The 457 program has a minimum salary threshold to ensure that visa holders have sufficient money to support themselves inAustralia. This salary threshold is called the ‘Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold’, or the TSMIT for short.
The TSMIT is important as 457 visa holders are generally not eligible for government benefits and support.
The other key purpose of the TSMIT is to ensure the 457 program is only used for positions which require skilled and experienced workers, rather than entry-level positions.
To ensure that this threshold keeps pace with increases in Australian salaries, the TSMIT is indexed annually in accordance with Average Weekly Earnings. For the period February 2011 to February 2012, the latest available AWE increased by 4.2 per cent. For the previous financial year, the TSMIT was set at $49 330. Therefore on 1 July 2012 indexation will result in a TSMIT of $51 400.
The new TSMIT takes effect from July 1, and it is assessed at the time nomination applications are decided. So any nomination applications, regardless of when they were lodged, if assessed after July 1 2012, must be paid a salary that is greater than $51 400.
The 457 program recognises that higher salaries reduce the risks that low levels of English proficiency pose for overseas workers. Therefore higher paid visa applicants are not required to meet the English language requirement. The salary level for this exemption is currently set at $88 410.
Applying the same increase of 4.2 per cent results in the English language exemption increasing to $92 000.
The new exemption level will take effect at the same time as the TSMIT increase on1 July 2012.
Note: Please ensure all comments are related either to the TSMIT or English language exemption.