In February, it was announced by the Australian Government that a new minimum salary level will be set for positions being filled by overseas workers on temporary business visas (subclass 457).
The minimum required salary will increase from AUD$35,828 per annum to AUD$37,720 a year for most occupations.
The increase has been made in response to the overall average earnings for all Australian workers, as at February 2003.
Australian welcomes temporary overseas workers and they bring benefits to all Australians by filling certain gaps in the labour market and also by establishing new business networks.
The current Australian Government has focused on skilled migration during the past few years and has supported a programme that highly benefits Australia's economy.
A new separate minimum salary has also been announced for ICT (Information and Communication Technology) professionals at a level of AUD$46,620 per year, reflecting the average salary for experienced and qualified professionals working in this field.
Unfortunately, the fact that the salary level has been increased for ICT Professionals also shows that there is a reduced demand for such workers in this field. However, Australian businesses can continue to hire overseas staff to fill temporary skilled positions if they are unable to find an Australian with the required skills.
The minimum salary level requirement for temporary work visa holders was introduced by DIMIA in mid-2001, and since then has helped to ensure that Australian employers pay at least the minimum salary to their temporary overseas staff that would be commanded by an Australian.
This new minimum salary level for all positions will apply to job nominations (form 1196) lodged on or after 11 February 2004. This new requirement will not apply to employers in regional and low-population growth areas of Australia.
If you have a potential employer in Australia, please contact our Australasian department on (0)20 7842 0800 for further details on how to apply for a temporary business visa, or send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.