457 Visas no longer available for radio announcers
Radio Announcers will no longer be a category for skilled workers entering Australia on 457 Working Visas after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week changed the rules on this visa category.
457 visas were introduced in 1996, by John Howard's government in a bid to fill temporary skills shortages at the time. There were 650 occupation classifications listed that could be filled, including radio and tv journalists, radio announcers, music directors and other media and entertainment related occupations.
The changes introduced this week will cut back the 650 classifications to just 200, and will knock out most of the media related job classifications. The changes are being made in an effort to get more Australians into the workforce. The 457 visa will be replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage to be called the TSS visa, from March 2018.
The cuts to the job classifications take place immediately.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the scheme had become too much of a default option in some industries, where it was being used to decrease wages or to avoid training local workers: "We do have the need for a foreign workforce in some circumstances but I think it would become the default option in some instance. We decided to clamp down on that. It is making sure we can train up Australian workers for Australian jobs. That is the priority of the Turnbull Government.”
The 457 Visa requires an employer to sponsor the applicant's visa, but once an applicant has been living here for some years, they are eligible for permanent residency and allowed to bring their family to Australia. Many of these provisions are likely to be removed in the new scheme.
The top three categories of 457 Visas were software developers, cooks and restaurant managers.
The top three citizenship countries for primary visa grants in the 2014-15 program year were: India (24.3%), the United Kingdom (17.2%) and the People’s Republic of China (6.9%).
For those people currently on a 457 visa, there will be grandfathering arrangements and they will continue under the conditions of that visa.
The new TSS visa program will be comprised of:
- a Short-Term stream of up to two years with no ability to apply for permanent residence, and
- a Medium-Term stream of up to four years with an ability to apply for permanent residence.
Key reforms include:
- new occupation lists – see attached list of occupations that from 19 April will no longer be eligible to apply for a 457 visa at Attachment A
- a requirement for visa applicants to have at least two years’ work experience in their skilled occupation
- a minimum market salary rate
- mandatory labour market testing, unless an international obligation applies,
- capacity for only one onshore visa renewal under the Short-Term stream (Source: Visa Executive Migration)
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has listed the job categories which will no longer be eligible for a 457 Visa.
The Department of Immigration has not yet been able to tell us how many people are currently here on radio related 457 Visas, but it is believed to be only a small number of people.
Interestingly, Radio Program Director is still on the Immigration Department's list of approved occupational categories for the new Visa system
We put in calls today to several immigrant radio workers to see if they will be affected by the changes, but no one wanted to go on the record at this time.