Are you looking to work in Australia?
Are you representing an Australian or international company looking to sponsor workers for employment in Australia?
The 457 visa, is the most popular visa for working in Australia. The 457 visa enables Australian and overseas businesses to sponsor workers to stay in Australia on a temporary basis.
Here are 10 things you need to know about 457 visas:
1. Benefits for Australian or Overseas Employers
The 457 visa program allows employers to address labour shortages by employing overseas workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian. This means that 457 visa holders can temporarily work in eligible skilled occupations. As the 457 program is limited to providing work on a full- time basis for a maximum period of 4 years.
2. Benefits for the 457 Visa Holder
The 457 visa is an attractive work visa option because:
- Holders of the 457 visa may bring any eligible family members, including partners and children, who will have unrestricted work and study rights in Australia;
- Holders of the 457 visa have no limit on the number of times they can travel in and out of Australia; and
- Under the 457 visa program, visa holders are able to to change employers, provided the new employer is an approved sponsor.
3. Popular Occupations
Often when people think of 457 visas, the first occupations that come to mind will be top executive jobs. However, the actual application statistics reflect quite the opposite and suggest a wide range of sought after professions are nominated by 457 visa applicants.
A position for a 457 visa applicant must align with the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List with over 600 occupations included. In 2015 the most popular occupations included:
- Marketing Specialists;
- Sales and Marketing Managers;
- Business Analysts;
- Restaurant Managers; and
- Customer Service Managers.
4. The Three Stages of the 457 Application Process
There are three stages involved in applying for a 457 visa:
Stage 1 – Sponsorship: The business has to apply for approval as a ‘Standard Business Sponsor;’
Stage 2 – Nomination: Once the business is approved as a Standard Business Sponsor, a nomination application must be lodged, which identifies the position to be filled and key features of the position; and
Stage 3 – Visa: This is the third and last stage of the application process. The applicant applies for a visa and must have the required qualifications, skills and English language ability.
5. The Costs of a 457 Visa Application
Each of the three stages of the 457 visa require payment of a fee:
Stage 1 – Sponsorship: $420;
Stage 2 – Nomination: $330; and
Stage 3 – Visa: $1,060 for the main applicant; $1,060 for a partner (and any child over 18); and $265 for each child under 18 years of age.
6. Becoming a Sponsor of an Employee on a 457 Visa
To be eligible as a sponsor under the 457 visa program, a business must show that:
- It is a lawfully operating business, with evidence of trading;
- It is committed to investment in training; and it must meet training benchmark requirements; and
- It has no relevant adverse information against its business.
A business is generally approved as a ‘Standard Business Sponsor’ for a five year period. However for newly established businesses (those operating for less than a year), the sponsorship will be granted for 18 months.
7. Overseas Business Sponsorship
An overseas business with no presence in Australia can sponsor workers in Australia. It needs to satisfy the following requirements:
- The business must be lawfully operating outside of Australia;
- There must be nothing adverse known about the business or a person associated with the business; and
- It must be clear that the business sponsoring the visa applicant is coming to Australia to establish a business operation in Australia, or fulfil the business’ contractual obligations.
8. Labour Market Testing
Employers: It is important to note that for some occupations on the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List, it is necessary to prove that the sponsoring employer conducted labour market testing.
For occupations subject to labour market testing, the business must provide the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) with evidence that it was unable to find Australian workers to fill that particular position. Evidence of labour market testing will need to include job advertisements for that position, which can include online and print recruitment efforts.
Exemptions for the labour market testing provisions exist where it would conflict with Australia’s trade obligations.
Visa applicants: Before applying for a 457 visa, it is important to check whether your occupation is subject to labour market testing, and if so whether an exemption would apply.
9. Income Thresholds
In order to be eligible for a 457 visa, the salary offered must meet the income threshold. There are two important points to keep in mind regarding salary:
- The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)is the minimum for any 457 visa holder to be earning, which is currently set at $53,900. .
- As well as the actual salary being at least $53,900, it must be proved that an equivalent Australian employee within the same location would receive that salary.
10. A Pathway to Australian Permanent Residency
The 457 visa acts as a useful pathway to Australian permanent residency for visa holders. People who have held their 457 visa and been employed by their sponsor for a two year period may be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
The 457 visa is the most popular method for people wishing to work in Australia or employers needing to sponsor overseas workers. The application process can be cumbersome, however with the right assistance the stress involved in applying for a 457 visa can be eased.
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.
The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.