Salary threshold to rise for 457 visa applicants

Date: Jul 01, 2011

The salary threshold requirement for 457 visa applicants has been increased by 3.9 per cent, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) announced today.

According to the department, the move will affect all new nominations applying for this type of temporary employer-sponsored work visa.

In accordance with the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures on average weekly earnings across the country, the temporary skilled migration income threshold - often abbreviated by the department as TSMIT - will rise from $47,480 to $49,330.

This figure excludes superannuation payments and other pay bonuses.

One DIAC spokesman commented that the changes to the 457 visa program, which is "highly responsive to the Australian labour market", will ensure overseas workers are only brought in where there are "genuine" skills shortages.

The salary changes also ensure that overseas workers are not exploited, ensuring fair wages and conditions for Australian and temporary foreign workers.

He added: "This annual change ensures that new nominated salaries for the subclass 457 program keep pace with wage inflation.

"If market salary rates for the position are below the new threshold, the position will not be eligible for the 457 program."

Those who are already in Australia on 457 visas will be unaffected by the change - unless they change employers and therefore require a new visa nomination.

The changes are not likely to affect processing times for 457 visa applications, which have a current median of 22 days.

The DIAC also announced that the 3.9 per cent index will be applied to the salary threshold at which English language testing requirements for 457 visa applicants are waived. The figure will increase to $88,410. Applicants have to undergo an English language test if they do not come from a majority English-speaking country.

If you are an employer looking to sponsor an overseas worker under the 457 visa program, you may wish to consult a skilled immigration lawyer to find out how best to proceed.

Migration lawyers can give you a realistic assessment of the outcome of your case and if you choose to proceed with an application, they can help you through every step of the process.

Your immigration lawyer can also ensure that all your information is in order before you submit your application to the DIAC and can provide you with support and legal guidance so you can feel confident of a positive outcome.