Permanent Employer Sponsored visa update

The Department of Home Affairs (Department) has set out the key changes being introduced in March 2018 for the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa programs, as explained below.

Outline of changes

The following changes are expected to take place in March 2018, subject to the passing of Regulations:

  • Skilled occupation lists: The Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will apply to the ENS and the RSMS, with additional occupations available through the RSMS to support regional employers.
  • Residency: The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years.
  • Work experience: At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required.
  • Age: Applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 years at the time of application. Existing exemptions for age or English will continue.
  • Direct Entry stream: The Direct Entry stream will still be available for the ENS and RSMS programs.

Transitional arrangements for Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream

The following transitional arrangements will apply to all applicants who either held a subclass 457 visa or had lodged a subclass 457 visa as at 18 April 2017 and continue to hold this visa or a 457 visa/TSS visa/related bridging visa at time of application:

  • occupation list requirements will not apply;
  • the age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age (and existing age exemptions still available); and
  • the minimum period the applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years.

If an ENS or RSMS nomination was lodged prior to March 2018, the associated visa application may still be lodged after March 2018 –the new Regulations are expected to specify which rules will apply.

For advice regarding skilled visas, 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.

Transitioning from the subclass 457 visa to the new TSS visa

From March 2018, the subclass 457 visa will be replaced by the new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa. Whilst there are going to be big adjustments for businesses and visa holders from a practical and commercial perspective, the Department of Home Affairs (Department) has also released information about how the transition will occur from a regulatory perspective, as explained below.

Existing sponsors

Employers who are already approved standard business sponsors under the subclass 457 program will still be able to sponsor overseas workers under the TSS visa program.

The following transitional arrangements are expected to be in place for nomination and visa applications (subject to final approval):

  • if subclass 457 nomination and visa applications are both lodged before the TSS is implemented they will be processed under the current (ie subclass 457) framework.
  • if a subclass 457 nomination application is lodged without a 457 visa application being lodged before the new TSS visa commences, the nomination application will effectively become ‘redundant’. The Department has advised that subclass 457 nominations will not be able to be linked to TSS visa applications, even where the nomination has already been approved.

The Department has also flagged that there will be arrangements made so that ‘redundant applications’ can be finalised and/or withdrawn with a refund of the fee provided. In light of the administrative complications associated with the transition to the TSS visa, the Department is encouraging applicants to:

  • lodge subclass 457 nomination and visa applications together before the end of February, or
  • postpone lodgement until commencement of the TSS visa.

Other arrangements in relation to secondary applicants and changing employer or occupation under the new TSS system are as follows:

  • Secondary visa applicants (of 457 visa holders or pending 457 visa applicants) will be able to lodge a subsequent dependent TSS application and (provided they meet requirements) will be granted a TSS visa linked to their family’s subclass 457 visa/nomination application. The period of the TSS visa will match the expiry date of the subclass 457 primary visa holder.
  • After the implementation of the TSS, subclass 457 visa holders whose visa is still valid but wish to change employer can get their new employer to lodge a TSS nomination application. However subclass 457 visa holders who wish to change occupation or need a new visa (eg because their visa is expiring) will need to lodge a new TSS visa application in connection with the new TSS nomination.

Given the changes announced last year are now well and truly on the horizon, it is important that where possible, businesses plan well ahead at this time to avoid having to lodge applications at the last minute and potentially being left with a ‘redundant’ application.

For advice regarding skilled visas, 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.

Looking forward – Changes to Skilled Visas in 2018

On 18 April 2017 the Government announced major changes to the temporary and permanent skilled visa framework. Whilst many of these changes were implemented last year, there are still a number of reforms slated for March 2018. In this article, we give an overview of the key changes which are on the horizon for skilled visas.

Changes to the Temporary Skilled Visa Program

From March 2018, the subclass 457 visa, which has been used by Australian businesses since 1996 to bring skilled workers from overseas, will be abolished. In its place, the Government will establish the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa. The key difference will be that the TSS visa will consists of two streams, theses streams will have different durations and carry different entitlements:

Short Term Stream (STS) Medium Term Stream (MTS)
Duration Two years Four years
Renewal Visa renewal onshore, once only Visa renewal onshore
Occupations Occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) Occupations on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
English language A requirement of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 5, with a minimum of 4.5 in each test component. A requirement of a minimum of IELTS 5 (or equivalent test) in each test component.
Permanent residency options No pathway to permanent residency Permanent residency pathway after three years
Other A genuine temporary entrant requirement will apply Additional occupations will be available for regional employers

 

The following changes will also take place to the temporary visa program:

Work experience: At least two years relevant work experience will be required

LMT exemptions LMT will become mandatory for all occupations, unless international trade obligations apply. Employers will therefore need to ensure they conduct LMT within the required timeframes, irrespective of the skill level of the occupation they are seeking to fill, unless the international trade obligation exemption applies.

Training: Employers will be required to contribute to a “Skilling Australians Fund”. The contribution must be paid at the time the worker is nominated and will be $1200 per year or part year for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $1800 per year or part year for other businesses.

Character: Mandatory penal clearance certificates are to be provided

Key Changes to the Permanent Skilled Visa Program

The following changes will take place to the permanent employer sponsored skilled visa programs:

Occupation lists: the new MLTSSL will apply to the Direct Entry stream for both the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme subclass 187 visa (RSMS), with certain additional occupations available through the RSMS for regional employers.

Eligibility for Residency: The period required to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years.

Training requirement: Employers will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund at the time the worker is nominated. The required contribution will be $3,000 for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $5,000 for other businesses.

Minimum market salary rate: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.

Work experience: At least three years’ work experience relevant to the occupation will be required.

Age: All applicants will need to be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application.

We note that for people who held, or had applied for, a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 will still be able to access certain existing requirements under the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

For advice regarding skilled visas, 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 Department of Home Affairs established

On 20 December 2017 the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) was established. As part of the Federal Government’s restructure, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been transitioned to the new Department. The DHA is responsible for immigration, border control, national security and law enforcement and includes the following agencies:

  • The Australian Federal Police (AFP)
  • Australian Border Force (ABF),
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and
  • Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) will also join the new DHA following the passage of legislation.

Links to information about traveling to Australia can now be found here:

http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav

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.

Changes to Health Requirements for Certain Visas

On 18 November 2017 new visa condition 8602 was introduced as well as changes to the health insurance requirements for subclass 457 visas, as explained below.

New Condition 8602

New Condition 8602 has been introduced which requires the visa holder not to have any outstanding public health debts while in Australia. Public health debts are those reported the Department of Immigration and Border Protection by any Commonwealth, State or Territory health authority but do not include health costs which are covered by health insurance or Medicare, or are for treatment for certain community health risks (eg tuberculosis).

Breach of condition 8602 may result in visa cancellation. Accordingly, visa holders who accrue a public health debt should arrange to repay any this debt with the relevant provider as soon as possible to avoid their visa being cancelled.

Visa Condition 8602 will be discretionary for some visas and mandatory for several visas including (but not limited to):

  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment)
  • Subclass 400 (Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist))
  • Subclass 407 (Training)
  • Subclass 408 (Temporary Activity) (certain streams only)
  • Subclass 417 (Working Holiday)
  • Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled))
  • Subclass 461 (New Zealand Citizen Family)
  • Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday)
  • Subclass 476 (Skilled – Recognised Graduate)
  • Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate)
  • Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional)
  • Subclass 500 (Student)
  • Subclass 600 (Visitor)
  • Subclass 601 (Electronic Travel Authority)
  • Subclass 651 (eVisitor)
  • Subclass 676 (Tourist)

Health Insurance Requirements for Subclass 457 visas

Subclass 457 visa applicants no longer need to provide evidence, or a letter from their insurer confirming their health insurance arrangements when applying for a visa – they simply need to indicate they have made adequate arrangements on the online form.

However Condition 8501, “maintain health insurance” itself has not been changed – that is, 457 visa holders must still maintain adequate health insurance while in Australia.

Need Assistance?

Contact our firm at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for more information regarding the most appropriate Australian visa strategy for your circumstances.

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.

Upcoming Changes to the Labour Market Testing (LMT) Requirement

Since 2013 457 visa sponsors have been required to test the Australian labour market to ensure there is no suitable Australian citizen, permanent resident or “eligible temporary visa holder” available to fill the position. Essentially this requires employers to provide evidence of attempts to recruit Australians, including details and expenses of advertising conducted. However, there are a number of exceptions to this obligation, as outlined below.

Current exceptions to the LMT requirement

Evidence of LMT must be provided to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Department) unless one of the following exemptions apply:

  • major disaster: the Minister may exempt a sponsor from the requirement to undertake LMT if a major disaster has occurred in Australia and the exemption is necessary or desirable in order to assist disaster relief or recovery.
  • skill level and occupation:  all Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) skill level 1 and 2 occupations are currently exempt from the LMT requirement unless the occupation’s experience or qualifications are considered “protected” under the legislation. Currently, experience or qualifications in the fields of engineering and nursing are protected, and therefore LMT is required regardless of the skill level of the occupation.
  • Australia’s international trade obligations: LMT is not required where it would conflict with Australia’s international trade obligations. There are a number of circumstances which fall under this exemption, including the country of origin of the visa applicant or whether the visa applicant is employed by an associated entity (of the sponsor’s business) which is located or operates in certain countries. However, even if LMT is not required because of international trade obligations, the Department still expects sponsors to provide an explanation of why LMT is not required.

Changes to LMT exemptions from March 2018

In March 2018 the 457 visa program will be replaced with the Temporary Skills Shortage visa (TSS) at which time LMT will become mandatory for all occupations, unless international trade obligations apply. Employers will therefore need to ensure they conduct LMT within the required timeframes, irrespective of the skill level of the occupation they are seeking to fill, unless the international trade obligation exemption applies.

Changes to the type of evidence of LMT the Department will accept

From 1 October 2017, the Department will no longer accept a summary table of domestic recruitment activities as evidence of LMT. Instead, employers will need to provide copies of actual advertisements placed and details of any fees paid.

For advice regarding working holiday visas, 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.

general skilled visa

Return of the Australian General Skilled Visa

With an increasingly restrictive (and soon to be more expensive) permanent Employer Sponsored visa regime, we are beginning to see a return of the Australian General Skilled visa program, which does not require employer nomination or sponsorship, as potentially a more popular visa option for skilled overseas workers.

The Australian General Skilled visa regime was much more expansive prior to the Government’s overhaul back in 2010, when the list of over 400 occupations was reduced to 181. However, it seems that since the Prime Minister’s announcement on 18 April 2017 to seriously restrict Employer Sponsored visas and abolish the subclass 457 visa, the Australian General Skilled visa may need to fill a necessary gap to ensure that Australia is able to continue to build its economy and attract overseas workers in areas where there are skills shortages.

Restrictions to the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) Visa

On 18 April 2017 the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced a series of reforms to the Australian work visa program which have restricted and changed the way the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa functions.

Proposed and actual amendments to the subclass 186 visa have included the following:

  • The first change introduced on 19 April 2017, was a stark reduction in the number of eligible occupations for the Direct Entry stream subclass 186 visa.
  • The maximum age limitation for the subclass 186 visa through Direct Entry was lowered on 1 July 2017 from 50 to 45.
  • English language proficiency requirements for the Temporary Residence Transition stream of the subclass 186 visa was increased from ‘vocational English’ to ‘competent English’ on 1 July 2017.
  • Caveats introduced on 19 April 2017 applying to certain occupations within the Temporary Work (Skilled)(subclass 457) visa program now also apply to Direct Entry subclass 186 visa applications from 1 July 2017.
  • The Australian Government has proposed a work visa levy to be introduced in March 2018 which would tax businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million a levy of $3,000 per overseas worker sponsored for permanent residency and businesses with a turnover of more than $10 million a levy of $5,000 per overseas worker sponsored for permanent residency.
  • The Government has also announced that the eligible list of occupations for the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), can be changed every six months, which will lead to increased uncertainty for Australian businesses and visa applicants applying through the subclass 186 visa program.
  • The Government has announced that from March 2018, only those Temporary Skills Sponsored (TSS) visa holders with occupations included on the MLTSSL list will be eligible to apply through the subclass 186 visa Temporary Residence Transition stream. The period of time a TSS visa holder must hold and continue to work for the same employer to be eligible for the subclass 186 visa is set to increase from two years to three years.

Comparison of the Australian General Skilled Visa Program

The Australian General Skilled visa program until recently was more restrictive than the subclass 186 visa, given that a different limited Skilled Occupation List (SOL) applied to Skilled Independent visas whereas the expansive Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) applied to both permanent and temporary Employer Sponsored visas.

Applying through the General Skilled visa program may now be a more attractive option for skilled overseas workers to remain in Australia permanently for the following reasons:

  1. It may be a less expensive option, especially given that no work visa levy will apply.
  2. Employees previously eligible for the subclass 186 visa may no longer be able to apply based on language restrictions, occupation caveats and a reduction in the number of eligible occupations for the subclass 186 visa. However, the same overseas employee may be eligible for a General Skilled visa.
  3. The eligible occupation list for the Direct Entry subclass 186 visa is now identical to the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) and Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visas. From March 2018, the Temporary Residence Transition stream eligible occupation list will be identical to the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa.

For Australian employers needing to sponsor skilled overseas workers on a permanent basis or overseas employees in Australia seeking permanent residence, the General Skilled visa program may be preferable to the Employer Nomination Scheme, especially going forward if the Government continues to restrict Australian work visas.

Need Assistance?

This is a time of significant change in governmental policy in relation to Australian visas and immigration law. It is critical for Australian businesses requiring skilled overseas workers to remain permanently in Australia that the correct visa pathway is selected.

Contact our firm at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for more information regarding the most appropriate Australian visa strategy for your situation.

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.

Australian Working Holiday visa

Greater Flexibility for the Australian Working Holiday Visa Program

The Australian Working Holiday visa program enables young people from eligible countries to travel to Australia for up to one year.

In a bid to expand the Working Holiday visa program and encourage more working holiday makers to travel to Australia, the Federal Government has recently introduced changes which have resulted in more flexibility for visa holders and Australian employers.

Increase of the Working Holiday Visa Maximum Age Limit

The maximum age limit for applicants for the Working Holiday visa has been increased from 30 years to 35 years. Not only does this provide greater flexibility for visa applicants, but may also result in Australian businesses benefiting from slightly older travellers who may have a higher level of experience in the workforce.

Ability to Work for One Employer Beyond Six Months

Previously, holders of Working Holiday visas required special permission from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to work for an employer for more than six months.  Working Holiday visa holders can now work with the same employer for up to 12 months, in circumstances where the work is undertaken in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed six months.

For example, a visa holder can work with one employer for up to 12 months in:

  • hotels, resorts or restaurants within the same chain, provided they are in different premises;
  • independently owned franchises, in different workplaces;
  • State and Territory schools and health care facilities, provided these facilities are at different addresses; and
  • separate branches or facilities of the same organisation or business owner.

 

This allows employers to transfer the skills gained by their employee to another location or branch within the business.

Lowered Tax Rates for Working Holiday Visa Holders

From 1 July 2017, working holiday makers will be taxed at 15% on earnings up to $37,000. Previously, the tax rate was 19% for earnings up to $37,000.

Benefits to Australian Businesses

As well as benefiting the Australian tourist industry, the Working Holiday visa program has assisted Australian businesses requiring workers on a casual or short-term basis in specific roles. The expanded and more flexible Working Holiday visa program will provide Australian businesses with the opportunity to hire more senior employees with an increase in the age limit and in certain situations, retain working holiday makers for a 12 month period.

For advice regarding Working Holiday visas, 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 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.