From 19 November 2016 the period that a subclass 457 visa holder may remain in Australia after their employment ceases will be reduced from 90 days to 60 days.
The change will assist in ensuring that the 457 programme meets its intent of acting as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, Australian workers.
The change will also reduce the vulnerability of 457 visa holders, who are only permitted to work for an approved sponsor and who are not eligible for unemployment benefits, from entering into informal employment arrangements.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the Australian Government is committed to ensuring that Australian workers have priority and to reducing the potential for temporary visa holders to be exploited.
“This change is about reducing competition from overseas workers for those Australians who are actively looking for work” Mr Dutton said.
“The Government values the contribution made by the many skilled persons who work in Australia on 457 visas, but where there is an Australian worker ready, willing and able to perform a role it is the Government’s policy that they have priority”
The Government’s approach compares with that of the former Labor Government, which increased the time that 457 visa holders may remain in Australia when they cease employment from 28 days to 90 days in June 2013.
“When Labor’s Shadow Minister for Employment Brendan O’Connor was Immigration Minister he extended the time from 28 days to 90 days citing a need to allow 457 workers more time
‘to look for another job’. This is yet another example of Labor selling Australian workers short.
“The Subclass 457 programme was not effectively managed by Labor, as with so many other areas of government
“Labor’s mismanagement saw the Subclass 457 programme grow from around 68,000 primary visa holders at the end of June 2010 to more than 110,000 when they were removed from office.
In comparison, under the Coalition the number of 457 visa holders in Australia has fallen by around 13,000, while over the same period almost half a million new jobs have been created for Australian workers”
“This outcome is not by accident – and it is yet another example of the Coalition cleaning up Labor’s mess”
The reduction from 90 days to 60 days will apply to 457 visas granted on, or after, 19 November 2016.
Upon coming to Government the Coalition undertook an independent review of the subclass 457 visa and has been implementing recommendations of that review since.
This change to 457 visa arrangements is part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to ensure integrity in the programme. The regulations were made in October for commencement on Saturday.