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Australia all set to expand 457 & investor visa schemes 

The Federal Government of Australia is moving ahead to make it easier to recruit foreign workers on 457 visas and planning to expand the investor visa scheme.

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The Significant Investor Visa (SIV) program was initiated under the former Labor government to encourage foreign investment. This program will help people to acquire permanent residency for those who invest minimum $5 million in Australia for four-year period.

Also, the Abbott Government is planning to set up a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) that offers a 12-month path to permanent residency for those who invest $15 million. The government is planning certain reforms to SIV program which includes fast-tracking and quickening visa processing, promoting program globally and building up integrity protections.

 The criteria for eligible investments will undergo certain changes to make in lines with the national investment policies of the government. The criteria will be decided by the Austrade agency after discussing with the major economic and industry groups.

Austrade will become a nominating body for the SIV and emerge as an only body for nominating applicants for the PIV. The PIV will be initiated from 1 July 2015 and the amendments to the SIV program will take place between 2014 and 2015.

The government has responded to assess the 457 skilled worker visa programs. The statement said in Prime Minister’s office stated that the government will fast-track the processing of nomination, sponsorship and visa applications to recompense low risk applicants and progress compliance and scrutinize activities on high risk applicants.

The statement also includes setting up the requirements of English language in accordance with the sector and profession for the applicant and intensifies the approval period of sponsorship for 12 to 18 months for start-up businesses. Nevertheless, the holders of 457 visas will be paid at least $53,900.

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