Chinese Nationals Exemption from Labour Market Testing
September 16, 2016
Exemption from Labour Market Testing for Chinese nationals for 457 visas under ChAFTA.
The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was signed in June earlier this year (2015) by the Australian and Chinese governments. It is an agreement to lower trade barriers – such as tariffs on imported goods, and restrictions on labour and investment between China's and Australia's economies.
Recently, there have been active discussions on the issue of the cap on the number of 457 visas to be issued under the ChAFTA and also the abolishment of the labour market testing requirement for Chinese nationals. However the outcome of these discussions is not clear.
It is discussed in the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement:
Paragraph 3 of Article 10.4: Grant of Temporary Entry states that Australia shall not: a) Impose or maintain any limitations on the total number of visas to be granted to natural persons of the other party: or
b) Require labour-market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effect as a condition for temporary entry.
Current Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Investment, Dr Jim Chalmers MP added that the China free trade agreement has turned labour market testing from a mandated requirement into just an optional extra.
In view of this ChAFTA labour market testing debate, we have gathered information from more credible sources that is more important to migration agents:
Under ChAFTA, all Chinese applicants for a subclass 457 temporary work (skilled) visa will require skills assessment as per the usual standard 457 visa process, however a number of occupations currently subjected to mandatory skills assessment is reduced.
Occupations like Automotive Electrician, Electrician, and Motor mechanics are not required for the mandatory skills assessment and the remaining occupations will be in review later.
The key fact is that, contrary to government assertions, the agreement does not require labour market testing to determine whether Australian workers are available before issuing visas to Chinese workers.
If the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is implemented as it stands, the Australian government will give up the right to require labour-market testing for Chinese nationals sponsored for standard 457 visas and "installers and servicers" on 400 visas. It will also give up the right to put any cap on the number of 457 or 400 visas.
To avoid any unnecessary interference to the visa process, we encourage the nomination process to include labour market testing, despite the occupation.
For a peace of mind, it is advisable that the labour market testing is undertaken.
We conduct an accurate and efficient labour market testing process on behalf of migration agents and other recruitment agencies.
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