Oz visas set to fall by 55,000 a year

New research shows that the number of Australian visas granted each year could fall by around 55,000 per year thanks to the abolition of the 457 Visa and a crackdown on other skilled visa criteria.

The research, carried out by the Australian Population Research Institute, suggests that the number of permanent employer sponsored visas will plummet by “at least two-thirds” after 250 occupations eligible for employer sponsorship were removed. There are now 435 occupations through which an applicant can be nominated for employer sponsorship.

Employers will also have to pay any nominees a minimum salary of AUS$53,000 a year, which the research believes could make some employer less willing – and in some cases unable – to sponsor workers from overseas.

This along with the introduction of stricter English-language requirements, and the replacement of the 457 Visa with a new temporary skills shortage visa is almost certain to contribute to a huge fall in the number of visas issued annually, the report states.

Almost 45,400 skilled temporary 457 Visas were issued in the 2016 financial year and 48,250 permanent employer sponsorship visas. This makes up roughly half of Australia’s net overseas immigration of 200,000.

Another change which will impact on the number of visas granted annually are rules that come into effect from March 2018 that will make it harder for foreign students to stay on after their studies.

“This is a game-changer ­because over half of the 457 visas currently being granted are to ­onshore applicants and most of these are former overseas students or working holidaymakers who will struggle to find the required experience, even though they may hold graduate credentials,” the ­report says.

Article published 9th August 2017