On July 1, 2016, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection will implement new qualifying criteria for Accredited Sponsors and will reduce the requisite volume of applications that a sponsor must file to qualify for Accredited Sponsor status. Additionally, a streamlined processing program for eligible subclass 457 Accredited Sponsors will become available on that date.
New Qualifying Criteria for Accredited Sponsors
The following criteria for Accredited Sponsorship will apply starting July 1:
- All subclass 457 employees must sign a written employment contract that includes at least the minimum employment rights as required under the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement);
- All Australian employees must be paid at least the current market salary rate; and
- Employers must provide details of all principals, directors and business activities undertaken by the business to the Department as is required for standard business sponsorship applications.
- Additionally, to open Accredited Sponsor status to more employers, starting July 1, 2016, the requisite volume of applications that a sponsor must file to qualify for Accredited Sponsor status will be reduced to ten over the past 24 months, instead of 30 in the past twelve months.
Starting July 1, 2016, Accredited Sponsors that the Department considers low-risk may be eligible for streamlined processing and in some cases, auto-approval without intervention by a case officer. The streamlined processing arrangements are summarized in the below table:
Those occupations about which the Department has integrity or genuineness concerns may not be eligible for streamlined processing arrangements.
What This Means for Employers
Current Accredited Sponsors that do not meet the new eligibility requirements after July 1, 2016 may have their Accredited status revoked and will not be eligible for the new streamlined processing arrangements.
The Department will be writing to existing Accredited Sponsors to provide the opportunity to upgrade their status to access the new streamlined processing arrangements.