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457 Integrity Review

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, announced a review of the integrity of the 457 programme on February 25.

The review is under way and is being conducted by four industry specialists formally appointed by the Minister, who are independent to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Panellists are:

  • John Azarias—Deloitte Partner
  • Jenny Lambert—Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Katie Malyon—Migration Lawyer, Ernst and Young
  • Professor Peter McDonald—Australian National University.

The panel is reviewing the effectiveness of the current integrity measures of the 457 programme. The department’s website has more information, including the Terms of Reference (ToR) document of the review and details about how to make a written submission to the review.

The panel has been speaking with key stakeholders of the 457 programme to hear their views and gather ideas. It would be great to hear your views on the integrity of the 457 programme, so feel free to post a comment here for the panel’s consideration.

Comments (75)

Comment: 

Due to exploitation is increasing from employers on 457 visa holders. Therefore, it will impact on country integrity and skilled workers will hesitate to work here. If they change employer within two years period of time their experience must count to apply for (temporary resident stream) PR . Recent changes in applying PR and state sponsorship for international students , 457 should provide pathway for them who finish 2 years of experience after skill assessment and able to apply direct entry stream for PR.

Cheers.

Comment: 

i thing Department give exemption if 457 visa holder change job due to circumstances (like if company bankrupt or closeddown) within two years period of time their experience must count to apply for ENS186 (temporary resident stream) PR . 457 should provide pathway for them who finish 2 years of experience after skill assessment and able to apply direct entry stream for PR with IELTS 5 each,. or maybe they give exemption for IELTS if applicant gave IELTS for 457 Visa. in my case my work closed dueto company liquidation before 2 months of my 2 years completion .i got job in same field under same nomination and job ditties but my 2 years clock start from beginning

Comment: 

the pathway to residency of 457 visas should be cancelled immediately, I see so many people on 457 faking their applications. They need to pay more then 50,000 dollars dodgy employers(I would say these 457 applicants are actually the "employers"), and once these 457 applicants get the 457 visas, some of them turn up in the construction sites doing plaster jobs as "mechanics" , some are doing bookkeeper job as "accountants", and some are doing kitchen hand jobs as "cooks" etc. A friend of mine told me that her friend could not come to her shop to work for a short time and said" I have to return to my 457 employer's workplace for a short time as DIBP is getting tough on 457 fraud, but I'll be back soon because I know it won't last long ". The only way to maintain the integrity of 457 program is not labour market testing or any other forms of monitoring, it is closing the loophole of the pathway to residency, which is that 457 visa holders can only apply for permanent residency through SkillSelect on point-tested visas.

Comment: 

I would rather say, Employer and Employee wages transaction should be monitored rather cancellation.

In case any discrepancy, Employer is first responsible for dishonesty against dept Policies and should be penalize for not updating employee status to dept on time.

Comment: 

Then dodgy employers will ask employees to do "cash back". Monitoring bank transaction won't work at all. The only way to maintain 457 integrity is to reform 457 temporary stream to PR, all 457 workers have to apply for PR on point-tested visas through SkillSelect.

Comment: 

And the crux of the 457 rort is unskilled workers(most of them are international students) want to get PR while they are not eligible to apply for PR through Skillselect, so they have to pay money to employers to "sponsor" them. If the pathway of getting PR is cancelled, the remaining 457 workers are real skilled workers, in this way the integrity can be maintained.

Comment: 

It's clear that you have no idea what you are talking about. I have been working for 4 months with whv before the company proposed me the 457 visa. The company has to comply with rules&laws even since the first step, the nomination. Even if I would, and I don't, I couldn't work for another company because my company requires my knowledge and experience.
I could take the permanent residency straight away just for my skills, but it would cost me 10.000$ and one year.
in the meantime you think about the fraud, think that as 457 holders we get paid less than a resident or citizen and even if many times we have better education, better experience, PhD, masters etc!
if the government checked better the companies, it wouldn't be any fraud. The truth is that many companies take advantage from this system, paying salaries just above the minimum required, and many guys work in positions in which Aussies don't won't.

Comment: 

In my opinion getting permanent residency through 457 should be closed immediately.

Comment: 

I totally agree, If you put agents' 457 applications under scrutiny you'll be surprised how thousands of recent international students get sponsored. for example , lots of workshop sponsored international tafe students with a minimum wage of 50,000, any boss of workshop will tell you it is a joke.

Comment: 

Keep in mind without offering PR to a 457 applicant it would be difficult to bring people in for the local shortage.

Comment: 

I agree with Tim and Sufyan. 457 visas shouldn't be the easiest pathway of permanent residency.

Comment: 

the above really have no idea, 457 is by far not the easiest way to a PR, I been on one for 30 months, was top performer in in past two quarters, and never had a day of sick and still the company are not confirming if they are going to PR me, My visa expires in December 2014 If I had known I was going to be treated this way by employer I would have got a pathetic meaning less tafe qualification and applied for PR via the direct entry scheme 18 months ago, , 186 is my only option and I have to rely on a company to do this, it’s a joke , after 30 months on a 457 there should be a direct transition to 457, get a police check, get a medical, pay the fee, and granted, not make it difficult for people who have made an effort and committed to a company for 3 years,

Comment: 

Why are you all descending on us to get jobs?And live here?When we are having trouble getting jobs for ourselves?

What is wrong with your own countries? If you are all that smart, then why are your countries in such a mess, that the citizens have to run away all the time?
Stop coming here stealing our jobs, you are not welcome

Comment: 

Those on student visa a finished a degree then found a sponsorship job (457) for their related course eg. Nurse and working as RN for two years with the same employer or not as long as fulltime should be automatically become permanent resident after 2 yrs but will continue working as registered nurse. If caught not working on the same job fulltime or part g for a period of time, there must be certain penalty.

Comment: 

Often local candidates /Permanent Resident becomes victim of this scheme in a already tiny job markete of Australia.

Australian companies outsource the work to offshore IT companies, then they bring their employees on 457 visa to work in. Australia as a result local skilled permanent residents are being made redundants

What's the point to bring people on Permanent Resident visas , they spend their fortunes to apply for PR, wait for 2 years to get PR and migrate with kids away from the loved ones, eventually replacing them with cheap and less competent workers on 457 visas? And forcing them to do security /taxi/ odd jobs and live on Dole .?

Comment: 

It would be wonderful if the VISA 574 postgraduate sector would be reviewed for those whose visa was granted before 2011. It is arbitriary and nonsensical to cut off the benefits for these applicants as if it was their fault, or if they had done something wrong. What is the purpose of studying if you cant work to gain experience and some economic stability before returning home? I read the reasons the government gives to argument the "genuine" applicants and its arbitrary. A review to these visa holders should be the right thing to do.

Comment: 

There should be a review of the postgraduate 475 visa for those who applied before 2011. It is unfair to give rights to some and deny them to others under the same conditions, just adding an arbitrary definition of "genuine immigration". what is NOT GENUINE ABOUT BEING a postgraduate student whose visa was granted before an specific date? I read the Knight document. it is nonsensical. Be coherent please.

Comment: 

Hi Tim,

I totally agree/disagree with your comments. Because there are some loyal and honest 457 employees and employers as well. What about them? If you take a tomato from a bunch there is always one rotten tomato. Obviously, you will throw away only one rotten tomato not a whole bag. Am I correct?

When you look back skilled occupation list for the last 5 years, there is a massive change.

A good example of X student: Student X comes to Australia and takes 2 years Masters in Hospitality degree in 2010. X will finish his degree by 2012. In between the government removes Hospitality occupation from the skilled list, and X is not getting opportunity to even apply to TR or even new post graduate study visa. What is his option now? He got only 457. After a lot of hard times he finds a loyal and honest employer and why he/she cannot apply for PR?

Another student Y: Y comes as same time as X but takes Engg degree. He can apply for TR and still cannot find a good job and applies for TR and works in Fast food outlets for the rest of his time during TR. Suddenly some state will announce short of engg occupation and Y can apply for PR and work in that state for 2 years. Do you think he is getting Engg job? No still works in fast food outlet. He cannot find job in his profession.

This is my comment from my own point of view as i am watching for the last 4 years. I am not picking on anyone or not disappointing anyone here.

Comment: 

it is good way to filled ruquired labour on market,need more labour on market to fill the vacancy , market is getting bigger deffinately it is good way to give them .pr after 2 yrs.if there is no .pr on 457 visa I think there must .be always short of skill labour.

Comment: 

Immirigration must look after the international students , they pay such a high tuition fees and qualified after they qualified what they suppose to do? There is no work option !! So peoples paying money and get 457 visa.if all students can get 2 years work right when they finished them studies and after 2 years experience if they will be eligible to apply for Parmanent residency that would be good option for students and even Australia get qualified persons !!! And another things is ielts 6 band each? Which is must be different score needed according to the job for example chefs& cook don't need 6 each band to cook them food and them ordering & menu planing so I think each 5 band in ielts is more then enough for chef !!! For nurses , accountant & manager yes they need at least 6 band each!!! If 5 each in ielts for chefs , many of the real chef can live in Australia , which is nessarry for Australia !!!

Comment: 

I agree Immi need to thing about that ielts bend Depand on skill that's better idea

Comment: 

its all about greed by employers for money and for Permanent Residency by Employees. Employers get huge amount of money to sponsor an employee. and employee ends up working as data entry specialist rather as an accountant. i am working as an Student Councillor in private college and every week i hear a new scenario of fraud. Employers disappeared after getting huge amount of illegal money, employees working more hour than in contract(some time double hours), no wages at all, employer's share of tax and super paid by employees, and if you have got good relations with employer you are not required to come for work even. Some of the lawers and agents are also involved in all this dodgy process.

Comment: 

457. visa is tempory visa which allow us to work and stayed in austarlia for 4 years and the question is 457 require is already proof of english and experince. why cant 457 visa after 4 years will eligible go direct to PR without any other document such like work experience, liets test?

Comment: 

very funny comments of tim and sufyan

they just thinking about students getting pr through 457 . australia dnt have that much educated people . thats why country need it .

dear immi dept...
i think u should allow employes to apply pr after 1 year of work permit time .
wages should be less .
even employers dnt want any hard rule for 457 visa . coz they r very happy with that .
thnx

Comment: 

I have done my diploma in automotive .Got my T.R.But because of hard rules business people are taking the advantage from overseas students.Business people know that students need sponsorship to get P.R in Australia .The same way Migration consultancy people are taken the advantage by collecting money from students.

Comment: 

Please ensure that 457 visa will not cause unemployment for Citizens and permanent residents.
i.e 47 visa has to be granted only for the skill sets, which are not possessed by Citizens and permanent residents. Otherwise, it will lead to high unemployment rate in Citizens and permanent residents, which will lead to serious economical issues as happened in USA.

Comment: 

Unfortunately 457 visas are already becoming a cause for unemployment of citizens & PR. While it's reasonable to fill genuine shortages with skilled labour, I know a lot of Aussies struggling to find work due to insourcing.

Comment: 

I would say its not only reason to be unemployed. unskilled is first issue of not getting skilled job for Australian. And there is centrelink always to lookafter. Be realistic study more to get good job.

Comment: 

All are right what they are saying I mean why somebody does this I mean why they chose this different tactics to get to PR first immi change rules every year that's rediculas I mean if they have to restrict one way of getting PR the other way should be relaxed so Australia can still get skills what they need . Monitoring the visas nd assessment should be restricted rather then cancelling them .

Comment: 

A lot is being said and discussed about 457 being issued to only those whose skills cannot be found locally.
As it is publicly known ,this is being badly abused by companies who give their IT contracts to overseas companies and in turn those companies send their employees to come and work here.
The employees who come here may or may not really possess any special skills.
Also , I feel the Australian IT market has matured enough to ensure we have sufficient people here to fill the gaps and certainly don't need people flying from overseas to do basic IT jobs which most Australian IT graduates can easily do.

Comment: 

I think tighter restrictions should be put on employer sponsored 457 visas. I have seen many corporate GP clinics and some hospitals employing doctors on 457 visas, while doctors with permanent visas are turned away just because they can pay less to 457 visa holders.

Comment: 

I believe that English requirement for certain applicants should be waved off or nominator can give exemption to process the application,

or it should be changed to overall 5 instead of each 5 band.

as in many field you don't need high level of English.

Comment: 

There is no point of forcing 457 holders to stick in to one employer or one Career. Those who were granted 457 work already in the work force they willing to contribute their best to the country. Thanks

Comment: 

I disagree with the suggestion to cancel the pathway as I am a 457 visa holder and I had to prove my skills before my visa is granted, so why I should present all the evidences again to be able to get the PR? It doesn't make sense! I've already prove my educational background and work experience from my home country, also after 2 years working in Australia through a 457 visa it gives me 2 more years experience to prove my skills. So even without a proper monitoring, the dept already approved the skills for the 457 visa (!) and it doesn't make sense to pally again through a points based process.

Comment: 

Excellent point, Should be a natural transition without all the red tape rubbish involved,
1. complete 2 yrs. on 457 with one company
2. police check
3. medical
4 payment
5. approved, simples

Comment: 

totally agree! like my self under 457 visa and as a chef. which is contribute taxes and also sharing experince in austarlia.

Comment: 

I am a 457 visa working for a year now,I was granted a 457 because i complied with all needed requirements and passed all qualification needed by my employer and the government of Australia, i also bring my family here with me and they are all studying.My wife and eldest son is also working. I trust and believe that Australia is a better place for me and my children's future.
I am hoping and praying that soon we will have PR and Citizenship because
I heard that all 457 holder will pay fee's for the education of their children studying,our income will not be enough if we pay $800 every month for my children education.
Thank You Very much and May God Bless the Department and the Country.
Randy

Comment: 

I agree with Tim i also feel 457 should not be pathway to PR. Employers all selling 457 at 50000-60000. If we see in last 2 yrs big no. Of international students have gone for 457 and are paying agents and employer i can say 95% of applicants are dodgy.i feel DIBP should do sample testing for genuinity of 457 visa holders.Do checks on employers , agents and applicants i feel DIBP will found more than 95% dodgy.

Skill assessment should be made compulsory in all skills at 457 stage as international students feel hard to get through TRA assessment procedures and they opt 457 and pay to dodgy agents

Misuse of 457 is giving applicants routes to byepass skillselect. I am practising for more than 10 yrs in my carrer have not seen so many 457 visa holders the way it has grown in last 2-3 yra

Comment: 

The only effective measure is :
1)SURPRISE Frequent checks on the the workplace.
2) Frequent monitoring of the employee and employers
3) Frequent checks on the workplace again.

In a genuine case, an employer would employ someone and provide 457 visa and such checks would not be a problem at all. However, if it is a dodgy application.

Its a shame that some ppl do dodgy things thereby jeoporadising the future of many aspiring skilled workers. This i think is the best way for Permanent residency. And once again, frequent checks to eliminate all dodgy applicants.

Comment: 

Well NOT Agreed with Tim,Sufian or anyone who are saying 457 applicants -> Migrant should be stopped immediately. As far i know thousands of people are now on 457 and they have a vision and target in their life, also i do believe 80% of them are skilled workers. Don't forget that 95% of them who are currently holding 457 visa they are in Australia more than 6+years and most of them already have 3-4years job experience in same field.

Personally, i think its the system which is not right. Specially salary Range. for example: which Owner will offer you $50K+ job package for a completely new job seeker who just finished diploma or graduation? when there are plenty local workers available to do the job in 40-45K package.
It should be more realistic. No Owner in Melbourne/Sydney or another metro offer more than 40-45K! Thats where people become dodgy!

Also, i believe this thing happening to Chef/Cook field only. Cause, Thats the only field where Australia is lack of workers by thousands in each year!
I would like to request these -

- Review the job salary package system
- Put IELTS 6 in each brand mandatory
- Monitor employers, employees and workplaces

Thats it. It will help Australia job industry to grow more faster and safer with skilled workers. Eventually, stop this process in next 4-6years of time period. Cause, people are already leaving Australia and truth is If Australia can't offer a valid immigration pathway then young people will choose Canada/Europe for their education first priority, Thats what happening right now and Australia destroyed their 20billion/year education income industry!

Comment: 

Sorry I don't agree with Tim and others who said it should not b leading to PR..
I will explain...
First of all by this way the genuine people will also suffer..
Second there is a way skillslect but in that you need ielts competent(6each), if a person finished study in Australia doing job dealing with people buying groceries paying bills, it means he can understand English...
Next .. Instead making it harder, introduce some good trAinig steps,,,
I am struggling to find a job Bcoz I have no longer stay here ...so why someone will give me a short term employment..

Thanxz

Comment: 

457 is the best way to show professionalism and skills.
Those guys who are refusal from 457 and unable to apply under new policy of course they are against 457.
Just to apply PR after getting 457 visa it not worthy because those who are able to get 457 they are good enough to get PR instead coming Australia by Boat or not legal student.
If some one say only 457 spoiling I will say all students visas, visit visas spoiling.
Lots of students working more than 20hrs in a week everybody knows.
In short everyone doing same wherever and whenever getting chance.
If someone caught he is sinner otherwise no worries!
From my point of view best option 457.

Comment: 

457 Visa? More like exploitation Visa. Australia prides itself on providing fair working environments and opportunities for all, but the system fails to adequately monitor businesses who are simply using the 457 visa sponsorship to essentially engage workers at minimum wage (I do recognise that this is not always the case, and their are legitimate sponsorships benefiting internationals, but this seems to be the norm on the grapevine). Although 457 visa conditions specify a minimum salary, this is hardly ever recognised. Companies are behaving fraudulently by making it appear to the Government that their employee is being adequately paid by halving the actual hours worked. The workers are not treated the same as Australian citizens, as company's know they can get away with it. I think it's disgusting.

Comment: 

I think the rules for 457 to PR should be relaxed. I am one of the legitimate visa holders I would like to say that it is a bit ridiculous that we are made to jump through hoops in getting PR. I am a decent earner and I pay a lot of taxes etc. If I have worked for the same employer for 2 years I should be able to apply for PR. For certain skills there is only 1 way to PR and it is through 457. Some companies need an urgent hire (as was the case with me) they then hire you on a 457 visa and then apply for PR once you are settled. The people who do take advantage of this should be prosecuted.

Comment: 

It is a very helpful programme. I think a lot of times the skilled migration program is exploited when overseas aspirants decide to study a certain course only to be able to gain permanent residency status and never work or commit to their field of study. I think 457 program gives everyone an opportunity to exceed in your field of study and find a suitable job. In my opinion 457 workers probably work harder than anybody else, considering living and maintaining a life completely depends on their job as opposed to someone who has the liberties to just quit. Now here is the problem: because they bound completely to their a lot of employees would probably refrain from complaining or speaking about an employer who is exploiting them. Also, the lack of opportunity on the skilled list of marketers, business and many science related occupations means that Australia misses out on great talent and instead seems to the issue of people having to seek the help of corrupt employers that exploit them financially and otherwise. There is a lot of integrity and I know if friends and extended family that came here on 457 and worked for great employers who benefitted from their craft and nominated them for PR. The problem lies in the fact that not everyone has the opportunity to work here or a pathway to Pr. It is the desperation to stay in the country that leads to corruption on both ends: the employer and also sometimes the employee. Unscrupulous behaviour can only be stopped if on shore international students are given the opportunity to find work and be able to have a pathway to stay in Australia similar to the green card system. May be a higher ielts or points requirement for those not on list like back in '6-'08.

I think the 457 is a great program. There simply needs to be more done to be able to support those on 457 so they aren't completely at the mercy of their employer and also giving everyone an equal right to live and work here so they aren't compelled to add to the corruption.

Comment: 

Too many workers are being exploited on these visas. There needs to be better monitoring of workers' conditions and improved access to information for migrant-workers.

There should be an anonymous hotline where workers can ask for independent advice when they think they are being exploited, without any risk of them being deported. 457 workers are extremely vulnerable because if their employer gets shut down or fined, they not only risk their job but also their chance to stay in Australia. If they have a family and hope to eventually gain PR, their whole family's future will also be at stake; this is why workers put up with the exploitation. Perhaps workers who have been subjected to exploitation could be granted a bridging visa with a time limit, to allow them to search for a new sponsor.

Perhaps a system similar to de-facto visas could be introduced: if the worker has been exploited he/she could be allowed to stay in the country or could be compensated, just like a sponsored de-facto partner can stay in Australia if exploited by their Australian sponsor/spouse. Workers and their families MUST NOT live in fear of being deported because of their employers' faults and MUST NOT put up with exploitation/ black-mailing. Many migrants put up with this because of the hope of getting PR. By eliminating the cause of their hesitation to report exploitative employers, more complaints will be made and employers will be more reluctant to exploit employees.

Also, if workers are made sign a 4 year contract, work should be guaranteed for the whole four years, unless fair dismissal can be evidenced.

Finally, and most importantly, there must be transparency between the department and the employees; there should be more information available online in more languages (particularly for temporary workers who may not speak English as well as those applying for PR) and employees should be made sign a form where they say they have READ and UNDERSTOOD the possible avenues of help they can resort to if exploited. It is paramount that this is in their language too.

There ought to be systems to protect the employers too, so that employers are not reluctant to employ foreigners where there is a lack of local skilled workers, but employee rights must always be prioritised. Foreign employees should not be underpaid; this is not only unfair for the foreign employees, but it also gives them an unfair 'advantage' over the more expensive local workers.

In other words, foreign 457 workers' rights are important not only for their own good, but for the good of Australian workers too.

Comment: 

I have been on 457 visas for 7 years now, a fitter by trade. I have applied twice for PR and been knocked back due to my sponsor company's not being suitable sponsors. I feel I have done my time here and deserve to be treated fairly. The country needs skilled people yet they make it very difficult to become residents.

Comment: 

My employer is willing to give me sponsorship but he cannot pay me $53,900 TSMIT requested by DIPB in order to get my visa approved. I have 3 years experience, 6.5 in IELTS and all the other requirements. I am aware that not even citizens from Australia born in Australia get this much and how come the department is promoting higher salaries for skilled migrants, doesn't make any sense. Salaries should be all market rates depending on awards or establish by the industries, even special agreement between the employer and the employee using a rate of $40K at least. I am happy to commit to my employer and show him dedication and commitment. I am more than happy to become an asset to make his business increase in productivity and help in anything they need. I am not a 9 am to 5 pm worker, I am willing to get the job done rather to be looking at the watch for me to get ready and go home. Australians don't appreciate what this beautiful country are giving to them so let us skilled migrants to take those opportunities and contribute to Australia in every way. Monitoring systems by ATO, DIPB, AFP should be in place and enforced to avoid situations with dodgy employers and not committed staff.

Comment: 

From the last year they immigration changed the clause that the 457 visa holder have to finish 2 years cycle with same Employer with same Location ,then only they r eligible to drop ENS. If change to other location with same employer in different location or vice versa again they have start 2 years cycle again.
My question is why Employee has to start 2 years cycle again, with this clause I can see only advantage for employer?
of course this experience will add up to drop Rsms Visa I will agree,but whats the point to for ENS

Comment: 

With the high unemployment rates that Australia is facing now, there should be a serious reconsideration of 457 visas. Jobs should go to Australians who are seeking work and qualified for the jobs, instead of to foreigners, international students included. There are obviously loopholes that have been exploited by a few employers who wish to employ cheaper labour or strike some kind of deal with people who are desperate to get the 457 visa to get a foothold in Australia.

I think before taking on more people, look to provide Australians with jobs first so that the unemployment rate is brought down. It's absolutely crazy, and it makes no economic sense whatsoever, to keep on bringing in foreigners on 457 visas when Australians who want work and can't get work, end up on Centrelink allowances!

Maybe, a review on wages and costs of living should be done in tandem with a review on 457 visas. Afterall, wages are high here because the costs of living is high here. Australians who are cast aside by employers in favour of foreigners on 457 visas do not just disappear - they end up becoming an economic liability so it's best to keep Australian jobs to Australians, with maybe quarterly reviews of the 457 visas required to meet REAL shortages.

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