In the past, it has been possible for a visa applicant to sponsor themselves for a Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa through self-sponsorship as a business owner. This avenue for visa applicants has now been closed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
What is self-sponsorship?
Self- sponsorship involved the following situation:
- Where a visa applicant set up or ran either an Australian or international company;
- That company then nominated the owner for a subclass 457 visa; and
- A subclass 457 visa was granted to enable the owner to work as an employee in the business.
The idea of self-sponsorship is based on the corporations’ law principle that a company is a separate entity to an individual and therefore the company was a separate legal person to the visa applicant. This principle only applied where the business was a registered company and not a sole trader or partnership.
The visa applicant could be nominated to work as an employee of the business as long as there was legally an employer-employee relationship between the visa applicant and the company.
Change in policy
There has now been a change in the policy of the DIBP to prevent the situation of self-sponsorship into the future.
The DIBP has amended the policy to state that:
“The program is not intended to be used for non-citizens to establish a business in Australia and self-sponsor themselves; there are other visa pathways available for such purposes.”
Basically, it will not be considered a “genuine” position by the DIBP if the director of a company (Australian or international), nominates themselves for a subclass 457 visa any longer.
Requirements of the subclass 457 visa are ever-changing and often complicated.
For advice regarding Australian work visas and sponsoring overseas workers, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for Australian immigration assistance or call our office:
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