Temporary Employer Sponsored Visas

Business (Long Stay) visa (Subclass 457)

This is the most common visa Subclass for employers who wish to sponsor skilled workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis to fill shortages in skilled positions.

The Subclass 457 is a temporary visa which allows eligible skilled workers to be employed by their sponsoring business for a period of between one (1) day and four (4) years. Eligible skilled workers are also permitted to bring certain members of their family who are allowed to work and study in Australia.

There are extensive requirements for grant of this visa, and also important obligations for both employers and employees which continue after the Subclass 457 visa is granted.

The basic process involved in applying for a Subclass 457 visa is as follows:
1. Employer applies to be a sponsor
2. Employer nominates a position
3. Employee applies for a visa

Requirements of the Subclass 457 visa program

Under the Subclass 457 visa program, employers must be approved as a sponsor before they can employ skilled workers from overseas. The following requirements must be met for an employer to become a sponsor:

1. Can be either an Australian business or an overseas business
o Domestic (Australian) business sponsors must meet employee training benchmarks
o Overseas business sponsors without any formal operating base or representations in Australia may apply to bring employees into Australia to establish their business operation or fulfil contractual obligations in Australia
2. Can be located anywhere within Australia: there are no special arrangements for employers in regional areas
3. Must apply to be a sponsor to recruit overseas workers – the employer must:
• Have been approved as a business sponsor; or
• Have already lodged an application to become an approved business sponsor; or
• Lodge an application to become a business sponsor at the same time that they lodge the nomination application.
4. Must nominate the occupations the employer wants to fill and the employees who they want to fill those positions
• The nominated position must:
 Be in the employer’s business or a related business; or
 Be in relation to an approved occupation on the Department’s list of approved occupations
• The employer can nominate a number of positions for different occupations under the same sponsorship application.
5. Must recruit the overseas workers and sponsor them when applying for a visa
6. Are required to demonstrate a strong commitment to good employment practices, including attesting that they have a commitment to employing local labour, and non-discriminatory employment practices.
7. There must be nothing adverse known about the business or its officers

Under the Subclass 457 visa program, employees are responsible for applying for the visa and must meet all the following requirements:

1. Must be sponsored by an employer to fill a nominated position which must:
• Be in the employer’s business or a related business; or
• Be in relation to an approved occupation on the Department’s list of approved occupations
2. Must have skills, qualifications, experience and an employment background which match those required for the position;
3. Must have demonstrated English language skills;
4. Must be eligible for any licences or professional registration which are required to work in the nominated position;
5. At the time of application, you can be either:
o Within Australia (except if there are restrictions on your visa which prevent you applying for another visa, or you held a Transit visa (Subclass 771) or a Special Purpose visa); or
o Offshore
6. Must meet health and character requirements (you may be eligible for a health waiver in some circumstances)
7. Must have arrangements for health insurance;
8. Must have proved you have requisite skills for your nominated occupation by attending a Skills Assessment at the Department’s approved authority for your occupation;
9. Must comply with all conditions on their visa including departing within the specified visa validity period

Obligations under the Subclass 457 visa

The employer has a number of obligations which continue after visa grant:
1. To cooperate with inspectors
2. To ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment including paying market rates to employees
3. To pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia
4. To pay costs incurred by the Australian government to locate and remove unlawful non-citizen
5. To keep records and provide these records and information to the Department when certain events occur
6. To ensure primary sponsored person does not work in an occupation other than an approved occupation
7. Not to recover certain costs from a primary sponsored person or secondary sponsored person

Employees are required to continue to meet all the following obligations after visa grant:
1. To notify the department of any change in your circumstances (but you may change employer or position without applying for a new Subclass 457 visa)
2. If the employee ceases employment, to do one of the following:
• Find another employer who is willing to nominate you
• Apply for another type of substantive visa
• Leave Australia within 28 days unless your visa expires before that time, in which case you must leave Australia prior to visa expiry.
3. To comply with all visa conditions including working in the occupation for which you were nominated; and for the employer by whom you were sponsored
4. To take responsibility for all your health costs and maintain adequate health insurance for the length of your visa (this includes covering family members who are attached to your visa);
5. If you want to apply for a new Subclass 457 visa where your current visa is about to expire, then you must lodge a new visa application.