Major Changes to the 457 Program

After a comprehensive Review in 2014 the Government has finally announced its response to the recommendations about changes to the Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa Program.

The program is integral to maintaining many businesses in Australia which cannot source skilled labour locally, and must rely on sponsored overseas workers.

The Migration Industry welcomes the changes, and believe that, in the main, these will be a win-win for all stakeholders, strengthening the integrity of the 457 program.

Some of the more noteworthy recommendations include:

  • Removing the need for a worker to show an IELTS (English) score of 5 in each band; instead, a score of 5 overall will be accepted;
  • Removing the current training benchmarks and replacing them with an annual training contribution to a government fund, scalable according to the size of the business;
  • Making it a criminal offence for a sponsor to accept payment from a sponsored worker for a migration outcome.
  • Standard Business Sponsorships will now be valid for 5 years instead of 3, and a start-up business will be valid for 18 months instead of 12.

Review the full list of recommendations here:    Review of 457 Visa Program 2014 – Government Response.

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at Emergico Migration to discuss your situation.


Leanne Stevens

CEO, Emergico // Registered Migration Agent (#1171279)