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Immigration Update: AUSTRALIA Visa Processing Time

Posted: 26/04/2016              Author: Tara Ende

Australian Visas Update Bulletin - Non-Discriminatory recruitment practices – Visa Processing Times update

A number of changes to the Migration Regulations were introduced on 19th April. One of the more significant changes are as a result of the 457 Integrity Review which raised concerns about non-discriminatory recruitment practices.

From April 19 sponsors must declare that they will not engage in discriminatory practices and must comply with a new obligation not to engage in discriminatory recruitment practices while they are a standard business sponsor. Practically, this means:

1)  Previous “attestation provisions” are now binding on standard business sponsors operating in Australia.

2)  Sponsors must ensure that they are committed to employing local labour.

3)  Sponsors will not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices that adversely affect Australian citizens or any other person based on visa status or citizenship status.

This new change does not prevent sponsors from choosing highly qualified overseas applicants where there are legitimate reasons to do so. The 457 visa program is intended to fill skill shortages in circumstances where an appropriate Australian worker cannot be found.  Sponsors will need to keep on file documents that demonstrate how subclass 457 visa holders were recruited and that non-discriminatory processes were used. Examples of this evidence include:

  • Payroll evidence showing employment of a diverse range of employees.

  • Evidence of Australians working in comparable jobs, for the business or an associated entity.

  • Recruitment advertisements that demonstrate jobs were clearly advertised in an accessible medium for the majority of residents in Australia (for example, written in English).

  • Advertisements published in Australia and not solely outside Australia.

  • Evidence of a competitive recruitment process.

  • Clear position selection criteria that correlates with the skills and qualifications relevant to the job. No information that could discourage applicants based on their nationality, such as unwarranted language requirements or cultural knowledge.

  • Evidence that demonstrates a lack of suitably qualified applicants in the local area. For example in a major city it may be harder to justify a certain recruitment practice compared to a regional area with a low skill base.

  • Other credible evidence demonstrating a legitimate reason for the recruitment outcome.

457 nomination application must be lodged before a 457 visa application can be lodged

Also from April 19 a 457 visa application can only be lodged if the applicant has been identified in an approved nomination or in a nomination application that has been lodged and is being processed by the DIBP.

Visa Allocation times

DIBP has recently provided new feedback on allocation times for subclass 457 visa applications. New information states that the current maximum time taken to allocate a 457 visa application to a case officer is approximately 40 working days.  The standard processing times published on the DIBP website is 2 -3 months for applications lodged in Australia.  Permanent resident application lodged through the Employer Nomination Scheme are currently experiencing processing times of 5-8 months.  Santa Fe Immigration Services recommend that these processing times are taken into consideration when forward planning any assignments or offering a sponsored position.

Please contact Santa Fe Immigration Services for any assistance or information in relation to the above matters.

Tara Ende

National Immigration Service Delivery Manager

Santa Fe Immigration Services

Level 6, 50 York Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
(PO Box Q459, QVB 1230)
T: +61 2 9262 4477
F: +61 2 9299 5077
E: tara.ende@santaferelo.com.au
W: http://www.santaferelo.com.au