The 457 visa is the main visa used to sponsor employees to work in Australia. The employer can either be a business operating in Australia or overseas. This visa is now closed to new applications and replaced by the TSS 482 visa.
Most employers will apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor. The approval generally lasts for 3 years and there is a limit to the number of employees who can be sponsored over this time.
The application for a company sponsorship visa consists of 3 parts:
Applying for approval as a business sponsor would require the business to provide details to show:
The sponsor is a lawful, operating business
The sponsor has the financial ability to meet its sponsorship obligations
That the business meets certain training benchmarks, or is a startup company which has an auditable plan to meet the training benchmarks.
The employer must then apply for permission to sponsor an overseas resident to fill certain nominated position(s). The main criteria here are that:
The position is in an occupation on the CSOL (Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List); AND
The applicant is to be paid a base salary of at least the TSMIT (currently $53,900); AND
Terms and conditions of the employment are no less favourable than for an Australian in an equivalent position – in particular, the salary paid is at least at the market rate.
3. VISA APPLICATION
The employee would then apply for a visa to work in Australia to fill the nominated position. This would involve providing the following evidence:
That the employee has the required skills to fill the position and is eligible for any required licensing or registration
The employee meets the 457 English requirement
That the employee meets the health requirements for the visa and holds suitable health insurance.
DURATION AND CONDITIONS
The 457 visa is valid for up to 4 years, and extensions are possible. The 457 visa is subject to a condition 8107 work restriction and can only work for the sponsoring employer, unless a different employer lodges a new nomination for the employee. The visa can be cancelled if the employee ceases employment for more than 60 days, and the employee must maintain their health insurance cover.
Validity period: The maximum duration of 457 visas issued from this date for occupations that are on the STSOL will be two years. Occupations on the MLTSSLwill continue to be issued for a maximum duration of four years.
457 visa Changes from July 2017
From 1 July 2017, for the existing 457 visa: –
English language requirements: English language salary exemption threshold, which exempts applicants whose salary is over $96,400 from the English language requirement, will be removed. –
Training benchmarks: Policy settings about the training benchmark requirement will be made clearer in legislative instruments. –
Character: Provision of penal clearance certificates will become mandatory. You will always have to provide penal clearance regardless of previous criminal history.
If you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the STSOL list, it can only be granted for 2 years. There will be one (only) further extension allowed after that for another 2 years. You will not be allowed to apply for a permanent 186/187 visa under that occupation if it is on the STSOL.
If you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the MLTSSL list, it can be granted for 4 years. You will be able to be apply for a permanent 186/187 visa after 3 years on a 457 visa if that company decides to nominate you.
Timelineof future 457 changes are:
from 19 April 2017 – 216 occupations removed and 59 others restricted, 24 occupations restricted to regional Australia, Occupational lists renamed, validity period for occupations on STSOL 2 years.
from01 July 2017 – English salary exemption $96,400 to be removed, training benchmarks to be changed, mandatory penal clearance certificates.
before 31 December 2017 – collection of TFN for 457 visa holders for ATO data matching, publication of sanctioned sponsors.
from March 2018 – 457 visa abolished and replaced with TSS visa which will comprise the Short-Term(2 years) and Medium-Term stream(4 years).