Statistics – data and what it tells us!

YTD 457 grants are falling

Due to significant regulatory changes that occurred on 1 July 2013, the year to 31 March 2014, has seen the number of subclass 457 primary visa applications decreasing in comparison to the same program and the same date previous year, across all industries (which represents a decrease of 36.3 per cent).

Similarly, the number of subclass 457 primary visas granted in 2013-14 program year to 31 March 2014 was 39,760, a decrease of 23.2 per cent compared with 51,800 primary visas granted in the same period in the previous program year. The discrepancy in visa applications and grants points to a slowdown in processing across the program.


The following changes will be made to the SOL and CSOL lists, on or after 1 July 2014. The following occupations will be added to the SOL:

  • Chef (ANZSCO) 351311)
  • Bricklayer (ANZSCO 331111)
  • Wall and Floor Tiler (ANZSCO 333411)

The following occupations will be added to the CSOL:

  • Hydrogeologist  (ANZSCO 234413)
  • Exercise Physiologist (ANZSCO 234915)

The following titles of occupations will be changed:

  • Ship’s Surveyor will be titled Marine Surveyor (ANZSCO 231215)
  • General Medical Practitioner will be titled General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111)

New or changes to skills assessing authorities have been specified for the following occupations:

  • Nurse Manager (ANZSCO 254311): ANMAC
  • Nurse Educator (ANZSCO 254211): ANMAC
  • Nurse Researcher (ANZSCO 254212): ANMAC
  • Marine Transport Professional NEC (ANZSCO 231299): VETASSESS

Skills Assessments and the issue of validity

The validity of skills assessments has often been debated and in turn this has given rise to ambiguity among the 37 skills assessing authorities.  In an attempt to create uniformity, the Minister has introduced legislation which creates an expiry date 3 years after the date of the assessment (unless the skills assessing authority has given an earlier date in which case that applies).

A skills assessment must be valid at the time of lodgement for the following visas:

  • Direct Entry stream of the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa;
  • Direct Entry stream of the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa; and
  • Graduate Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.

A skills assessment must be valid at the time of invitation to apply through SkillSelect for the following visas:

  • Skilled—Independent (subclass 189) visa;
  • Skilled—Nominated (subclass 190) visa; and
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa.

Visa Application Charges

New visa application charges will apply as at 1 July 2014, which may include increases of up to 20%.

Sponsorship and working for associated companies

Since inception, many subclass 457 visa holders seeking to apply under the Temporary Residence Transition Scheme (‘2 year rule’) have been disadvantaged by changes to ownership of his or her employer as s result of restructures, takeovers and sales.

From 1 July 2014, a major change to the provided policy advice will be the alterations made to the requirements under the Temporary Residence Transition stream when demonstrating two years’ work with the same employer. The department has determined that the previous policy which utilised section 50AAA of the Corporations Act 2001 was too restrictive.

The immigration department now accepts that a subclass 457 visa holder meets the two year rule in the event of restructure, takeover or sale provided that:

  • the nominee is still working in the same position, performs the same duties, and has the same working conditions and/or;
  • the nominee reports to the same management structures and/or;
  • the nominator retains the same business name and operations, but is considered to be a new legal entity.