Australian work visa holder salary rates on the up

Australian immigration minister Chris Evans has recently made a number of comments on the Australian subclass 457 work visa. The Australian Government in their news report provides details of increases in salary rates amongst Australian 457 visa holders. However, they also said that employers should first try and find Australians to fill vacancies before using the temporary skilled migration program to recruit overseas employees. The Australian Government says that the priority should be to provide training and job opportunities for Australians.

The Immigration Minister in his announcement had the following to say:

  • 90 per cent of temporary skilled immigrants in the period 2009 to 2010 on subclass 457 visas are managers and professional workers.

  • The average total salary package for all new temporary skilled visa holders is almost $100,000. This represents an increase of $10 000 compared to the same period in the previous year.

  • The salary rates in Western Australia are higher still. The average salary package for new subclass 457 visa holders is $114 800. In the mining industry the rate is higher still at $165,500.

  • The Australian Government also mentioned the "worker protection laws", which were introduced on 14 September 2009. This includes the requirement to pay overseas workers at the same salary rates as would normally be paid to Australians for similar work.

  • Overall the last year there has been a reduction in the number of Australian work visas issued. In January 2010 the number of 457 work visas issued was 45 per cent lower than January 2009 and 6 per cent lower than December 2009. The total number of Australian visa 457 holders at 71,290 went down 13 percent in the year to January 2010.

Australian immigration is currently in the process of changing their immigration system to focus on immigration based on skilled in demand. This means improved immigration opportunities for certain groups of skilled immigrants. It also means that now may be a good time to have an evaluation of your Australian immigration options. Do you apply now or wait?