May 15, 2013

The Australian Government has released its 2013 national budget to include the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) raising its Subclass 457 Visa application fee from AUD455 (approx. US$ 452) to AUD900 (approx. US$894).  The increased fee will be charged for all new Subclass 457 visa applications filed on or after July 1, 2013.  In addition, the Minister of Immigration has also announced that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is scheduled to receive increased funding to more effectively monitor employer immigration compliance.

Change to the Subclass 457 Visa Application Fee

The Subclass 457 Visa is a long-stay business visa issued to foreign skilled workers nominated by either On-Shore (Australian) or Off-Shore (Overseas) employers for positions that cannot be readily filled by hiring qualified Australian citizens or permanent residents.

As part of its press release, one of the announcements made by the Government is that on July 1, 2013, there will be a very significant increase to the 457 Visa application fee charged by the DIAC.

The fee will increase from the current $455 to $900.  No announcements have yet been made about increasing the Standard Business Sponsorship fee (currently $420 or US$417) or the 457 Nomination fee (currently $85 or US$84).

“Genuineness Criterion”/Increased Oversight of Employers

Australia’s Immigration Minister, Brendan O’Connor, has advised that the increase in the 457 Visa fees will also help to fund the FWO to reduce perceived non-compliance by companies.

The DIAC intends to scrutinize nominated positions to ensure that Australian companies cannot genuinely hire Australian citizen/permanent resident to fill a job on offer. However, according to the DIAC, “the vast majority of 457 visa applicants who are genuine will not be affected by the changes.”

Details regarding how the DIAC intends to increase immigration compliance by employers can be found here.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

The increase in the Subclass 457 Visa application fee could prove burdensome for large companies filing high-volume applications or for the “one-off” applications filed by small companies.  The increased fee should be taken in consideration when accounting for the overall cost of an assignment in Australia.

Companies should also bear in mind that, in order to promote job growth for Australians, the Australian Government and the DIAC will be targeting a reduction in overall migration to include hiring of overseas skilled workers.  By increasing the 457 visa application fee, this will create new funding to the FWO to increase these new immigration compliance efforts.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management. Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in Australia to provide you this update.

Information contained in this Global Brief is prepared using  information obtained from various media outlets, government publications and our  KGNM network of immigration professionals. Written permission from the copyright  owner and any other rights holders must be obtained for any reuse of any content  posted or published by Pro-Link GLOBAL that extends beyond fair use or other  statutory exemptions. Furthermore, responsibility for the determination of the  copyright status and securing permission rests with those persons wishing to  reuse the materials. Interested parties are welcome to contact the Knowledge  Management Department (km@pro-linkglobal.com) with any additional  requests for information or to request reproduction of this  material.