Holders of 457 visas have a high level of job satisfaction, integrate well into the broader Australian labour force and provide critical skills that supplement the Australian economy, according to the latest findings from the Migration Council of Australia.

The More Than Temporary: Australia’s 457 visa program report shows that the program is critical in keeping Australia competitive in an era when global innovation is ever increasing, according to the Council’s CEO Carla Wilshire.

“Four out of five multinational companies are using 457 visa holders to train and develop Australian workers,” Ms Wilshire said.

“The survey results reinforce that skills transfer and knowledge from 457 visa holders play an important role in building Australia’s human capital.”

“Temporary migration does not just fill skills shortages, it addresses skills deficits and plays a central part in workplace development at the enterprise level.” she said.

 While the survey found that the program does provide a benefit to the economy, it also identified compliance issues.

“It is concerning that 2 per cent of the program reported incomes less than the threshold income set by regulation,” Ms Wilshire said.

The report recommends that a price signal be introduced to encourage business to hire Australian workers, providing funds to beef up compliance efforts and provide services to 457 workers in need.

“While the vast majority of 457 visa holders indicated they were settling into Australia well, the focus needs to be on spouses and dependents.”

“Having a spouse that works makes it more likely that 457 visa holders will stay in Australia and extending support services on a needs-basis ensures we capture their skills.”

The report details that over 70 per cent of 457 visa holders intend to become permanent residents in the future.

Ms Wilshire said this speaks to the recent transformation in Australian immigration policy.

“We are seeing a sustained move towards a ‘two-step’ migration program where demand from employers drives immigration,” she said.

The full report can be found here