Welcome to Fastrack Visas The Australian Immigration Specialists

English language proficiency for the 457 visa program -  commences on 18 April 2015

Required test scores

Most primary applicants who are sponsored by a standard business sponsor must demonstrate that their level of English proficiency is equivalent to one of the following scores:

  • an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall test score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the four test components
  • an Occupational English Test (OET) score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four components
  • a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) total score of at least 36 with a score of at least 3 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 12 for each of the test components of writing and speaking
  • a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic overall test score of at least 36 with a score of at least 30 in each of the four test components
  • a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 147 in each of the four test components.

Changes to the 457 visa program - commences on 18 April 2015

The Government:

  • has expanded the list of English language providers, to include test of English as a Foreign Language internet – based test (TOEFL IBT), Pearson Test of English (PTE); and Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) test (conducted on or after 1 January 2015); 
  • will accept an overall test score with minimum scores of each test component (reading, writing, speaking and listening); and 
  • will grant an exemption when an applicant can provide evidence of five cumulative years of study in English at the secondary or tertiary level, rather than proof of five years consecutive secondary or tertiary study in English.
  • has extended the term of standard business sponsorship to 5 years commencing from the date of approval. 
  • has extended the sponsorship period for start-up businesses from twelve (12) months to eighteen (18) months. 
  • has reduced the market salary exemption threshold from $250,000 to $180,000, this is now in line with the marginal tax rate. 
  • has extended the notifiable period for sponsors from 10 working days to 28 calendar days.

RSMS – 1 January 2015

The department policy for RSMS visa.
The instruction was reissued on 1 January 2015 to remove:
the requirement for 2 years of post-qualification work experience for certain Certificate IV qualifications in the section and clause 187.234(C) versus ANZSCO.

Fees and charges for visas – 19 April 2014

If you pay for your visa application by credit card, a surcharge will apply. The current surcharge rates are:
Visa and MasterCard – 1.08%
American Express and JCB – 1.99%
Diners Club International – 2.91%

The Subclass 457 review – 13 March 2014

The Subclass 457 visa program involves a three-stage process: sponsorship approval, nomination of position approval and visa application. While sponsoring employers are still required to provide the number of persons that they propose to nominate during their period of approval as a sponsor, the nomination ceiling has now been removed, thus avoiding unnecessary red-tape to obtain further sponsorship approvals.

Proposed Temporary Work visa changes – 1 November 2012

Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa

From 24 November 2012 changes to this visa will be minimal. The name of the Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) visa will change to Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa. However employers will still be able to sponsor approved skilled workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis for up to four years. Employers may nominate a number of positions for different occupations in exactly the same way as the Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) visa.

Changes to the Skilled Migration Pass Mark for SkillSelect Visas – 15 June 2012

The department, has announced a change to the points test pass mark for skilled migrants who submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect.

From 1 July 2012, the points test pass mark for points tested skilled migration visas invited through SkillSelect (subclasses 189, 190 and 489) will be 60 points.

Visa subclasses 885, 886 and 487 will remain open for new applicants until 1 January 2013. The points test pass mark for these visas will remain at 65 points.

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