RCSA: 457 visa delay forcing migrants to give up on Australia

The RCSA (Recruitment & Consulting Services Association) said in a statement that the Federal Government's delay in addressing a key issue of the 457 visa scheme is resulting in overseas workers giving up on Australia and worsening the crisis faced in many skills-short industries such as health, resources and IT.

The RCSA is calling on the Government to speed up its response to the 457 visa mess that is stopping employers of on-hired employees from sponsoring skilled migrants. Charles Cameron, policy adviser to the RCSA said that the latest review of the 457 scheme, announced today by the Minister for Immigration & Citizenship Chris Evans, is important for maintaining the integrity of the scheme and is supported by the RCSA.

"However we hope that it will not be an impediment to solving the current and very pressing issue of the on-hire Labour Agreement. The changes to the regulations have been in place for six months now, and that means six months of uncertainty, frustration and disappointment for the many hundreds of overseas workers who have been left in limbo, waiting for a solution," he said.

From the 1st October 2007, changes to the immigration regulations meant that on-hire employers are unable to sponsor 457 visas unless they have signed a Labour Agreement.

"Many companies (90 per cent of RCSA Members) simply can't meet some of the terms of the Labour Agreement, while others who have been able to, are seeing their applications languish in some sort of administrative black hole," Mr Cameron said.

The RCSA is calling for an immediate reversal of the October 1 regulations, while a long term solution can be considered.

15 April, 2008


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