Media Release - Department Of Immigration And Citizenship 2

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14th April 2009, 02:27pm - Views: 686

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Media Enquiries: National Communications 02 6264 2244


14 April 2009

Stronger English capability combats exploitation

The language requirement for all subclass 457 trades and chef applicants has

been raised, effective today, in response to concerns about the exploitation of

workers from non-English speaking countries.

A Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) spokesman said

increasing the existing language requirement from International English

Language Testing System (IELTS) 4.5 to IELTS 5 would align the subclass

457 English standard with permanent sponsored visas for trades occupations.

“This change applies to all subclass 457 applications lodged from today based

on trades level and chef qualifications,” the spokesman said.

“The requirement to ensure at least a ‘modest’ level of English – as defined

under IELTS standards – is the first to be implemented after the Minister for

Immigration and Citizenship announced a number of changes to the program.”

The revised English requirements apply to current 457 visa holders only

where a subsequent application is made for a 457 visa seeking a visa stay

period extending beyond the period of their current visa.

Other changes announced on April 1, such as the indexation of the subclass

457 visa minimum salary level by 4.1 per cent from July 1 and the progressive

implementation of skills assessment from that date are all intended to ensure

the subclass 457 visa program continues to provide industry with needed

skills while not undermining local training and employment opportunities.

The transition to market-based pay announced from mid-September 2009 and

the provision for a greater requirement on employers to demonstrate a strong

record of, or demonstrated commitment to, employing local labour and non-

discriminatory employment practices are intended to have the same effect. 

An English language requirement for subclass 457 visa applicants has been in

effect since 1 July 2007.

For more information, visit the News section of the DIAC website,

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