Australia: New Criteria for Subclass 457 Visa Sponsors and Streamlined Processing Program Forthcoming

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 Qualifiying 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
• Companies must provide details of all principals, directors and business activities undertaken by the employer 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.

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