The number of Australian Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa applications rose by 15% between 2014 and 2015, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Immigration Department.
In order to employ a worker on an Australian 457 visa the employer must be looking to fill a position on the Australian government’s Skilled Occupation List, the employer must also demonstrate that they have a good record of employing Australian workers, and must have ‘no relevant ‘adverse information’ against them; such as evidence of previous bad practice. In some situations, such as if the employer has negotiated a ‘lab our agreement’ with the Australian government, labor market testing is not required.
Hospitality, IT, and science sectors see biggest rise in demand for 457 work visa
The popularity of this visa looks set to increase further. In the 9 months between June 2014 and March 2015 – the period the figures cover – 40,870 applications were made for the 457 visa, up by 15% on the 35,440 applications made in the same 9 month period ending March 2014.
Broken down by category the application increases were concentrated in accommodation and food services (37%), IT (31%), and professional, scientific and technical services (27%). Around 50% of the visa applicants were from India, the UK, and China.
According to the figures around 25% of 457 visa holders are foreign students and travelers.
Surge in engineers on 457 visas
The rise in applications for the 457 visa’s professional, scientific and technical category is due to the shortage of engineers in Australia. According to the Australian Financial Review newspaper, over the last ten years the Australian economy has needed 20,000 new engineers per year; Australian universities only produce around 9500 engineering graduates each year.
The shortfall has been made up mainly by skilled migrants. 5935 457 visas have been granted to engineers since 2013. Engineering was taken off the Australian Employment Department’s skills shortage list in that year, despite continued demand for workers with these skills.