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I. Introduction

Australia's universal visa system is governed by the Migration Act 1998 and associated regulations.[1] A range of temporary and permanent visa "subclasses" is available. The eligibility criteria for each visa subclass are set out in Schedule 2 of the Migration Regulations 1994.[2] There are also character requirements[3] that apply to all visa applicants as well as health requirements that may apply depending on an applicant's length of stay, intended activities, and country of residence.[4] Applicants for permanent, and some temporary, visas may also be required to sign an Australian Values Statement.[5] Family members (partners and dependents) of primary applicants may be included on applications for some visas. Such persons must also meet any applicable health and character requirements.[6]

The country's work visa system is primarily focused on skilled workers.[7] A range of visas are available for workers with various skills, education, and occupations, including temporary employer-sponsored visas,[8] permanent visas (both independent and sponsored),[9] and programs aimed at providing avenues for different regions in the country to fill skilled positions based on their particular needs.[10]

There are a small number of programs aimed at meeting needs for low- or semiskilled workers in different sectors or parts of the country. In July 2012, following a four-year pilot program,[11] a seasonal worker program was introduced that involves arrangements with specific countries and special visa conditions.[12] In addition, companies in the resources sector (e.g., mining companies) can enter into Enterprise Migration Agreements with the federal government as part of a program aimed at easing access to the country by employer-sponsored, semiskilled temporary workers in order to address labor shortages.[13] A further Regional Migration Agreement program is designed to "increase capacity in regional labor markets" that are experiencing acute skill and labor shortages, particularly in remote areas.[14]

Australia also operates working holiday programs for young people of certain countries who are able to engage in any type of work for limited periods during their visit to Australia.[15] Student visas also provide limited work rights.[16]

Apart from these programs, low- or semiskilled positions may in some cases be filled by New Zealand citizens who, under special reciprocal arrangements between the two countries, are able to live, study, and work (in any occupation) in Australia indefinitely on special "temporary" visas.[17]

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II. Temporary Visa Programs for Low- and Semiskilled Workers


A. Seasonal Worker Program

The Seasonal Worker Program (SWP), currently scheduled to run until 2016, is administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). It applies to the following industries: horticulture (all locations), tourism (accommodation; limited locations), sugarcane (limited locations), cotton (limited locations), aquaculture (limited locations).[18]

1. Eligibility

The SWP makes special temporary visas (subclass 416 (Special Program) visas) available to citizens of certain countries with which Australia has entered agreements: East Timor, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.[19] In addition to meeting the standard health and character criteria, and signing an Australian Values Statement, visa applicants must be invited to participate in the SWP by an approved employer, be outside Australia throughout the visa application and approval process, be between twenty-one and forty-five years of age, and "have a genuine intention to comply with the conditions of the visa and enter Australia temporarily for seasonal work and return to [their] home country after employment ceases."[20]

2. Recruitment and Sponsorship

Employers must be approved by DEEWR as "Special Program Sponsors" in order to participate in the SWP. Approved employers enter into a Special Program Agreement that sets out the terms and conditions of the program and includes monitoring and reporting on obligations.[21] Sponsors have particular obligations, including cooperating with inspectors; keeping certain records and providing these on request; informing the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) when certain events occur; not recovering, or seeking to recover, certain costs from the sponsored applicant, including in relation to their recruitment or the employer's application to become a sponsor; paying costs (up to AU$10,000) incurred by the government in locating or removing a sponsored applicant from Australia where they have become an unlawful noncitizen; and any other obligations set out in the agreement with DEEWR.[22]

In terms of recruitment, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian government and each participating country sets out the government agency responsible for providing or coordinating recruitment services in that country. Those services include: assisting sponsors in selecting "a suitable number of appropriate seasonal workers, taking into account employer requirements, potential development impacts and gender equity"; providing assistance to applicants, where required, to obtain health checks and police clearances; verifying applicant identities; and coordinating predeparture briefings for selected workers that cover matters such as Australian living and working conditions, the costs involved, accommodation arrangements, taxation and deductions from earnings, visa conditions, financial literacy, and banking and remittance arrangements.[23]

3. Visa Conditions

Under the SWP, seasonal workers

  • are able work in Australia for fourteen weeks to 6 months
  • are permitted multiple travel to Australia during this period
  • may return to work in future years, if they comply with visa conditions
  • are limited to working with the Special Program Sponsor
  • must maintain private health insurance during their stay
  • are not permitted to apply for another visa while in Australia
  • need to pay for their own living expenses, other incidentals and part of their international and domestic travel
  • are not able to bring dependants with them.[24]

Visa holders are only able to stay in Australia for the duration of their employment plus an additional four weeks to facilitate travel arrangements.[25]

4. Admission Status of Family Members

Dependent family members may not accompany workers who participate in the SWP.[26]

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B. Working Holiday Visas

Australia has two programs available for young people to come to Australia for an extended vacation (up to twelve months) supplemented by short-term employment: "Working Holiday" visas (subclass 417) and "Work and Holiday" visas (subclass 462). The former are available to applicants from Belgium, Canada, the Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom;[27] the latter to those from Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, and the U.S, with different arrangements applying depending on the reciprocal agreements with these countries.[28] The Work and Holiday visa available to U.S. citizens will be used as an example for the purposes of this report.

1. Eligibility

In addition to meeting the standard health and character requirements, and signing an Australian Values statement, applicants for either of the working holiday programs must be between eighteen and thirty years old at the time of applying.[29] Both visas also require evidence that the applicant has sufficient funds to support themselves "for the initial stage" of the vacation and must also have a return or onward ticket or the funds for the fare to depart Australia.[30]

Subclass 462 (U.S.) visa applicants must have graduated from high school or completed an equivalent qualification in order to be eligible for the program.[31]

2. Recruitment and Sponsorship

Employer sponsorship is not required for applicants to obtain working holiday visas or to work in Australia.

3. Visa Conditions

Visa holders on the two programs must enter Australia within twelve months of a visa being granted. Various conditions may be included in a visa grant notice.[32]

Subclass 417 and 462 (U.S.) visas allow holders to do any kind of work over the course of their twelve months in Australia, but they cannot work for more than six months for any one employer.[33] They can also study for up to four months.[34]

Subclass 417 visa holders can extend their stay in Australia, either by applying for a second Working Holiday visa or any other visa for which they are eligible (either temporary or permanent).[35] However, subclass 462 (U.S.) visa holders can only apply for a second Work and Holiday visa if their visa is granted without a "No Further Stay" condition. They are also not generally eligible to apply for most skilled and student visas while they are in the country.[36]

4. Admission Status of Family Members

Working holiday visas are available for individual applicants only; each traveler must obtain a visa if they wish to travel to Australia.[37] Subclass 417 and 462 (U.S.) visas do not allow people to bring dependent children with them to Australia.[38]

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C. Labor Agreement Programs

Both the Enterprise Migration Agreement and Regional Migration Agreement programs involve the granting of subclass 457 visas (Temporary Work (Skilled)).[39] This is the major category of visa for employer-sponsored temporary workers. Broadly, applicants for 457 visas must be sponsored and nominated by an approved employer, and the sponsored position must be in an eligible skilled occupation that is included in the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL).[40] The person must have the qualifications, skills, and experience required for the position as well as meeting any license or registration requirements, and must meet English language requirements.[41]

Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMA) allows the owners of major resource projects (defined as projects with capital expenditure of more than AU$2 billion dollars and a peak workforce of more than 1,500 workers) to negotiate agreements with the government that specify particular occupations, qualifications, and English language skills that would be required of temporary workers from outside Australia. The occupations need not be included in the CSOL, and can include semiskilled roles, provided that the project can show "a genuine need that cannot be met from the Australian labour market."[42] The project must also commit to training strategies in relation to occupations for which there is a shortage, and "commit to reducing reliance on labour from outside Australia over time, with particular focus on semi-skilled labour where this is approved for the EMA."[43]

Similarly, Regional Migration Agreements (RMA) can specify semiskilled occupations not included in the CSOL, provided certain minimum requirements are met.[44] These agreements can be made between individual state or territory governments or local councils and the federal government, and "specify the occupations, numbers and visa requirements for the sponsorship of workers from outside Australia to certain regional locations."[45] Once an agreement is in place, employers in the particular area can "sponsor workers in a broader range of occupations that are currently not included in standard skilled migration programs."[46]

Under the above two targeted programs, regional and subcontracting employers sign labor agreements that meet the terms of the relevant EMA or RMA. A Labour Agreement program also exists as a standard option that allows employers or industry associations to enter agreements with the federal government that specify occupations for which there is an identified or emerging labor shortage that cannot be resolved via normal sponsorship. Under this broader program, employers can sponsor a specified number of overseas workers in nominated positions for either temporary or permanent visas.[47] Like the EMA and RMA, this program can be used to fill specialized and semiskilled positions, but "does not cater for unskilled occupations."[48]

1. Eligibility

Once the relevant agreements are in place, nominated foreign workers may apply for a visa. Applicants must have any skills, qualifications, and experience specified in the agreement, including English language skills, and must meet any mandatory licensing, registration, or professional membership requirements.[49] Standard subclass 457 requirements also apply, including the character and health criteria and Australian Values Statement, health insurance requirements, and showing a genuine intention to perform the occupation for which the applicant was nominated.[50]

2. Recruitment and Sponsorship

The subclass 457 program includes various requirements that a business must meet in order to be approved as a sponsor.[51] Sponsoring employers must comply with certain obligations that are aimed at ensuring "that the program is being used to meet genuine skills shortages, and is not being used to undercut local labour wages and conditions."[52]

An employer with a labor agreement is considered an approved sponsor and does not need to apply separately for sponsorship approval.[53] Such employers must meet all obligations specified in the agreement and comply with "all relevant standards and workplace legislation for wages and working conditions."[54] In the agreement programs, employers "must ensure that overseas workers receive remuneration as specified in the agreement."[55] Training obligations may also apply. For example, under the EMA program, project owners must have a comprehensive training plan that includes training in "occupations of known or anticipated shortage," and must commit to reducing reliance on foreign labor over time.[56] Subcontractors with labor agreements under this program also need to "meet one of the standard training benchmarks associated with the 457 program," which involve contributing a percentage of payroll to either a relevant industry training fund or to training of their Australian employees.[57]

3. Visa Conditions

Subclass 457 visas under the agreement programs may be valid for up to four years, depending on the terms of the relevant agreement.[58] Workers holding a subclass 457 visa must comply with certain employment conditions, including working in the occupation for which they were nominated; working for the sponsor who nominated the position; and not ceasing employment for a period of more than twenty-eight consecutive days.[59]

Subclass 457 visa holders must also comply with health insurance requirements while in Australia.[60]

Workers who hold a subclass 457 visa under a labor agreement may become eligible to apply for an employer-sponsored permanent residence visa if they meet the requirements outlined in the agreement.[61]

4. Admission Status of Family Members

Partners and dependent children and relatives may be included in an application for a subclass 457 visa, including those sponsored as a result of a labor agreement, and obtain full work and study rights if the visa is granted.[62]

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Prepared by Kelly Buchanan
Chief, Foreign, Comparative, and
International Law Division I
Februrary 2013



[1] Migration Act 1958 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2012C00855; Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2013C00062. Multiple additional subsidiary instruments apply under the Migration Act, see Legislative Instruments – All – by Title – MI, ComLaw, http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Browse/Results/ByTitle/LegislativeInstruments/Current/Mi/0.

[2] Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), sch 2.

[3] Migration Act 1958 (Cth), s 501; Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), reg 1.03 & sch 4 pt 1 (Public Interest Criterion 4001). See Character and Penal Clearance Requirements, Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/character-requirements/ (last visited Feb. 19, 2013); Fact Sheet 79 – The Character Requirement, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/79character.htm (last reviewed Jan. 2013).

[4] Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), sch 2. See The Health Requirement, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/health-requirements/ (last visited Feb. 19, 2013); DIAC, Health Requirement for Temporary Entry to Australia (Form 1163i, Nov. 2012), http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1163i.pdf (copy and paste URL into browser); Fact Sheet 22 – The Health Requirement, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/22health.htm (last reviewed May 2010).

[5] See Australian Values, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/values/ (last visited Feb. 21, 2013); Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), sch 4 pt 3.

[6] See generally GSM – Adding and Withdrawing Family Members, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/adding-family-members.htm; see, e.g., Temporary Work (Skilled) – Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457): Family Members (Secondary Visa Applicants) Eligibility, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/eligibility-family.htm (both last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[7] See generally Fact Sheet 24 – Overview of Skilled Migration to Australia, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/24overview_skilled.htm (last reviewed July 2012).

[8] The main temporary visa for employer-sponsored skilled workers is subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)). See SkillSelect: Subclass 457 Visa, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skills/skillselect/index/visas/subclass-457/; Temporary Work (Skilled) – Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457), DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/ (both last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[9] See Professionals and Other Skilled Migrants: Visa Options, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/visa-options.htm; Employer Sponsored Workers: Skilled Workers Permanent Visa Options, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/visa-permanent.htm (both last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[10] See generally Regional Initiatives, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/regional-employment/ (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[11] See Press Release, Chris Bowen MP, Visa for Pacific Island Seasonal Worker Scheme (Sept. 23, 2008), http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/media-releases/2008/ce08090.htm; Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), http://deewr.gov.au/pacific-seasonal-worker-pilot-scheme (last visited Feb. 19, 2013).

[12] See Seasonal Worker Program, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/seasonal-worker/; Seasonal Worker Program, DEEWR, http://deewr.gov.au/seasonal-worker-program (both last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[13] See Enterprise Migration Agreements, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/enterprise-migration-agreements.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013); Fact Sheet 48a – Enterprise Migration Agreements, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/48a-enterprise.htm (last reviewed June 2012). See also Natasha Bita, Low-skilled Migrant Numbers to Surge, The Australian (Sept. 5, 2011), http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/low-skilled-migrant-numbers-to-surge/story-fn59niix-1226129301383; Andrew Duffy, Low-skilled Migrant Numbers to Rise, Australian Mining (Sept. 5, 2011), http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/low-skilled-migrant-numbers-to-rise.

[14] Regional Migration Agreements, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/regional-migration-agreements.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013). See also Fact Sheet 48c – Regional Migration Agreement, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/48c-rma.htm (last reviewed Sept. 2012).

[15] See Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462), DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/462/; Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417), DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/ (both last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[16] See Student Visa Conditions for the Primary Visa Holder, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/students/visa-conditions-students.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[17] Migration Act 1958 (Cth), s 32; Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), sch 2 subclass 444; New Zealand Citizens Entering Australia, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/travel-documents/new-zealand.htm (last visited Feb. 11, 2013); Fact Sheet 17 – New Zealanders in Australia, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/17nz.htm (last reviewed Oct. 2012). For detailed information on the New Zealand-born workforce in Australia, see Robert Haig, Working Across the Ditch: New Zealanders Working in Australia (Department of Labour, May 2010), http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/research/ditch/index.asp.

[18] Seasonal Worker Program: How This Program Works, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/seasonal-worker/how-program-works.htm (last visited Feb. 14, 2013).

[19] Seasonal Worker Program, supra note 12.

[20] Seasonal Worker Program: Eligibility, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/seasonal-worker/eligibility.htm (last visited Feb. 14, 2013).

[21] Id.

[22] Seasonal Worker Program: Special Program Sponsor Obligations, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/ seasonal-worker/sponsor-obligations.htm (last visited Feb. 14, 2013).

[23] Seasonal Worker Program: Participating Country Government Agency Responsibility, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/seasonal-worker/government-agency-responsibility.htm (last visited Feb. 14, 2013).

[24] Seasonal Worker Program: About this Program, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/seasonal-worker/swp.htm (last visited Feb. 14, 2013).

[25] Seasonal Worker Program: How this Program Works, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/seasonal-worker/how-program-works.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[26] Id.

[27] Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417), DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/countries.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[28] Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462), DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/462/ (last visited Feb. 21, 2013). Australia previously also had an arrangement with Iran that has now ended. Iranian citizens currently in Australia on a Work and Holiday visa can extend their stay by applying for up to two further Work and Holiday visas. Work and Holiday Visa Options for Citizens of Iran, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/462/iran/ (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[29] Applicant: First Working Holiday Visa, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/eligibility-first.htm; Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) – United States of America: Eligibility, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/462/usa/eligibility.htm (both last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[30] Id. In general, AU$5,000 is considered sufficient.

[31] Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) – United States of America: Eligibility, supra note 29.

[32] Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) – United States of America: How this Visa Works, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/462/usa/how-the-visa-works.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[33] Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) – United States of America: Eligibility, supra note 29.

[34] Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417): Applicant Obligations, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/obligations.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[35] Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417): How this Visa Works, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/how-the-visa-works.htm (last visited Feb 21, 2013).

[36] Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) – United States of America: How this Visa Works, supra note 32.

[37] Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) – United States of America: Eligibility, supra note 29; Applicant: First Working Holiday Visa, supra note 29.

[38] Id.

[39] Fact Sheet 48a – Enterprise Migration Agreements, supra note 13; Fact Sheet 48c – Regional Migration Agreement, supra note 14. See also posts on Enterprise Migration Agreements in the DIAC Migration Blog at http://migrationblog.immi.gov.au/category/enterprise-migration-agreements/ (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[40] See Subclass 457 Visa Legislative Instruments, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/legislative-instruments/ (last visited Feb. 21, 2013); Fact Sheet 48b – Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) Visa, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/48b-temporary-business-visa.htm (last reviewed Nov. 2012); DIAC, Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) Visa (Booklet 9, 2012), http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/books9.pdf.

[41] See Skilled Workers (Primary Visa Applicants) Eligibility, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/eligibility-employee.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[42] Fact Sheet 48a – Enterprise Migration Agreements, supra note 13.

[43] Id.

[44] Fact Sheet 48c – Regional Migration Agreement, supra note 14. See generally posts on the topic of Regional Migration Agreements in the DIAC Migration Blog at http://migrationblog.immi.gov.au/category/regional-migration-agreements/.

[45] Regional Migration Agreements, supra note 14.

[46] Id.

[47] Labour Agreements: About this Program, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/la/ (last visited Feb. 21, 2013); see generally posts on the topic of Labour Agreements in the DIAC Migration Blog at http://migrationblog.immi.gov.au/category/labour-agreements/.

[48] Introducing Labour Agreements, Migration Blog (Aug. 24, 2011), http://migrationblog.immi.gov.au/2011/08/ 24/introducing-labour-agreements/.

[49] See Labour Agreements: Employee Eligibility, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/ la/eligibility-employee.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013);

[50] See Fact Sheet 48b – Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) Visa, supra note 39.

[51] Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) Visa, supra note 40, at 9–12.

[52] Id. at 13. The obligations include, for example, cooperating with inspectors, ensuring that foreign workers are provided equivalent terms and conditions of employment to what would be provided to an Australian worker, providing information to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship when certain events occur, and ensuring that the sponsored person not work in an occupation other than that identified in their nomination. Id. at 13–17. See also Sponsors Obligations, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/obligations-employer.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[53] Id. at 12.

[54] Labour Agreements: Employer Obligations, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/ la/obligations-employer.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[55] Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) Visa, supra note 40, at 14.

[56] Fact Sheet 48a – Enterprise Migration Agreements, supra note 13.

[57] Id.

[58] See Labour Agreements: How This Program Works, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/la/how-this-program-works.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

[59] Skilled Workers and Their Family Members' Obligations, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/obligations-employee.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013). According to the general information on subclass 457 visas, workers with this visa may change their employer or occupation during the visa period, provided that they have received an approved nomination from the new employer. It is unclear whether this ability could be affected or amended by particular conditions that are included in either an EMA or RMA.

[60] Id.

[61] DIAC, Reforms to the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa Program (May 2012), http://www.immi.gov. au/skilled/skilled-workers/_pdf/perm-sponsored-reforms.pdf. Under reforms introduced in 2012, a number of employer-sponsored permanent visa subclasses were replaced with two new visas: Employer Nomination Scheme and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme. Within these two visa subclasses there are three streams: Temporary Residence Transition Stream, Direct Entry stream, and Labour Agreement stream. Each stream has particular eligibility criteria.

[62] See Labour Agreements: Family Member Eligibility, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/la/eligibility-family.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013). See also Family Members (Secondary Visa Applicants) Eligibility, DIAC, http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/eligibility-family.htm (last visited Feb. 21, 2013).

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Last Updated: 02/28/2014