Skilled workers may be eligible for fast-tracked residency

Date: May 18, 2011

Demand for skilled labour could see some workers currently in Australia on a 457 visa have their residency applications accelerated in certain circumstances, according to the government.

The Australian reported that any workers holding this type of visa who were employed for a two-year period in a regional area could see their residency applications fast-tracked if their skills were required for a further 24 months.

Mick McMahon, chief executive of labour hire company Skilled Group remarked on Inside Business on ABC TV this week that while a longer-term solution would be to train Australian workers to do these skilled jobs, the new visa announcement could incentivise skilled workers to consider a move Down Under to help bridge this gap.

In particular, diesel fillers, electricians, mechanics and high-end welders were identified as high-demand roles in many remote regions.

Mr McMahon commented that his firm estimates that approximately 40 per cent of the positions it fills are in Western Australia, particularly the oil, gas, mining and resources sector.

Infrastructure and telecoms are other popular areas for workers, he added.

A 457 visa - which is also referred to as a temporary business long stay visa - is the most commonly-used program for employers to sponsor international workers in Australia.

This visa allows employers to sponsor overseas workers for specific roles to fill nominated skilled positions.

457 visas allow employees that meet select criteria - usually related to skills, qualifications, experience and English language proficiency, as well as health and character requirements - to work in Australia for a period ranging from one day to four years.

Whether you are an employer or an employee considering a 457 visa in Australia, a trusted immigration lawyer can help you prepare your application.

Many businesses, community organisations and government agencies choose to enlist the services of a migration lawyer to ensure the visa application process is as smooth as possible.

There are several advantages to working with migration lawyers rather than an immigration agency without a legal background.

Specialised training ensures your immigration lawyer is able to present the facts, argue a case and can provide guidance for all of the visa applications available under Australian law.

You will want to ensure your lawyer has an honest and open policy when it comes to advising on the prospects of a case - they can give you a realistic assessment of the success of your application.