Category: Standard business sponsorship

Global Talent Scheme

The Global Talent Scheme (GTS) is a 12-month pilot being trialed under the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa program.

Businesses that need to fill a small number of high-skill, niche roles that can’t be filled by Australians or through existing visa programs and who meet the criteria can enter into an individual GTS agreement with The Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

A summary of the key requirements and features of the GTS agreements are as follows:

  • There are two streams – Established business employers who are Accredited Sponsors and Startups operating in a tech-based or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field. Startups must be endorsed by the independent GTS startup advisory panel.
  • The earning threshold for applicants is higher than under the standard TSS stream (currently set at $145,400).
  • The employer can negotiate variations on the standard TSS visa requirements.
  • The Department of Home Affairs prioritises processing of GTS agreements.
  • Trusted employers can access highly-skilled roles – they are not restricted to occupation lists for the TSS visa short-term or medium– term streams.
  • The visa is valid for up to 4 years and allows access to a permanent residence pathway.
  • The employer can negotiate age requirements for the permanent residence pathway.

For employers that meet the GTS requirements this pilot may provide crucial flexibility where they need to bring specialised skills from overseas but the circumstances do not meet all of the stringent visa criteria for whatever reason.

Any position filled through a GTS agreement must provide opportunities for Australians by, for example:

  • creating new jobs for Australians
  • transferring skills and knowledge to Australian workers.

For advice regarding accessing the GTS, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

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.

New Category Added to the Accredited Sponsor Scheme

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has recently agreed to a new category of accredited sponsor (category 5), as explained below.

Background

The Accredited Sponsor Scheme provides streamlined processing arrangements for those sponsors who apply to become accredited. Accredited sponsors receive priority processing for Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) nominations and visa applications, with most applications processed in less than five days as well as priority processing for ENS (Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186) and RSMS (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme subclass 187) nomination and visas applications. The scheme has four categories of sponsors which are described below:

  • Category 1: Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies with Australian workers making up at least 75% of the workforce in Australia.
  • Category 2: Australian Trusted Trader with Australian workers making up at least 75% of the workforce in Australia.
  • Category 3: Low volume usage and high percentage of Australian workers (at least 85%).
  • Category 4: High volume usage and medium percentage of Australian workers (at least 75%).

For each of these categories there are a number of conditions that a business must meet to be accredited, such as requirements relating to minimum annual turnover, business structure and employment arrangements.

New Category 5: Major investment in Australia

A new Category 5 has been added to the Accredited Sponsor Scheme. In order to be accredited in this category applicants must:

  • have made a major investment in Australia (of at least AUD50 Million) which has directly generated Australian employment. Options for measuring a “major investment” may include:
  • a lasting contribution to Australia, including: the value of the investment, the company’s pattern of investment, jobs created, export outcomes generated, tax contribution; or
  • innovative business practices or technologies, including: introducing new skills and capabilities, setting up research activities in Australia or collaborating with Australian research institutions; or
  • supporting exports and the expansion of Australian industry within global supply chains, particularly in high value-add areas.
  • not be a sole trader or a partnership.
  • have been a standard business sponsor for at least one year.
  • have nominations approved for at least one primary TSS/457 visa holder in the last year.
  • have had more than 97% of nomination applications approved in the last year.
  • have no adverse monitoring outcomes.
  • have paid all Australian employees in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates.
  • engage all TSS/457 visa holders as employees under a written contract that meets National Employment Standards where they apply.

For advice regarding becoming an accredited sponsor, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

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.

Training 457 sponsorship

A Changed Definition of Training for 457 Sponsorship

As part of the bundle of legislative and policy reforms introduced to Australian work visas, including the Temporary Work (Skilled)(subclass 457) visa, on 1 July 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) changed the definition of training for 457 sponsorship.

In applying to register as a 457 standard business sponsor, businesses are required to meet the requisite training benchmark. The training requirements include the following:

  1. For a business operating for less than 12 months, an Auditable Training Plan must be provided.
  2. For a business operating for more than 12 months, the options are as follows:
    1. Training Benchmark A: The business must demonstrate that 2% of payroll was placed in an industry training fund; or
    2. Training Benchmark B: The business can show that 1% of payroll expenditure was spent on training Australian staff.

Outline of the Key Training Definitional Changes

The key changes on 1 July 2017 include clarification of the following requirements:

  1. Definition of what constitutes payroll expenditure for a business; and
  2. Clarification of what can and cannot be counted towards training expenditure in order to meet Training Benchmark B.

What constitutes payroll expenditure?

The Federal Government has clarified that from 1 July 2017 payroll has an expansive definition and is considered to be one of the following:

  • The total amount of wages, remuneration, salary, commission, bonuses, allowances, superannuation contributions or eligible termination payments and payments made to relevant contractors or subcontractors; or
  • If the sponsoring business does not pay wages, contractors and subcontractors then the monetary value of director’s salaries, fees and drawn payments; or the profit of the business.

What Constitutes Training for Training Benchmark B?

The Federal Government has clarified that the following constitutes training for the purposes of Training Benchmark B:

  • for Australian employees to undertake a formal course of study, including any reasonable and necessary associated costs (e.g. costs of travelling to training venue) or access an online learning programme;
  • to RTOs to deliver face-to-face training to Australian employees that will contribute towards an Australian Qualification Framework qualification;
  • to purchase an eLearning platform or standalone training software; or
  • to cover the salary of:
    • Australian employees engaged by the business as apprentices or trainees under a formal training contract;
    • Australian employees who have completed an undergraduate or higher degree in a university within the last 365 days;  or
    • a trainer responsible for training Australian employees on a full time basis.

What Does Not Constitute Training for Training Benchmark B?

The Federal Government has clarified that the following cannot be counted towards training expenditure for the purposes of Training Benchmark B:

  • on-the job-training;
  • induction training;
  • staff completing online training courses;
  • purchasing software for use in normal duties;
  • membership fees;
  • purchasing books, journals or magazine subscriptions;
  • attending conferences for purposes other than continuing professional development;
  • hiring a booth at a trades show, conference or expo
  • training only undertaken by persons who are:
    • not Australian citizens or permanent residents;
    • principals in the business or their family members;
  • training that is not relevant to the industry in which the business operates or has a very low skill
  • level having regard to the characteristic and size of the business.

Proposed Future 457 Sponsorship Training Changes

Significant reforms are currently underway to the Australian visa program and when the new Temporary Skills Sponsored (TSS) visa replaces the subclass 457 visa, the Federal Government has announced that the current training provisions will be replaced by a work visa levy to be paid by standard business sponsors per worker.

Need Assistance?

It is crucial to each standard business sponsorship application that the correct evidence is provided to demonstrate meeting training benchmarks.

For advice and assistance with this process, contact us or email our firm at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au.

Disclaimer:

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.

457 Accredited Sponsorship

What’s New for 457 Accredited Sponsorship?

Included in the package of reforms for the Australian work and skilled visa programs which came into effect on 1 July 2017, are new arrangements for 457 Accredited Sponsorship. 457 Accredited Sponsorship was introduced by the Department of Immigration and Borer Protection (DIBP) as a means of expediting Temporary Work (Skilled)(subclass 457) nomination and visa applications for ‘low risk’ Australian businesses who were frequent users of the 457 visa program.

457 Accredited Sponsorship enables Australian businesses sponsoring skilled overseas workers to fast-track applications, thereby enabling workers to commence employment at an earlier date.

A New 457 Accredited Sponsorship System

The DIBP announced an expansion of the 457 Accredited Sponsorship system on 1 July 2017. The new requirements are intended to enable ‘low risk’ Australian businesses needing to sponsor overseas workers access to accreditation to fast-track applications urgent to the operation of the Australian business.

The new 457 Accredited Sponsorship system is intended to reduce subclass 457 processing times overall and is a welcome change by Australian businesses required to fill a skills shortage quickly.

The new accreditation characteristics are divided into four distinct categories:

Category 1

Relates to Standard Business Sponsors that are Australian government agencies (Commonwealth, state and territory).

Requirement:

  • Must have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia.

Category 2

Relates to Standard Business Sponsors that are approved Australian Trusted Traders.

Requirements:

  • Must have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia.
  • Engage all 457 holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement).
  • Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business.

Category 3

Relates to Standard Business Sponsors categorised as “Low risk” with low volume usage (of the 457 programme) and high percentage of Australian workers (at least 90%).

Requirements:

  • Must be a publicly-listed company or a private company with at least AUD four million annual turnover for the last two years.
  • Have been an active 457 sponsor for at least two years.
  • Must have no adverse monitoring outcomes.
  • Have sponsored at least one primary 457 visa holder in the two years prior to the application for accreditation.
  • Have a non-approval rate of less than 3% for the previous two years.
  • Have Australian workers comprising at least 90% of their workforce in Australia.
  • Must engage all 457 holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement).
  • Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business.
  • Have provided details of all business activities undertaken by their business to the Department.
  • Must have provided details of all Principals / Directors of their business to the Department.

Category 4

Relates to Standard Business Sponsors categorised as “Low risk” with high volume usage (of the 457 programme) and medium percentage of Australian workers (at least 75%).

Requirements:

The Characteristics are the same as Category 3 with two differences:

  • The business must have sponsored at least ten primary 457 visa holders in the two years prior to the application for accreditation; and
  • Must have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia.

To qualify for accredited status, a 457 business sponsor must still meet all the requirements for standard business sponsorship and demonstrate they meet the additional characteristics in one of the four categories listed above.

The Benefits of Becoming a 457 Accredited Sponsorship

The DIBP provides benefits to Australian businesses holding 457 Accredited Sponsorship. The benefits provided are as follows:

  • The 457 business sponsorship is valid for six years instead of five;
  • Importantly, priority allocation of all nomination and visa applications is granted; and
  • Additional streamlined processing of certain low-risk nominations is provided.

Existing standard business sponsors holding accredited status will not be impacted by the changes to 457 Accredited Sponsorship introduced on 1 July 2017.

Applying for 457 Accredited Sponsorship

Australian businesses already sponsoring or intending to sponsor overseas employees under the 457 visa program can apply to become a 457 Accredited Sponsor if the business falls into one of the four categories listed above.

For existing Standard Business Sponsors to apply for accredited status, the business will need to lodge a

sponsorship variation application and ask to be considered for Accredited Sponsorship. Additional evidentiary documentation must be provided at the time of application.

Businesses that are not yet registered as Standard Business Sponsors at 1 July 2017 must firstly apply to become a 457 business sponsor before they can be assessed for accredited status.

Need Assistance?

It is our priority to assist in enabling Australian businesses to obtain the workforce they require. We know firsthand that the employment commencement date of a skilled overseas worker can be crucial to the operation of the business and may be critical to fulfilling client contracts.

We therefore encourage businesses meeting the accreditation status criteria to obtain 457 Accredited Sponsorship in order to fast-track 457 nomination and visa application processing.

For assistance with this process, contact our firm at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au and we can advise on your business’ eligibility to obtain 457 Accredited Sponsorship status.

Disclaimer:

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.

457 visas

Australian Visa Changes from 1 July 2017: 457 Visas

The Federal Government has introduced a host of additional Australian visa changes which came into effect on 1 July 2017, impacting the Temporary Work (Skilled)(subclass 457) visa program. The entire 457 visa program will be replaced with the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa from March 2018, however in the interim, companies sponsoring workers on temporary visas are still able to utilise the 457 visa program.

The major 1 July 2017 changes to the 457 visa program are outlined below:

Eligible Occupation Lists

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced that it will update the relevant eligible occupation lists on a six monthly basis.

From 1 July 2017, the following changes to the eligible occupation lists occurred:

Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) – Additional Occupations

The following occupations were added to the STSOL on 1 July 2017:

  • research and development manager
  • production manager (manufacturing)
  • production manager (mining)
  • music director
  • music professionals (nec)
  • artistic director
  • aeroplane pilot
  • flying instructor
  • helicopter pilot
  • nurse researcher
  • web developer
  • ICT Support and Test Engineers (nec)
  • ICT support technicians (nec)
  • textile, clothing and footwear mechanic
  • butcher or smallgoods maker
  • retail buyer

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)- Additional Occupations:

The following occupations were added to the MLTSSL on 1 July 2017:

  • chief executive or managing director
  • corporate general manager
  • chief information officer
  • faculty head
  • university lecturer
  • environmental manager
  • musician (instrumental)
  • statistician
  • economist
  • mining engineer (excluding petroleum)
  • petroleum engineer
  • engineering professionals (nec)
  • chemist
  • food technologist
  • environmental consultant
  • environmental research scientist
  • environmental scientists (nec)
  • geophysicist
  • hydrogeologist
  • life scientist (general)
  • biochemist
  • biotechnologist
  • botanist
  • marine biologist
  • microbiologist
  • zoologist
  • physicist
  • life scientists (not elsewhere classified)
  • conservator
  • metallurgist
  • meteorologist
  • natural and physical science professionals (nec)
  • multimedia specialist
  • software and applications programmers (nec)
  • ICT security specialist
  • horse trainer

Removed Occupations:

The following occupations were removed to the MLTSSL on 1 July 2017:

  • Equipment Hire Manager
  • Fleet Manager
  • Picture Framer
  • Property Manager
  • Psychotherapist
  • Real Estate Agent Principal
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Real Estate Agent Representative
  • Ship’s Engineer
  • Ship’s Master
  • Ship’s Officer
  • University Tutor

The validity period for subclass 457 visas based on occupations listed on the STSOL are granted for a two year period and are able to be renewed once. The validity period of the subclass 457 visa based on occupations included on the MLTSSL is for a four year period and acts as a pathway to Australian permanent residency.

Mandatory Skills Assessments

Currently, for 457 visa applicants in specific occupations of certain nationalities, a skills assessment is required from Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) or VETASSESS. In addition, case officers from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have the discretion to request a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority when processing 457 visa applications if they are uncertain whether the applicant meets the definition of the relevant nominated occupation.

From 1 July 2017, additional countries have been added to the list requiring a skills assessment from TRA prior to submitting their subclass 457 visa.

Caveats

From 1 July 2017, caveats on certain occupations introduced on 19 April 2017 have been relaxed in relation to certain occupations. Caveats have placed specific requirements on several nominated occupations in terms of minimum salary, business turnover, number of workers employed by the sponsoring business, employment experience of the visa applicant, nature of the business and/or required location in a regional area.

This is a win for Australian startup businesses requiring the assistance of overseas workers bringing important skills to different industries, since new businesses were unlikely to be able to meet caveats placed on business turnover and employee numbers required previously for certain occupations.

English Language Exemptions

In the past, visa applicants earning over the high income threshold of $96,400 were exempt from providing evidence of English language ability when applying for a subclass 457 visa.

The English Language Salary Exemption Threshold will no longer be available for 457 visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017.

Police Clearance Certificates

From 1 July 2017, subclass 457 visa applicants will be required to provide police clearance certificates at the time of application. This change will affect applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017.

Need Assistance?

For specific enquiries regarding applications for Australian work visas, please feel free to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au.

Disclaimer:

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.

Australian startup sponsor overseas employees

At What Stage Can an Australian Startup Sponsor Overseas Employees?

With the new Gold Rush of tech companies and startups entering the Australian market across a wide range of industries, from Fintech to Agribusiness and Medical Devices, demand for skills not readily available in the Australian workforce is in high demand. Crucial to the success of some Australian startups is the ability to hire overseas employees to implement new technologies, support the local team, and in some cases, to assist in developing whole new industries in Australia.

We are often approached by startups querying at what stage their company can tap into international talent by sponsoring overseas employees in the business.

Here are the key criteria to determine whether a new business is sufficiently established to be a sponsor:

  1. The business must be registered and be able to provide an Australian Business Number (ABN) if the business is registering as an Australian sponsor;
  2. If the business is operating as a company, it must provide an Australian Company Number (ACN);
  3. There is no minimum amount of time that the business needs to be operating, but it must have the ‘flavour’ of being a legitimate business – for example, it can’t have been established for the purpose of sponsoring overseas employees;
  4. The business must show that it will be able to cover the costs of the salaries of the overseas (and local) employees; and
  5. It is useful if there are work contracts already in place.

With over 5,000 startups operating in Australia, the startup ecosystem in Australia is continually growing. The Government is also recognising the valuable contribution to the economy that startups achieve, through its “National Innovation and Science Agenda” which seeks to support innovation through various funding initiatives and tax incentives. The Agenda specifically supports startups through measures such as access to crowd sourced equity funding and attracting more venture capital into high potential startups as well as “ïncubators” which give startups access to mentoring, funding, and access to business networks.

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It is our passion and our pleasure to be able to help Australian startups obtain the workforce that the business requires to thrive.

For more information on applying for business sponsorship and Australian visas, please feel free to contact the author by email at rebecca@hartmanlawyers.com.au or by telephone on +61 3 9021 0986 or +61 (0)423 701 747.

Disclaimer:

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.

Accredited 457 Business Sponsor

Advantages and Changes in Becoming an Accredited 457 Business Sponsor

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced changes to the criteria that a business will need to satisfy in order to obtain accredited status as a 457 business sponsor, which will come into effect on 1 July 2016.

Since 2011, 457 business sponsors have been able to register as “Accredited Sponsors” to obtain a fast-tracked method of having their Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa applications processed by the DIBP.

The most notable amendment to the current system will be reducing the required number of 457 visa applicants a business needs to have sponsored for the preceding 24 month period prior to application from the current 30, down to 10.  This will render it possible for more businesses to apply to become Accredited Sponsors under the 457 visa program and obtain the benefit of expedited processing.

What are the requirements to register as an Accredited Sponsor?

The DIBP has announced that from 1 July 2016, in order to qualify for Accredited Status a business sponsor must meet all the requirements for standard business sponsorship and have all of the following additional characteristics:

  1. Be a government agency, a publicly-listed company or a private company with at least $4 million annual turnover for the last three years;
  2. Have been an active 457 business sponsor for at least three years (with no more than a six month break in the past 36 months), with no adverse information (based on monitoring, including formal warnings and sanctions);
  3. Have sponsored at least ten primary 457 visa holders in the 24 months prior to the application for accreditation;
  4. Have lodged an agreed level of decision-ready applications over the previous two years;
  5. Have a non-approval rate of less than 3% for the previous three years;
  6. Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia;
  7. Engage all 457 holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement); and
  8. Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business.

What are the benefits to Registering as an Accredited Sponsor?

Registering as an Accredited Sponsor entitles businesses to the following advantages:

  1. The period of business sponsorship is granted for a six year period instead of the usual five year period;
  2. Priority processing of subclass 457 nomination and visa applications are granted for Accredited Sponsors; and
  3. In addition to the current priority processing of nomination and visa applications for Accredited Sponsors, from 1 July 2016 Accredited Sponsors will also be eligible for “streamlined processing,” ie further expedited processing of nomination applications. This will occur:
  • Where the base salary for the nominated position is greater than or equal to the Fair Work High Income Threshold (which is currently $136,700) and the occupation is classified as skill level 1 or 2 in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO); or
  • The base salary for the nominated occupation is greater than or equal to $75,000 and the occupation is classified as skill level 1 or 2 in the ANZSCO with the exception of the following occupations:
    1. recruitment consultant;
    2. sales representative (industrial products);
    3. customer service manager;
    4. corporate general manager;
    5. procurement manager;
    6. quality assurance manager;
    7. sales and marketing manager;
    8. specialist manager NEC;
    9. hotel/motel manager;
    10. contract administrator; and
    11. information and organisation professionals NEC.

For current Accredited Sponsors, the business’ status as an Accredited Sponsor and priority processing arrangements will continue until the expiration of the sponsorship agreement.  Businesses currently approved as Accredited Sponsors are also entitled to upgrade their status to access the new streamlined processing arrangements which will commence on 1 July 2016.

For assistance in registering as an Accredited Sponsor under the 457 visa program, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

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.

457 visas

10 Things You Need to Know about 457 Visas

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:

  1. Programmers;
  2. Marketing Specialists;
  3. Sales and Marketing Managers;
  4. Business Analysts;
  5. Accountants;
  6. Cooks;
  7. Restaurant Managers; and
  8. 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:

  1. 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. .
  2. 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 info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

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.