Australia increases minimum salaries for Employer Nomination Scheme

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Australia has increased the minimum salary levels for occupations eligible under the nation's Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), one of several immigration programs that the government provides for Australian employers looking to hire workers from abroad.

The increases in the minimum salary for the ENS follows a recent announcement by Immigration Minister Chris Evans of similar minimum salary increases for temporary 457 visa program. The increases are meant to closely align the ENS with the 457 visa scheme and "maintain the integrity" of Australia's skilled migration program.

The standard minimum salary level for the Employer Nomination Scheme will increase to AUD $43,440, while the minimum salary level for information and communications technology workers will increase to AUD $59,477.

The salary increases will only apply to positions which are nominated after 01 August 2008. Existing ENS visa holders, as well as positions nominated before 01 August 2008, will not be affected by the MSL increase.

According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the ENS is a "common pathway to permanent residence" for skilled migrants working in Australia on a temporary basis. Other popular Australian immigration routes include independent and sponsored visas available under the General Skilled Migration program.