The number of 457 visas issued in the period 2007 to 2008 went up by 27 percent:
- 2007-2008: a total of 110,570 temporary visas were granted to the overseas workers and family members. In the previous year it was 87,310.
- 2006-2007, the number of primary visa holders was 46,680; It was 58,050 during 2007-2008.
New South Wales granted the largest number of 457 visas, with a total of 20,480 primary visa holders. Perth was second with a total of 11,800 primary visa holders.
Immigrants on the 457 visa are highly skilled professionals with shortage skills in Australia. Those most likely to come under the 457 visa are Computing professionals, registered nurses and information professionals.
Top source Countries for 457 visa holders who entered Australia during 2007-2008 were as follows:
- 25 percent from the UK.
- 14 percent from India.
- 9 percent from Philippines.
- 6 percent each from South Africa, China and USA.
The 457 visa allows migrants to live and work in Australia for up to four years. Most immigrants eventually apply for a permanent visa and settle in Australia. 25,000 457 visa holders became permanent residents in 2007-2008. This represents an increase in 30 percent compared to the previous year.
There have been a number of recent changes which have made it more difficult to obtain a 457 visa. However, the visa remains very popular with employers and immigrants.