Australian Immigration 457 Visa information sessions

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The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will be running information sessions about changes to the Australian subclass 457 visa in Cairns on 7 and 8 October 2009. New laws were brought in on 14 September that according to DIAC will "…protect the rights of overseas workers and ensure Australian wages and conditions are not undermined…". There are also new arrangements for paying health costs for subclass 457 visa holders.

"We encourage employers, visa holders and other stakeholders in the Cairns area to attend a seminar to gain an understanding of the changes, as well as ask questions about the reforms," said a DIAC spokesman.

New workers on the Australian 457 visa must be paid at market rates. By 1 January 2010 existing 457 visa holders must also be paid the market rate. The Australian Tax Office is now sharing information with DIAC, so Australian immigration can check the salaries being paid to overseas workers.

There are now fines of up to $33 000 for employers who are in breach of their sponsorship obligations.

The 457 visa information sessions are scheduled for 6.30pm on 7 and 8 October at the Cairns Regional Council building at 119-145 Spence Street.