457 reforms to include:
- streamline the processing of sponsorship, nomination and visa applications to reward low risk applicants and refocus compliance and monitoring activities on high risk applicants;
- increase the sponsorship approval period from 12 to 18 months for start-up businesses, to give start-ups more time to make their businesses sustainable;
- provide greater flexibility in relation to English language testing and skill requirements for 457 applicants, to ensure that the standards required are appropriate for the industries and occupations being sought; and
- retain the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold at $53,900, ahead of a review within the next two years.
SIV reforms, which will take effect during 2014-15, include:
- Streamlining and speeding up visa processing, further promoting the programme globally and strengthening integrity measures, to increase the attractiveness of investing and settling in Australia while ensuring Australia’s interests are protected;
- aligning the criteria for eligible investments with the Government’s national investment priorities. The investment eligibility criteria will be determined by Austrade in consultation with key economic and industry portfolios;
- introducing a Premium Investor Visa (PIV), offering a more expeditious, 12 month pathway to permanent residency than the SIV, for those meeting a $15 million threshold; and
- tasking Austrade to become a nominating entity for the SIV (complementing the current State and Territory governments’ role as nominators) and to be the sole nominating entity for the PIV.