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New changes heralded for 457 & SIV

Expansion of Australia’s Investor Visas and 457 skilled worker visa program

The Federal Government is planning on expanding the investor visa scheme along with making it easier to hire potential new employees in accordance with the 457 visa program.

The SIV provides a pathway to gaining permanent residency for foreign nationals who invest at least $5 million dollars into Australia for at least four years. The current Government proposes to create a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) which will offer a 12 month pathway to attaining permanent residency for these who invest at least $15 million. Accompanying the possible implementation of the PIV will be changes to the SIV including the speeding up and streamlining of visa processing along with greater levels of promotion in an international capacity.

The criteria for eligible investments will also change so as to be aligned with national investment priorities as stipulated by the current Government with these criteria being determined by Austrade.  Austrade will also become a nominating body for the SIV alongside the states and territories who already act in a nominating capacity. Austrade will additionally be the only body that can nominate applicants for the PIV when the PIV is introduced which will occur on July 1, 2015 with the changes to the SIV being implemented during 2014 and 2015.

Under the previous Government, foreign investors with $5 million to invest over four years could invest in a large amount of potential industries and economic areas. The National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda released today by the Federal Government states priority will be placed for investment opportunities in certain industries. These industries and economic areas include agribusiness, energy, mining technology, medical technology and advanced manufacturing. These industries have been identified as of being a high priority

These changes are in response to an internal review conducted during 2014 by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection which found that Australia faces stiff competition from other countries with similar investor visa programmes. These changes, namely the reduction of onerous application criteria and processing requirements have the aim of encouraging premium investors to ultimately settle and invest within Australia.

The Federal Government has also responded to reviews of the 457 skilled worker visa program and will implement changes that streamline the processing of visa applications in order to reward low risk applicants and refocus compliance and monitoring activities on high risk applicants.

Changes regarding English language requirements will also be implemented with these changes being applied at adding flexibility in regards to the particular industry and occupation of the visa applicant. Accompanying these changes will also be the increasing of the sponsorship approval period from 12 to 18 months for start-up businesses.

Although employers overwhelmingly prefer to hire Australian workers due to it being cheaper and faster to fill skills requirements locally with the presence of suitable workers, the 457 visa programme is also important in filling vital employment opportunities with temporary skilled migrants when there are genuine skills shortages. These changes being implemented by the Government reflect the needs of businesses facing skills shortages but also ensure that Australian workers have priority in finding employment.

Justin Rickard is an Australian based lawyer and registered migration agent operating mainly in and around Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane. He helps migrants understand the complexities of Australian migration and successfully represents them in their migration applications. He also teaches compulsory professional development to migration agents and lawyers with Legal Training Australia and writes migration articles for his website www.australianimmigrationlawyers.com, the Migration Alliance blog and ethnic community newspapers.

Grab his FREE guides, “3 Legal solutions for Australian migrants” or “5 secrets to becoming a better migration agent” by emailing him at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

JUSTIN K. RICKARD B.A LL.B M.A (Syd.) M.M.I.A Australian Lawyer since 1986 N.S.W Law Society # 11272* Migration Agent since 1994 Lic'd # 97-90625 Member of Migration Institute of Australia & Migration Alliance

 

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  • Guest
    Pardeep Thursday, 22 January 2015

    Hii. When 457 visa's new policy comes? Is this from July 2015 or before??
    Regards

  • Guest
    Karl Monday, 26 January 2015

    Holder of Visa 457 after how long apply for perment resident?

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