hospitality recruitment agencies australiaAs we look ahead to 2015 there are a great deal of discussions, proposals and reports circulating regarding contemplated changes to the regulation of skilled overseas workers. DIBP has, in the last couple of months, circulated several major reports. The first, “Robust New Foundations: A Streamlined, Transparent and Responsive System for the 457 Programme” was exclusively focused on the 457 program. Just recently released was “Simplification of the skilled migration and temporary activity visa programmes” released 14 December. We have covered some of the key proposed changes from the 457 report and now we can take a look at this second report.

Whilst the media has put the focus of their coverage on the newly proposed short-term mobility visa, this is just one part of a large scale restructuring to “develop a new and simplified visa framework to help shape and support Australia’s economic future*. ” This DIBP paper has very broad target.

At this moment this proposed short-term mobility appears to be an expansion of the 400 short term specialized work visa, not a wholesale substitute for the 457 programme as reported in the media via union PR briefings. This is a useful enhancement as there is a very large gap with the current system where one must choose between a low requirement, low cost ninety day subclass 400 visa as it existed or a high requirement, high cost four year 457 visa.

While unions and media play up this proposal as a potential game changer, as we read the details of the proposal, it is more likely to serve its intended purpose filling a currently problematic gap in businesses’ skilled labour requirements.

The report also contemplates reformatting the management of the transition for workers on temporary visas, like the 457 or 400 or Working Holiday and the requirements and process to apply for permanent resident status.

Discussion and refinement of these proposals are ongoing as we write, there is even an email address to comment to DIBP here: allowing interested parties and stakeholders to comment by 30 January 2015.

While a large amount of discussion is focused on rationalizing the process to increase efficiency, speed and reduce costs with this overhaul, we are not holding our breath.

Typically, major and minor changes are implemented annually on 1 July, so we will keep you informed as to how any changes could impact your business needs.

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