Over 40% of 457 visa holders convert to permanent residency
A review of Department of Immigration statistics 2008-2014 regarding the 457 visa program reveals some interesting trends:
- 1. Over the 7 year period visa grants have run at approximately 90% of visa applications
- 2. The exception was 2014 when more visas were granted than were applied for (106%) ! This seemingly freakish statistic confirms the extent of the delays caused in mid-2013 when major changes were announced with immediate effect. The ensuing delays in processing caused considerable disruption to business, and the backlog took many months to clear. Processing times remain longer than prior to the 2013 changes – current Department Guidelines are 2-3 months, although in our experience most applications are processed between 4 and 6 weeks after lodgement.
- 3. Over the 4 years to June 2014 permanent residency granted to 457 visa holders averaged approximately 44% of the total number of 457 visa holders – confirming how commonly temporary residents decide to stay permanently.
Outcomes of Government Review of 457 Visa Program Still Awaited
During 2014 the Federal Government commissioned a wide-ranging review of the operation of the principal visa categories affecting short and long-term business assignments in Australia. To date no proposals have been released implementing recommendations received during the review process. Nevertheless it is worthwhile to recap the aims of the current government as set out by the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash.
Proposed reforms include:
- 1. Simplifying sponsorship requirements for employers to reduce the time and cost involved for business;
- 2. Streamlining the processes of sponsorship, nomination and visa applications to reward low risk applicants and re-focus compliance and monitoring activities on high risk applicants;
- 3. Providing greater flexibility in relation English language testing and skill requirements for 457 applicants.
For more information please contact Susan Stinson, MARN 1383173, at firstname.lastname@example.org