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Decline of 457 Visa puts minister under pressure

November 2013, 02
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The number of applicants applying for the 457 visa has decreased since the Gillard government has out measures in place to crack down on this controversial work permit visa.
The biggest construction union of Australia has demanded Minister of Immigration Scott Morrison to give an answer and say if the labor governments labour market testing laws will still be in place or if they will be removed. The labor governments law said from January all employers who call employees from abroad must first prove that they have advertised the jobs locally in Australia before they can offer a international citizen a 457 visa. They must prove in various ways that they have first offered the job in Australia.
457 Visa Applicants
Based on the new immigration department figures visa data was compiled by the Mining and Energy Union, Construction and Forestry. Since the new laws have been introduced, the request from employers have dropped by 13%. Employers in 2003 had called 40,000 overseas employees and in the last financial year the figure has risen to 81,550. Skilled workers can be called into Australia through the 457 visa and they can work in Australia for four years. The visa figures rose to 110,000 just before the recession in 2008.
The job should not only be compulsorily advertised but it also gives empowerment to 300 Fair work ombudsman inspectors to carry out police rotting of the scheme. A overseas citizen who lost their sponsorship could file for a new one in 90 dates, whereas in the old one it was 28 days.
From June-September, 23,450 requests were received from employers for those visas, which was a decrease by 3500. In june the requests were at a peak with 12,000 applying, because applicants and employers wanted to skip the fees increase from July. The fees were increased from $ 455 to $ 1035. For businesses it increased from $ 85 to $ 330. Dave Noonan the union's national construction division secretary said that Mr Morrison will have to confirm that the labour testing laws wont be changed. In that case, employers can legally get 457 visas, and don't have to advertise locally.
To please their business backers Mr Morrison had given a sign that the Abbott government is trying to avoid the new rule of advertising before applying for a visa for an overseas citizen. The office of Mr Morrison has not responded to any queries about the issue. An opposition spokesperson says that the Australians want all employers to advertise locally before getting an overseas skilled worker.

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