457 visa implications for construction industry

457 visa implications for the construction industry

Ark Migration reviews the most recent reforms to the temporary work (skilled) 457 visa and examines the implications for the construction industry.

Following recent changes to the 457 visa, what are the implications for the construction industry?

Recent reports suggest that there has been a varied response to the removal of the 457 visa program for skilled migrants. Citing a desire to target industry sectors experiencing critical skill shortages, the Australian government has replaced the 457 scheme with Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visas.

The new TSS visa programme is now comprised of two streams, a Short-Term and a Medium-Term stream. It is proposed that Short-Term visas will be issued for a maximum of two years but cannot be transferred into permanent residency (STSOL). Medium-Term visas, however, will be valid for up to four years and offer a pathway to permanent residency (MLTSSL).

As one of Australia’s largest employing industries, the construction sector was granted 5,618 visas by the Department for Immigration last year. While several occupations in this sector have now been removed from the eligible occupation lists, including Construction Estimator, key professionals are still in demand to fill integral roles in the buoyant Australian construction industry.

Master Builders Australia pledges to work with the government to make sure the TSS visa responds to industry needs and CEO Denita Wawn has been reported as commenting “We welcome the government’s announcement of a new temporary skill shortage visa to allow employers to meet genuine skills shortages.”

While there remains some concern over the impact of this reform on the timeframe and costs associated with the recruitment of skilled workers, engaging the expertise of seasoned MARA and MIA registered migration agents, will ensure businesses and individuals are able to confidently access the appropriate visa.

To find out more, contact Michael Leonard, CEO and Founder of Ark Migration on +44 7904 666 124 or email michael@arkmigration.com

Business Talent Visa

New Business Talent Visa criteria

New property development criteria have been introduced for the Business Talent Visa (subclass 132) - Significant Business History stream.

What is the Business Talent Visa?

The Business Talent Visa is a permanent business skills visa that allows you to establish a new or develop an existing business in Australia. It has two streams:

  • The Significant Business History Stream: for high-calibre business owners or part-owners who want to do business in Australia; and
  • The Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream: for people who have sourced venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL).​

The additional criteria apply only to the Significant Business History Stream for all proposed business activities that relate to property development. The aim of the change is to help applicants better understand the assessment process and in turn speed up processing times.

Who could get this visa?

The Business Talent visa (subclass 132) is for business people who are nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency. To be able to get this visa you need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and then be invited to apply.

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you are nominated by a state or territory government;
  • are invited to apply;
  • you and your family members (whether or not they are included in your application) meet health and character requirements; and
  • you meet the additional requirements for the stream in which you apply.
What this visa lets you do

It lets you and any member of your family unit who has also been granted this visa:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely;
  • work and study in Australia;
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses;
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible);
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence; and
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).
What are the current requirements for the Significant Business History Stream?

You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have all of the following:

  • total net assets of at least AUD $400 000 as the ownership interest in one or more qualifying businesses for least two of the four years immediately before you are invited to apply and if the qualifying business(es) was a publicly listed company, a shareholding of at least 10 per cent of the total issued capital;
  • net business and personal assets of at least AUD $1.5 million that are legally acquired and can be transferred to Australia within two years after the visa is granted;
  • a total annual turnover of at least AUD $3 million in one or more of your main businesses in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply;
  • ownership of at least:
    • 51 per cent of a business with turnover of less than AUD $400 000 per year
    • 30 per cent of a business with turnover of more than AUD $400 000 per year, or
    • 10 per cent of a publicly listed company
  • an overall successful business career;
  • no involvement in unacceptable business activities; and
  • a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

You must also be younger than 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the region where it will operate.

What are the additional requirements?

If your proposed business activity relates to property development, you must meet the following additional requirements:

  • have relevant qualifications and experience (e.g. architecture, engineering, construction management);
  • the property development activity aligns with one of Victoria’s priority sector strategies;
  • the minimum AUD $2 million capital investment does not include land purchase costs; and
  • activity must not be small scale, project-based property development.

To find out more about how these changes may affect you, contact Michael Leonard, CEO and Founder of Ark Migration on +44 7904 666 124 or email michael@arkmigration.com

Australian Business Visa processing times

How long will my Australian Business Visa take to process?

It’s the question I get asked more than any other.

Processing times are never guaranteed. All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and timings can vary on any number of individual circumstances. But now the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)’s have published their global visa and citizenship processing times online for the first time.

Processing times are listed by visa type and will be updated monthly, giving you (and me) an indicative timeframe in which the majority of applications are processed.

If your Australian Business Visa application is in the process of being assessed, it’s a handy reference to have. However it’s worth noting that processing times can be impacted each month by a range of factors including:

  • whether you have lodged a complete application and included all necessary supporting documents;
  • how promptly you respond to requests for additional information;
  • how long it takes to perform required checks;
  • the time it takes to receive additional information from external parties, particularly in relation to health, character, national security, and Assurance of Support requirements;
  • the number of places available in the migration programme; and
  • surges in demand and peak periods

At Ark Migration, we don’t leave anything to chance. We’ll ensure that your Australian Business Visa application gets processed within the published timeframes. To find out more, contact Michael Leonard, CEO and Founder of Ark Migration on +44 7904 666 124 or email michael@arkmigration.com