The government response to the 457 Integrity Review was released last month and the following changes have been made to the Temporary Skilled (Subclass 457) visa based on the recommendations of the Review:
- The list of English language test providers has been expanded. The list now includes TOEFL iBT (full form Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test), Pearson Test of English (PTE), and Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) test (conducted on or after 1 January 2015).
- 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.
- An exemption will be granted 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.
- The standard business sponsorship term has been extended to 5 years commencing from the date of approval instead of 3 years.
- The sponsorship period for start-up businesses have been extended from twelve (12) months to eighteen (18) months.
- The market salary exemption threshold has been reduced from $250,000 to $180,000. This is now in line with the marginal tax rate.
- The notifiable period for sponsors has been extended from 10 working days to 28 calendar days.