Previously the visa could be granted for all applicants up to four years. Now if your sponsor is a start-up business, then the visa will be granted for 12 months only.
DIAC has now also introduced a requirement of a formal skills assessment for the occupations Program and Project Administrator and Specialist Manager not elsewhere classified.
As an employer you will have to show that you will pay the nominee market salary rate.
The market salary assessment exemption threshold has now been increased to $250,000. This means that you will only be exempt from having to show evidence of market salary if the nominee receives a market salary that is $250,000 or higher.
Employees must now be employed by their sponsor in a direct ‘employee-employer’ relationship. This prohibits on-hire arrangements that fall outside approved Labour Agreements and prevents sponsors from engaging visa holders under arrangements that resemble independent contracting arrangements.
Sponsors will now be required to keep a record of written contracts of employment with primary sponsored persons.
Sponsors are obligated to pay certain costs
Sponsors will be required to pay certain costs associated with becoming a sponsor and not pass these costs, in any form, onto a sponsored person.
Occupation based exemptions to the English language requirement are removed.
Whilst before the 1 July 2013 visa applicant for certain occupations did not have to provide evidence of their English language now all applicants have to provide an IELTS test unless they have:
A nominated salary that is over the ELSET amount (this is currently $96400 per annum)
A passport from Canada, United States of American , United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand, or
have completed at least 5 consecutive years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was delivered in English.
Restricted terms of sponsorship for start-up businesses
There have also been changes to the duration of a sponsorship of a start up business. Previously the terms of sponsorship for start-up businesses were the same as standard business sponsors. The term of sponsorship approval for start-up businesses has been amended to an initial 12 months and all subclass 457 visa holders sponsored by start-up businesses are limited to an initial 12 month visa.
Requirement to commence employment within 90 days of arriving in Australia
It is now a part of condition 8107 that a Subclass 457 visa holder must commence work with their sponsor within 90 days of arriving in Australia.
Requiring mandatory registration, licensing or membership
For certain occupations, visa holders are required to obtain any mandatory registration, licence or membership in the state or territory where their position will be located. From now on Subclass 457 visa holders are required to have sought to obtain within 28 days any mandatory registration, licence or membership for their occupation in the state or territory they are employed.
Extend the period in which a visa holder can seek new sponsored employment
The time period for Subclass 457 holders to find a new sponsor or to depart Australia, if they cease employment with their sponsoring employer is now 90 consecutive days.