While the number of 457 primary visa applications lodged in the last 12 months increased by 18.1% from the previous financial year, the number of visas granted has fallen by 6.6%, according to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s latest Subclass 457 quarterly report for the quarter ending December 2014.

Application breakdown

  • 27,660 applications were lodged in the 2014-15 financial year up to December 2014, compared to only 23,420 in the previous 12 month period
  • Of these, 50.9% were lodged offshore, compared with 49.1% lodged onshore
  • The number of 457 visa applications lodged by professionals has increased by 15.9%, accounting for 50.7% of visa applications
  • 0% of applications came from technicians and trades workers

Visa grant trends

  • 25,530 subclass 457 primary visas were granted in the 2014-15 financial year up to December 2014, compared with 27,340 in the previous 12 month period
  • Of those granted, 52.1% were lodged offshore, compared with 47.8% lodged onshore
  • Professionals accounted for 52.6% of visas granted, with technicians and trades workers receiving 23.8% of total grants
  • The top three industries for visa grants were other services (15.7%), information media and telecommunications (13.2%), and accommodation and food services (11.6%)
  • Developer Programmers represented the largest occupation of visa grants (4.7%), an increase of 39.4% from the previous 12 month period
  • New South Wales received the highest number of visa grants (38.5%), followed by Victoria (24.4%) and Western Australia (16.9%)
  • The top three citizenship countries granted visas were India (24.1%), the UK (18.2%) and China (7.0%)

Transition to permanent residency

  • The number of subclass 457 primary visas holders granted permanent residence or a provisional visa was 25,160, an increase of 2.7% from the previous 12 month period
  • The vast majority of these permanent residencies or provisional visas were granted to those in the skilled stream (96.6%), with the remaining going to the family stream

A note on subclass 457 primary visa processing times

According to the report, “The rate at which visa applications are processed is subject to a number of variables including: the number of working days in a month, the number of public holidays and the occurrence of school holidays”.