457 Visa Changes, A Cause For Alarm?

Yesterday, the Australian federal government announced a sweeping reform to the 457 visa, with Malcolm Turnbull claiming that this change was aimed at putting the needs of Australian workers first.

Approximately 200 professions were removed from the list, impacting small and large business as a result of this decision. This does not impact the 95,000 skilled migrants currently in Australia who would be unaffected and still be able to apply for permanent Australian residency at the end of four years.

Unlike the current visa arrangement, the replacement – a two year temporary visa specifically designed to recruit the ‘most brilliant and the best’ will not allow for permanent residency at the end.

The announcement has certainly brought forward a backlash toward the decision, where feathers have been ruffled in all areas of business. The humble caravan park, in a distant location, for example, may struggle for the very help that is their lifeblood. Some jobs are deemed undesirable by local Australians, and foreign workers under the 457 visa fill the gap.

Keeping aware of all the different changes to the program will be beneficial to businesses, especially those who rely on skilled migrant workers. Whilst this group only represents less than 1 percent of all workers in the workforce, and they are reducing in numbers, the consequences can greatly impact a business enterprise.