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Hi everyone,

I was on the 457 visa for marketing and what I experienced at the workplace was completely different than the treatment the locals were receiving.

I was working longer hours and it always seemed like my job was hanging in the balance. I finally got laid off a month ago and am currently back in school on a student visa.

Does anyone else have similar experiences? Is there anything 457 visa holders can do against this unfair treatment without jeopardising our stay in Australia?
 

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The 457 is nicknamed, "the slavery visa" exactly because of that. From what I have read, employers know that 457's are at their mercy so they sort of tend to require more from you.

People going on 457's need to have the massive willpower to stay the course to permanent residency or else they'll wind up going back home. Personally, it would have been the 175 or 176 or I wouldn't have bothered applying for migration.
 

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Unfortunately there are some employers that will take advantage of the situation you are in. One way to combat this is always make sure you are networking across your industry with the right line-managers/hiring managers. Lunch time coffees, after work beers etc. Keep it informal.

Make sure recruiters are aware of you also, I tend to update my CV every couple of months and put it out in to the market place even if I'm not looking for a role - it builds my personal database.

There's a real need for good talent in Australia, and it's very hard to recruit good Marketing/Sales Managers.

I too have been burnt before by dodgy companies, hopefully this time everything is going smoothly and I'm really getting looked after so far... always have a plan B.
 

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Hi Ella,
Sorry to hear about your situation. May I ask how long before you arrived in Australia and started working before your company laid you off? Were you sponsored while you were in the US or while in Australia? Just wondering if you were sponsored from the US, why do companies do this and in the end lay them off in likelihood less than 2 years?

I guess this is why I pursued visa 175 for fear of what would happen if I ended up making the move to Australia and being laid off from work. I've read that people only have 28 days to find another employer to sponsor them. Short amount of time since it's already hard enough to find a new job within 28 days even with a PR visa. Let alone one that requires a company to visa sponsor the person.

I've been reading that some companies have this requirement that the employees they sponsor from abroad and pay for the relocation pkg,etc.. the employees they hire, they will need to stay with them for like 2 yrs. Otherwise, they have to pay back the money invested in them. Too bad that companies don't have that same requirement that companies keep their visa 457 employees for at least 2 years before having to let them go. But I realize it's probably economic situations that they do this before the 2 years.

Good luck with your schooling and new job prospects!
 

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Unfortunately, your story sounds all too familiar! Even large multinational companies behave in this despicable manner. I'm now on PR but I first moved over on a 457 - my ex-boss could only be described as a deranged bully who is in need of serious professional help! The job was nothing like the one that I interviewed for and my ex boss loved to remind those of us who were on work permit that we were at his mercy! No amount of hours was ever enough and he treated us very differently to those who had their own visa - there were no Aussies in the office (wonder why!!).

I got my PR visa and made a big deal of letting him know that I didn't need his sorry ass anymore to stay in the country and promptly left! Obviously there was the small issue of the relocation allowance, which I got out of paying - since he'd made my life hell for 5 months, I figured that that I would quite happily drag his name and the company's reputation through the mud if he pursued it - I had more than enough evidence of victimisation and bullying - so he dropped it! The fact that the staff turnover rate was through the roof in his department would not have helped his case either!

My advice is that if you can get your own visa, then go down that route and forget about work permit - it's not worth the hassle. There are employers who will treat you right but they seem to be few and far in between. I've since found a good employer who makes my old one seem like the devil - the company does not sponsor but they treat all staff fairly and the conditions, pay and benefits are fair.
 

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Stormgal,

You might have 909 posts and I am still to hit 3 figures but I think you are talking the biggest load of tat about 457 visas.
Please elaborate and be specific who exactly calls it the "Slavery Visa". It's like everything else in this life some people have bad experiences on 457's and people like me and many other's that I work with have good experiences- so I think you are not being fair generalising. My opinion of course - which I'm allowed !!!

So let's do a quick check - if you are on a 457 Visa on this forum - what is your opinion - good or bad ?? I'll start it off with a resounding 18 months happy with a great company !!
 

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Stormgal,

You might have 909 posts and I am still to hit 3 figures but I think you are talking the biggest load of tat about 457 visas.
Please elaborate and be specific who exactly calls it the "Slavery Visa". It's like everything else in this life some people have bad experiences on 457's and people like me and many other's that I work with have good experiences- so I think you are not being fair generalising. My opinion of course - which I'm allowed !!!

So let's do a quick check - if you are on a 457 Visa on this forum - what is your opinion - good or bad ?? I'll start it off with a resounding 18 months happy with a great company !!
Yes, you are allowed your opinions, and I am one who likes to listen to different opinions, and I thank you for yours.

Unfortunately, I don't have a positive opinion on the 457 because in plain and simple terms, I would absolutely hate for my job and my boss to dictate what country I live in and when I get to stay or go. I don't want that type of power over me.

Can you image the massive ass kissing you'd have to do and the politics you'd have to play just so that you can stay in the country? That is not for me, no thank you. I am sorry if this offends anyone, but that's just the way that I feel. Maybe other people have that type of charm and enjoy doing that sort of thing, but I am not cut up to be the star of the show at work.


I don't want to rant any further, but the term "slavery visa" for the 457 was more common back on or around 2005 during what I would imagine to be the height of its abuse.

One can find many horror stories on the Internet about how many employers abused foreign workers on this visa. I'll give you a few:

http://www.workplaceinfo.com.au/recruitment/pre-employment/inquiry-into-$3-an-hour-slave-457-visa-worker

Exploitation of skilled migrants exposed - National - smh.com.au


Even though some of these are old articles and yes I do realize that the Australian government has made some modifications so as to prevent abuse, posts such as this one show that the problem still exists to some extent.

In fact, if you were to read the comments on this youtube video, you'd see that some of them were posted not too long ago:

Look, if it works for you and others, then I think it's a great thing, but for the most part, no one knows who they're going to be working with and what type of boss they're going to get, so me personally, I would steer clear!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luwuOWi8lwI]457 Visas and the Exploitation of Foreign Workers - YouTube
 

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I am in h1b in usa and I think it is a kind of slavery visa.Although there are laws for discrimination, your stay depends on the job. I don't know how people view 457 holders in australia but here h1bs are looked down, because population here thinks we are taking their job.
 

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Stormgal,

Thanks for your nice reply - everyone is different - I could never come over to Australia on a 175/176 visa and then start looking for a job - which a lot of people on this forum do and end up taking anything to make ends meet !! As I said before we are happy with our 457 visa and if the worst happened I'm pretty confident I could find someone to take over my Visa within 28 days - but I don't think that will happen as my company are very happy with their 457's - after all they went to a lot of trouble going over to the UK to interview us and they certainly want to keep us !!!
 

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I'd like to chime in here and say that I have heard both good and bad things about the 457 and its very dependent on the kind of employer you have.
Using terms like "slavery visa" is a little too much though. I've been on an H1B in the US and my parents have worked in the Middle East on work visas. Its never fun to be on a work visa in another country and there are plenty of drawbacks.
Yet as another user mentioned, I would much rather relocate on a 457 with a job in hand.
Since the world 'slavery' is being thrown around like it means nothing, it would interest you to note that in the Middle East many employers take away the passports of employees preventing them from even leaving without their consent. Most those fancy buildings you see in the Arabian Gulf are built by people in situations like this. That's what slavery sounds like to me.
There's pros and cons but lets not act like its suddenly the worst thing in the world.
Being on an H1B in the US is a LOT worse as your path to a Green Card is infinitely more convoluted than an Aussie PR, and it comes with similar clauses and a horrible immigration system.
Just my two cents,
-nK
 

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I agree with all of you. It is not slavery exactly as it is by choice. I only have beef towards peoples lives and visa run by the mercy of corporate world rather than their qualifications. In a perfect world, I would go to australia on 175 with job offer in hand, but the world isn't perfect.I guess every situation has its pros and cons.
 
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