release issued yesterday in response to Minister Morrison’s speech.
Click here to read AMMA’s Submission to the 457 Visa Integrity Review Panel.
Click here for Minister Morrison’s written Press Club speech.

2014 AMMA Skilled Migration Conference

This coming Tuesday, September 16, AMMA will give its members direct access to key decision makers and administrators of the 457 visa program at its 2014 Skilled Migration Conference in Perth.

Speakers include:

  • The minister in charge of the 457 Visa Review, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Senator Michaelia Cash, who will detail the government’s future plans for skilled migration, including the 457 scheme.
  • Jenny Lambert, ACCI Director and Panel member of the 457 Visa Integrity Review, who will provide further insight into the review’s findings and recommendations in relation to industry training needs.
  • David Wilden, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Immigration & Border Protection’s Skilled Migration Branch, offering unique practical insights into recent and impending policy changes.
  • Jules Pedrosa, AMMA’s Migration Services Manager, who will provide you with practical tips to assist you as a practitioner in this space.

Click here to see the full list of outstanding speakers at the 2014 AMMA Skilled Migration Conference and secure your tickets today! There’s still time to register.