"I've been assisting Australian businesses and overseas workers access the Subclass 457 visa program for years. And over the years, I've seen numerous changes made by the Australian government to tighten this program. Recent intentions for the changes were to stop the exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers. This is admirable however, it has also created more, and higher, thresholds for both the sponsoring business and the foreign worker to meet. By partnering with KTA Migration, I will ensure that these thresholds are met by you both. And, I'll work with you to ensure that your ongoing obligations as a Sponsor and a 457 visa holder are continued to be met", Kathryn
The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa 457 program
The Subclass 457 visa program is the primary way for Australian business to recruit or transfer overseas workers within their business. There are 3 distinct parts to a Subclass 457 visa application: Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS); Nomination; and Visa Application.
Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS)
To enter the program, the business must make an application to be approved as a Sponsor. This application is prepared in consultation with an appointed Human Resources consultant or other authorised person within the sponsoring company. KTA Migration has worked with a range of business and industries, including start-ups, established, corporate and trades. KTA Migration will provide ongoing monitoring and compliance assistance to ensure that your business remains compliant with your Sponsorship Obligations.
Criteria for approval as a Sponsor are:
- The Sponsoring company must demonstrate that it is a lawfully operating business in Australia that is financially viable and in a position to meet its Sponsorship Obligations under the 457 visa program;
The Sponsoring company, or an associated entity under s50AAA Corporations Act 2001, must be the direct employer of the sponsored employee;
The Sponsoring Company must have a record of, or a demonstrated commitment to, meeting prescribed benchmarks for training Australian citizens and Permanent Residents in the workplace; or an auditable plan evidencing either benchmark should they be a start-up business i.e. in operation for less than 12 months. Furthermore, the Sponsoring company must have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to employing local labour and non-discriminatory employment practices; and
The Sponsoring company, or associated person, must not have an adverse business background, in matters relating to discrimination, immigration, industrial relations, occupational health and safety, taxation and other matters.
Following approval, the SBS will be valid for 5 years. Effective 1 July 2013, a start-up business i.e. a business established for less than 12 months, will be provided approval for a term of 1 year only. The business will need to apply for a further SBS at the end of this 1 year and, if approved, the SBS will be valid for 5 years.
The criteria for the Nomination of the position are:
The Sponsoring company must nominate a position that the overseas worker will be employed in; and this position must be one of the occupations prescribed by under the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL). The Sponsoring company must provide the overseas worker equivalent terms and conditions of employment, also referred to as the market salary rate. This is the rate that is paid to an Australia citizen or Permanent Resident performing the equivalent work in the same location;
The market salary rate for the position cannot be lower than AUD$53,900 per annum; and
The position must be genuine and must not have been created solely to allow the overseas worker to remain in Australia.
From November 2013, Labour Market Testing (LMT) has been introduced. This requires that a Sponsor provide evidence that, during the previous 12 month period, efforts have been made to recruit employees from within the local labour pool for the nominated position. Exemptions to LMT exist.
The Subclass 457 visa is a temporary visa valid for up to 4 years or, effective 1 July 2013, for an initial visa of 12 months for a visa applicant associated with a start-up business. The Subclass 457 visa is able to be renewed at the end of either term providing the company provides sponsorship and the position remains available to the Applicant.
The criteria for approval of the overseas employee’s personal Visa Application are:
The Applicant has the education and employment background relevant to and consistent with the proposed position and skills and experience required for the nominated position. This includes having Australian registration or licensing (if a requirement of the occupation);
The Applicant meets English Language proficiency requirements of an overall IELTS band score of 5 with no score below 4.5 in the components of reading, writing, speaking and listening (exemptions to this English language testing exist where a base rate of salary is at least AUD $96,400; where the country of passport of the applicant is the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland; and/or where the applicant has completed a minimum of five years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was delivered in English). Occupations that require that the applicant demonstrate a level of English language competency for grant of the registration, licence or membership must hold English language competency to that level or higher for the registration, licensing or membership to be issued.
The Applicant, and any accompanying family members, must meet health and character requirements.
Subclass 457 primary visa holders are subject to Condition 8107 which means that they:
- May only work for their Sponsoring company (or related entity under s50AAA Corporations Act 2001); secondary employment is not acceptable unless exemptions apply;
- Must not work in a position which is inconsistent with the approved nominated position; and
- Must depart Australia, or apply for another visa to remain in Australia, within 60 days of ceasing employment with their Sponsoring company. This 60 day requirement was amended from 90 days on 19 November 2016.
Subclass 457 visa holders, including primary and secondary visa holders, will also be subject to Condition 8501 (from 14 September 2009), which means that they must arrange adequate arrangements for Health Insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia. Subclass 457 visa holders do not need to maintain private health Insurance if, after their arrival in Australia, they are enrolled in Medicare under the Reciprocal Health Care Arrangement (RHCA).
Secondary family members may study or work unrestricted.
Changing Sponsors? KTA Migration can help you.
Addition of dependents to a Subclass 457 visa
New family members? KTA Migration can help you.