The Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (457) Program

The Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (457) Program was developed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), to enable Employers to sponsor skilled workers from overseas to work in their Australian business, where there is a shortage of local skilled staff. If an Australian employer wants to employ skilled workers from outside Australia, they need to submit a “Standard Business Sponsorship” (SBS) application. Holding an SBS allows employers to sponsor workers from outside Australia, so they can work in their Australian businesses for up to four years under each Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (457) held.

Standard Business Sponsorship application

A Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) is similar to a license – while valid it allows employers to sponsor an unlimited number of skilled workers from overseas. An SBS is valid for five years for businesses trading for 12 months or more; or 18 months for businesses trading for less than 12 months. It may be suitable for:

  • Established Australian businesses: Companies, Partnerships, Sole Traders, Trusts, etc
  • Overseas businesses: so they can fulfil obligations for a contract in Australia
  • Overseas businesses: to establish an Australian operation of their business and employ overseas workers to assist in establishing the business
Sponsor Obligations

Being a Sponsor requires strict adherence to Sponsor Obligations. They are in place to protect overseas workers from exploitation; and to ensure the 457 visa program is being used to meet genuine skill shortages, rather than undercut the local labour market.

All Sponsors must comply with the following Sponsor Obligations:

  • Cooperate with inspectors
  • Ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment
  • Keep records
  • Provide records and information to the Minister
  • Tell us when certain events occur
  • Ensure the visa holder participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity
  • Not recover from, transfer or charge certain costs to another person
  • Pay travel costs to enable sponsored people to leave Australia
  • Pay costs to remove unlawful non-citizens
  • Provide training to Australians and permanent residents
  • Not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices

Failure to comply with Sponsor Obligations can result in severe penalties.

Requirements

To become a Standard Business Sponsor, businesses must be able to show:

  • Are financially secure or have access to sufficient funds to meet their financial obligations
  • Training benchmarks have been met over the immediate last 12 months and for the period of any previous SBS held – where trading for 12 months or more
  • An auditable training plan showing how training benchmarks will be met- where trading for less than 12 months
  • A commitment to maintain training at the required level for each year of the SBS approval
  • A commitment to employing local labour
  • They don’t engage in discriminatory recruitment practices

Overseas businesses that don't currently have an operating base in Australia, do not need to meet training benchmarks.
Once a business sponsorship application has been lodged, employers are able to lodge an application to nominate the overseas worker's position.

Nomination

A company must apply to sponsor an overseas employee by nominating their position. The following position requirements must be met:

  • Be a genuine position
  • Be a fulltime position of at least 38 hours per week (less hours may be permitted, subject to meeting other requirements)
  • Appear on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL)
  • Meet Labour Market Testing requirements if applicable
  • Meet the relevant ANZSCO definition, qualification and/or skill requirements
  • Meet market salary requirements: salary must not be lower than that of an Australian in an equivalent position in the same location of the business; OR where there is no Australian employed in an equivalent position in the sponsor's business, the salary must not be lower than Australians employed in the same position outside the sponsor's business. The market salary must not be less than $53,900 exc. superannuation, regardless of whether more than that amount will be paid.

Once the nomination has been lodged, an application for the visa can be submitted.

Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (457)

The subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa is generally valid for up to two years, however if the occupation appears on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), it is valid for up to four years. Dependent family members can be included in the application.

The following requirements must be met by the main applicant (sponsored employee):

  • Meet qualification and/or skill requirements
  • Meet relevant employment experience requirements
  • Hold registration or licensing, or be eligible to apply, if required to perform that position in Australia
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Meet English language requirements

Prior to the expiry date of this visa, the visa holder may be able to apply for a new subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa.

Visa transfer (457)

If an overseas worker holds an existing 457 visa, where they are the main visa holder and were sponsored by another employer, that visa can be transferred to a new employer. The new employer will need to lodge or hold an existing SBS; and will also need to lodge a nomination application.

The overseas worker will be able to commence employment with the new employer as soon as the nomination has been approved. They are also permitted to serve out any contractual notice period with their previous employer, before they commence working for their new employer.

Dependent Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (457)

This visa is for eligible dependent family members of a person that is sponsored by their company as the main 457 visa holder. This visa can be applied for at the same time as the sponsored 457 visa holder, or after their 457 visa has been granted. The sponsored 457 visa holder and their dependent family members will have the same visa expiry date. Once the visa is granted, dependent family members have unrestricted work rights.

The following requirements must be met:

  • Be a dependent family member of the main 457 visa holder, including: children, de facto partners, same-sex partners, spouses, and other dependent family members
  • Be married (opposite sex) or
  • If in a de facto relationship, including same-sex partners, can supply evidence to show they have been living with the sponsored 457 visa holder for a period of at least six (6) months
  • Meet health and character requirements

Temporary Work Short Stay Visa (400)

This visa is for people who wish to visit Australia for short-term business purposes, such as business meetings, conferences, attend training, or for an exploratory business visit.

Temporary Graduate Visa (485)

This visa allows the holder to live and work in Australia after they have completed their studies. The graduate skilled visa is valid for a period from 18 months up to four years, depending on the Australian qualification used when applying for the visa.

The following requirements must be met by the applicant:

  • Under 50 years of age
  • Be in Australia at the time of application and approval
  • Possess an eligible valid visa
  • Meet relevant Australian study requirements
  • Meet English language requirements
  • International student recently graduated with an eligible Australian qualification; OR with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL)

We can help to make the process clear and smooth.