The 457 visa program is a great way for overseas workers to work and live in Australia. This visa provides the perfect opportunity for skilled workers to come experience the beauty and high standard of living of Australia as well as utilise their skills in the best way possible in Australian businesses.
Why not experience the best of both the worlds? The pristine beaches, a hybrid mix of multiculturalism which gives access to different food cuisines, excellent weather, developed infrastructure, professional workplaces and world-class education.
Benefits of the 457 visa
Once Australian businesses hire foreign workers, they are more likely to work there for longer periods. This is because retention rates for local workers are generally low as they switch to different workplaces very often. The advantage here is that employees sticking for longer to a business are advantageous because they don’t have to keep spending money on training and hiring new employees.
Foreign businesses who don’t have any operations or locations in Australia can expand their business in Australia. Since foreign businesses may have a different work culture overseas, they can use foreign workers to continue the same work culture in Australia. This is because local workers may not have the same work culture as the company had overseas.
Now let’s discuss how you can get the 457 visa to complete your dream of living and working in Australia.
There are three parts to the 457 visa: sponsorship, nomination and visa application.
Each part must be satisfied and granted before you can move onto the next part.
Before starting the 457 visa, visa applicants must have an employer who is willing to sponsor them.
With such complex requirements for the 457 visa, it can be quite difficult to lodge a visa application on your own. Our experienced migration agents have extensive knowledge and experience in lodging 457 visas as we have been successful with many different clients.
It doesn’t matter if you’re business has recently started or has been operating for a long time, we will assess your eligibility and determine whether you can be granted sponsorship.
An example of this complexity is the what is defined as payroll. Payroll is defined as the money that is paid as wages to employees. It must be the amount paid to employees 12 months before lodging the visa application.
There are also requirements of different reports that have to be submitted to your company to the DIBP. Our firm can advise you as to what criteria is required for these reports.
The 457 visa program has been misused by many businesses over the last few years. As a result of this, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is making it tougher to get granted a 457 visa. This is because they are doing thorough and rigorous checks to ensure that positions are genuine and used for legitimate purposes.
We closely go through the legislation and 457 visa requirements to ensure that you meet all the criteria. Our extensive experience in getting 457 grants comes in handy as we know exactly what the DIBP are looking for.
We will be upfront and honest with you to tell you if we think you will be successful or not in getting the 457 visa.
Employers must be approved as a sponsor by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Requirements to become a sponsor:
Lawfully operating a Business:
Lawfulness: Evidence of Australian Business Number, Business Name Registration Operation: Accounting Reports, Business Plans, Lease, Employment Contracts
If the company is operating for 12 months or more, the company must meet Training Benchmark A or Training Benchmark B:
A: Pay 2% of company’s recent 12-month payroll to industry training fund that operates in the same industry
B: Pay 1% of company’s payroll to train Australian Citizen or PR employees of the business
If the company is operating less than 12 months, then the company must show in an auditable plan on how it intends to meet either of the training benchmarks and would also be required to support it with a business plan
– If your business is newly established, then you need to prove evidence that it is operating.
There are many more requirements that are needed to become a sponsor, but these are the main ones.
The employer must nominate a particular position they wish the skilled worker to fill. The main criteria to meet are:
– The minimum salary of $53,900
– The employment position must be on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List STSOL
– Demonstrate that the position is genuine
This the final step in the process after the sponsorship and nomination have been approved. This is where the documents of the visa applicant are submitted.
The main criteria are:
– Demonstrate that the applicant has skills to meet nominated position
– Satisfy health and character requirements
– Meet English Language Requirement
– Holds Health Insurance
In the visa application, you can also add your family and live with them in Australia. This is advantageous because the 457 visa is normally granted for a long period of time.
Where there is no business willing to sponsor, there are other options available for the visa applicant. One option is lodging an Expression of Interest, which then allows employers to select possible candidates through the SkillSelect database.
The changes to the 457 visa program will be in stages.
The current 457 visa will stay in effect but will have new legislative requirements. Only from March 2018, will the 457 visa will be completely abolished and replaced with the TSS visa. The TSS visa will have 2 streams:
o Short-Term stream of up to two years
o Medium-Term stream of up to four years
The changes that will take place are divided below according to the date at which they will take place and be in effect.
From 19 April 2017, in the current 457 visa:
The occupation lists in the 457 visa will be shortened from 651 to 435 occupations. This means that 216 occupations will be removed and access to 59 other occupations restricted.
24 out of the 435 occupations will be restricted to regional Australia (relating to farming and agriculture)
The new Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) will replace the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL)
The new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will replace the Skilled Occupations List (SOL)
The Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) will be updated every 6 months
How long will 457 visas be granted for?
A 457 visa will be granted for a maximum of 2 years if the occupation is on the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL)
A 457 visa will be granted for a maximum of 4 years if the occupation is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List. (MLTSSL)
From 1 July 2017, in the current 457 visa:
The Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will be reviewed and may be revised.
Removal of the English language exemption: Previously, applicants who had a salary over $96,400 were exempt from English language requirement. This exemption will be removed.
The training benchmark requirement will be expressed more clearly in the legislation.
It will become mandatory to provide penal clearance certificates
By 31 December 2017:
The Department will ensure that visa holders are paid at the level of their nominated salary and not less. This process will involve the Department collecting the Tax File Numbers of 457 visa holders and match the Taxation Office records.
The Department will publicly post a list of sponsors that are sanctioned for failing to meet their legislative obligations.