The Department of Immigration have moved to change the rules for 457 visa holders to reduce the period an employee can cease working for his or her employee.
Effective 19 November 2016, a 457 visa holders who ceases working for their sponsoring employer will have 60 days to leave the country or apply to remain within 60 days. The current time frame is 90 days.
What is the change?
The change amends what is known as Condition 8107. Condition 8107 applies to all primary subclass 457 visa holders and, for now, states that visa holders who cease work with sponsoring employers must leave Australia or apply to remain within 90 days of cessation.
Who is affected?
Subclass 457 primary visa holders whose visas are approved on or after 19 November 2016 will be affected by this change.
Sponsoring employers may also be impacted where a 457 visa holder cannot find alternate work within the reduced cessation period. Under the sponsorship rules, sponsors are responsible to to pay a 457 visa holder’s (and secondary visa holder’s) return travel costs to their home country at the conclusion of their employment.
Rationale for the change
This move is consistent with the current DIBP standpoint that the 457 visa programme is intended for employers to address temporary skills shortages. DIBP said the change will strengthen the integrity of the subclass 457 visa programme and that “reducing the employment cessation period will contribute to subclass 457 visa holders being less vulnerable to informal employment and reduce the period in which they can compete within the Australian labour market for further employment”. The change is also stated to be aimed at ensuring employment opportunities and conditions of local workers are adequately protected.
Subclass 457 visa holders should consider the consequences of the change if they do cease employment with their sponsoring company. They should be prepared to find new employment or apply to remain on another visa, or leave Australia within 60 days,