Latest News

Government to fast track 457 visas

The Government is looking to attract more skilled overseas workers by fast tracking changes to the 457 visa system.

It is also reportedly doubling the work period employees can be sponsored, from three to six years, according to NineMSN.

Chris Bowen, the immigration minister, said a new accreditation scheme for the foreign worker visas will begin next week, on 7 November.

"This will continue to ensure that the 457 program is responsive to the economic cycle and provides a flexible avenue for employers to fill immediate and short-term skill vacancies, while maintaining opportunities and conditions for Australian workers," Bowen said.

The announcement comes as four in five Western Australian companies say they are planning to hire overseas workers in the next 12 months, according to audit firm KPMG.

The KPMG study said the influx of skilled migrants was due to the growing skills shortage problem across the country.

It said skills shortages were growing in every state except Queensland, and had affected 61 per cent of surveyed employers, up ten per cent from last year.

WA’s intake of 457 visa workers rose 85 per cent in July compared with the same month last year.

Bowen explained that part of this rise in numbers is due to improved processing times.

"Average processing times for 457 visa applications are also 30 per cent lower than they were in 2006-07 – down from 31 to 22 days," he said.

"Our aim is to see 457 visas processed within 10 days."

The majority of workers on these visas are coming from the UK and Ireland.

[This article originally appeared in Australian Mining.]

Send this to a friend