For some years, Australia has been accommodating to skilled workers arriving on 457 visas. Employers get a larger pool of talent from which they can choose potential job candidates, and jobseekers have the attraction of living and working in one of the most diverse countries in the world.
However, it's important for skilled workers to take into account 457 visa health insurance. Without cover, these types of foreign employees aren't allowed to work or even enter the country, as the government seeks to protect a public health system that is already stretched to the seams.
Could that change? It's unlikely, considering that public hospitals are still overburdened. Our growing and ageing is not making it any easier, either. What could change is the 457 visa itself, with policymakers hoping to make it less complicated.
457 visas open to change
According to new reports from the Australian, the Immigration Department has toyed with a few ideas for improving the skilled worker visa, including introducing a short-term mobility visa. Overall, the plan is to make the process more streamlined – for instance, by removing the visa criteria for proving proficiency in the English language, when that factor is already covered when applicants obtain occupational registration or licensing.
"The government understands that the current skilled migration and temporary activity visa programs are difficult to navigate."
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said there had been a "significant" amount of consultation on "developing options to reform the skilled visa system to ensure that it is best placed to support Australia's economic future", the Australian continued to report.
"The government understands that the current skilled migration and temporary activity visa programs are difficult to navigate," Mr Dutton explained.
"We are committed to smarter regulation in this area, improving integrity in our visa programs and increasing the contribution of skilled migration to Australia's productivity and economy."
Health insurance still vital for 457 holders
Immigration advice company Work Permit reported that the Australian Senate Committee is "gathering evidence supplied by temporary workers, unions, labour hire companies and businesses" in order to advise on a suitable new framework.
What is unlikely to change is the criteria around private health insurance. All 457 visa holders require health insurance to get into the country, although it's not just a box that needs ticking. Finding quality health insurance should always be the first goal, so we can protect people in Australia – wherever they're from – against rising medical costs and a host of illnesses and injuries.
To discuss health insurance in all its finer details, and for professional help satisfying your 457 health cover conditions, give HICA a call on 1300 44 22 01, or +61 3 9439 9888 from overseas.