Following our news item on 18 March regarding the Government’s response to the Independent review into the integrity of the 457 programme, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has implemented the following changes, amongst others, on 18 April:

  1. The changes to the English requirements for Subclass 457 visas are as follows:
  • The list of English language tests has been expanded to include:
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS test);
    • Occupational English Test (OET);
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT);
    • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE);
    • Cambridge English: Advanced test (CAE), where the test was completed on, or after 1 January 2015.
  • The minimum scores for IELTS has been lowered from 5.0 in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening to 4.5 in each of the four test components and an overall band score of 5.0.
  • English exemption applies to applicants who have completed at least 5 years cumulatively, rather than consecutively, of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was delivered in English.
  1. The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold remains unchanged at $53,900 per annum and the annual earnings threshold in relation to providing equivalent employment conditions is now $180,000 per annum, lowered from $250,000.
  2. Changes made to approved sponsor’s obligation to provide information to DIBP when certain events occur by extending the notification period from ‘10 working days’ to ‘28 calendar days’.

FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide the most up to date information on future changes. To discuss how these changes will affect your business and your current and prospective sponsored workers, please contact an FCB Smart Visa migration agent on (02) 9922 5188.