As part of the ongoing reform of the subclass 457 program, and based on the recommendations submitted to the Australian government by stakeholders, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced that it plans to implement a streamlined subclass 457 visa application process for trusted sponsors. It is anticipated that these changes will come into effect in late 2015.
The stakeholders recommended a tiered processing framework in which low-risk applications from low-risk sponsors qualify for status as an Accredited Sponsor to receive streamlined processing and reduced documentary requirements.
Qualification Criteria of an Accredited Sponsor
The criteria for qualifying as an Accredited Sponsor will be amended to place the primary focus on a long history of sound compliance instead of a combination of other factors such as volume of applications and quotas of Australian staff relative to subclass 457 holders. This will increase the number of qualifying sponsors and serve as a further incentive to ensure compliance with the subclass 457 visa program.
Factors that are currently assessed at the time of each nomination application - such as occupations and salary bands that the sponsor uses and whether the visa applicant is an intra-company transfer - will instead be assessed at a pre approval stage.
What This Means for Employers
Employers qualifying for Accredited Sponsor status should benefit from a faster and easier application process. Interested employers should contact their immigration professional to discuss the eligibility criteria.
Courtesy of Fragomen.