I am just about to do something I have not done before on this website. Swear.
There you go. I did it. That wasn’t too hard. Especially when I had to find an appropriate word to describe the SBS’s 457 ‘Explainer’.
Why is the 457 explainer ‘sh*t’?
The opening sentence is technically wrong. A person can stay in Australia on a 457 for more than 4 years. The length of 457 visa is anywhere up to 4 years but 457 visas can be renewed or extended, and persons can transfer from company to company on 457s for as many years as they like.
The second sentence is also wrong. Applicants can also be sponsored by Overseas Businesses, not just local businesses.
The SBS explainer says, ‘Other changes will be rolled out this year’. I cannot see anywhere that ‘other changes’ have occurred yet. As far as I know there is no news on the next rollouts and when or if they will occur or be implemented.
The SBS article says applicants had to speak “vocational” English and may be required to take a language test. This is incorrect. It was not ‘may’. Applicants needed to take an IELTS test for their English unless they were from the top 5 countries or $96K salary (minimum salary for English waiver).
I cannot go through the whole article point by point as it is making me too angry but what I will say is that the article ends in a bullet point which makes no sense.
The SBS article also quotes the DIBP website as it’s source of information, which is scary.
Firstly, since when was it ok for an onshore unregistered migration broker aka an editor from a media outlet suddenly allowed to offer ‘explainers’ to the public on what a 457 visa is? Isn’t the job of a RMA to offer an explainer which is based on the Regulations, Legislative Instruments and Policy guidelines?
Since when was it ok for the SBS to try and re-explain the already dumbed-down Migration Act and Legislation found on the DIBP’s website? It is already bad enough reading the DIBP ‘immigration for dummies’ version of Migration Law sitting on the DIBP’s website, let alone having an unqualified reporter / editor from the SBS trying to explain the dumbed down version. It’s left the information incomplete, incorrect and incoherent.
Last time I looked, persons offering immigration or advice within this jurisdiction need to be Registered and there is a fine for providing immigrationn advice or assistance without being Registered. Interpreting what is written on the DIBP website andn re-phrasing it is, in my view, immigration advice / assistance and should attract a fine and penalty.
Leave the EXPLAINING to a Registered Migration Agent.
Just in case the SBS remove their article here is a cut and paste of the appalling SBS summary:
What is a 457 visa?
The 457 visa was introduced in 1996 and allows skilled workers to be employed in Australia for up to four years.
Applicants must be sponsored by a local business for a specific job, relevant to their skillset.
Although applicants can be inside or outside Australia when lodging an application, more than half of all 457 visa applications issued throughout the 2012-13 financial year were lodged onshore by people who held a temporary visa.
The Abbott Government announced on March 18 that it had adopted most of the recommendations from a review of the 457 visa scheme, with some already implemented.
Others changes will be rolled out this year.
What are the common requirements?
Prior to the adoption of the most recent recommendations, applicants had to speak “vocational” English and may be required to take a language test.
According to the Department of Immigration website, a score of at least ‘B’ is required in each of the four components of an Occupational English Test. Alternatively, an International English Language Testing System test requires a score of at least 5 in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening.
The Department’s site also outlines health and “character” requirements, including a police certificate from the applicant’s country of origin.
Applicants who have served a prison sentence of more than 12 months or have convictions relating to time spent in an immigration detention centre will not meet character requirements.
Key recommendations adopted by the government
- Relaxing English language testing requirements
- Penalties for sponsoring workers in exchange for payment
- Cross checking pay records with tax office
- Appointment of a skilled migration ministerial advisory council
- Better directing money derived from visa scheme to training programs for Australians