The Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa is for workers who have an Australian employer to sponsor them. They last up to four (4) years. Well prepared applications can be decided within weeks of being lodged.
Getting a subclass 457 visa is a 3-stage process:
- Sponsorship – assessing the employer’s business
- Nomination – assessing the job
- Visa Application – assessing the worker
The business must convince the Australian Government that it:
- Is lawfully operating a reputable business in Australia (Overseas businesses can become a sponsor in some circumstances). All types of businesses are eligible to apply (companies, trusts, partnerships, sole proprietors, franchisees, etc)
- Will employ the worker directly, or through a related company
- Is substantial enough justify and afford the proposed worker
- Is committed to training Australians. Immigration looks for either
- proof of training expenditure ‘last year’ equal to 1% of the business’ payroll; or
- documents to show money equal to 2% of the business’ payroll was donated to an industry training fund recently
- Has the capacity to fulfil the Sponsor Obligations. Australian Government requires sponsors to take responsibility for the situation and to cover various liabilities. Many of the liabilities can be dealt with by having appropriate office systems in place and by negotiating an appropriate contract with the worker (we can assist with that). A sponsor’s responsibility commences on visa grant and ceases when the worker ceases to hold that visa (there are some exceptions).
Sponsorships normally last 3 years (1 year for start-up businesses and 6 years for those with accredited status).
Sponsorship accreditation is available to employers who get more than thirty subclass 457 visas per year and meet a variety of Australian Government expectations. It lasts 6 years and results in faster visa grants.
Alternately sponsors can negotiate a Labour Agreement with the Australian Government. The process is complex and legal representation is highly recommended.
The sponsor must convince the Australian Government that
- The job offered is on the approved list of jobs (it is not the job title, but the tasks to be undertaken that is assessed)
- The employment contract meets Australian Government standards
- The pay offered is a market salary over AUD53,900 (base salary, excluding superannuation, commissions and package benefits).
- The job on offer is a genuine position in the sponsor’s organization and was not created for the worker under consideration
- Labour market testing (proof a suitable Australian cannot be found to take the job) is normally only required for engineers, nurses, nurse managers, tradespersons and low-skilled occupations
Mismatch between the tasks of the job and the expectations of the Australian Government can result in visa cancellation, and in some cases cancellation of the employer’s entire sponsorship arrangement.
The worker must convince the Australian Government that they have
- Sufficient English language skills. Some visa applicants must provide an IELTS test result. A score of 5,5,5,5 on the “general” IETLS test is required
- Appropriate qualifications and work references. For example, the minimum requirement for a professional level job is a relevant 3-year university degree or at least 5 years experience in the industry. In some cases a formal skill assessment may be required. Workers who cannot meet the Australian Government’s qualification requirements still have options. Special care is needed; please seek legal advice in advance.
- Any license, membership or registration required to do their job in Australia
- Appropriate health cover
- Can be applied for in or out of Australia. If you apply in Australia, you can stay on a bridging visa while the application is decided.
- Quicker and easier to get that permanent residence
- If the 457 visa is granted
- Get unlimited travel rights for the life of the visa
- Get full work rights
- Have access to Australia’s free health care system (Medicare) if you are from Ireland, New Zealand, UK, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway or Sweden
- Upgrade to permanent residence available through the Employer Nomination Scheme
- Sponsor obligations
- Changing jobs (whether at the same employer, or for a different sponsor) requires Australian Government approval
- Temporary visa, not permanent residence
The Immigration Department audits some sponsors and has wide powers to sanction non-compliance with their rules. We strongly recommend that sponsors get legal advice about establishing appropriate systems to safeguard against non-compliance issues.