Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen said “The government will establish a fast–tracked pathway from the temporary skilled subclass 457 visa to permanent residence under the employer-sponsored visa program, enabling skilled migrants to settle and work in regional and metropolitan Australia.
“These reforms will make it easier for businesses and potential migrants to navigate the permanent employer-sponsored visa program, while ensuring the integrity of our visa system,” he said. Around four in five permanent employer-sponsored visa applicants previously held a 457 visa and the majority of them stay with the same employer doing the same job, according to Mr Bowen.
The government will replace the current six permanent employer-sponsored visas with two new visas and consolidate the existing three sponsored occupation lists – subclass 457, employer nomination, and state and territory sponsored general skilled migration lists — into one list.
The reforms to the ENS and the RSMS will commence on 1 July 2012.Article continues below…
Permanent employer-sponsored visa places currently account for 39 per cent of the total skilled migration program for 2011–12, including 16,000 places through RSMS. The program allows Australian employers to sponsor workers for permanent residence to fill skilled full-time job vacancies in their businesses.