A new processing centre for 457 business visas will be established in Perth, and employers with good performance records will have their visa applications fast-tracked, under changes to the temporary skilled migration program.In total, 16 recommendations have been put to Immigration Minister Chris Evans, following a review of the 457 visa system by a group of industry representatives, including the University of Western Australia's energy and minerals director, Tim Shanahan. Among the new measures is a priority processing system for employers with good records of compliance - a measure which has been advocated by industry groups for some time. Another major change will be the formation of specialised visa processing teams in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, which will be operating from July.These will be region and industry specific, in order to be more responsive to projects and reduce backlogs.The external reference group also found that greater competition was needed between English language service providers, to improve language testing, and employers required more support to lodge 'decision ready' applications. The external reference group was formed in February to advise the federal government on ways to improve the 457 visa system, covering issues such as long term planning and reducing duplication.
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