The 457 visa is the most commonly used visa program for Australian or overseas employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work in Australia temporarily. If you are a skilled worker, this visa allows you to come or to stay in Australia and work for an approved business for up to four years in occupations appearing on the Occupation List.The Temporary Work (Long Stay) 457 visa is an employer-sponsored visa that allows the employee to work for up to four years. It’s the most popular type of employer-sponsored visa in Australia. In fact, Government data released in March 2016 shows that there are over 400,000 457 visa holders currently living in Australia. Most of these 457 holders are on the four-year visa but if a newly-established company is a sponsor, the 457 visa will be 18 months long. It can be renewed in the future. The visa was first introduced 20 years ago as a way of enabling employers to fill skill gaps in areas where local workers are in short supply.
The Turnbull Government has announced wide-sweeping changes to the Temporary Work (Long Stay) (457) visa.
A summary of the changes can be viewed here: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/457-abolition-replacement
IMPACT ON 457 VISA HOLDERS (GRANTED 457 VISA BEFORE 18 APRIL 2017)
Immigration is staying tight-lipped about the transition of 457 visa holders (with visas granted before 19 April 2017), stating "information concerning the legislative details of future changes will be available closer to their implementation date".
CHANGING SPONSORS ON A 457 VISA
If you hold a 457 visa (granted before 18 April 2017) and transfer your visa to another sponsor, your original 457 visa period remains intact. However, if your nominated occupation has now been removed from the lists, you are not able to change sponsors, as an employer cannot nominate a removed occupation.
APPROVAL TO SPONSOR
The employer must hold approval to sponsor and must meet the training benchmark. We work with your employer on this and on all steps of their sponsorship application. Your employer can be located anywhere in Australia to sponsor you on a Temporary Work (Long Stay) (457) visa. We have worked with many first-time sponsors to ensure that they will meet the requirements. We have successfully helped sole traders and brand new businesses sponsor people on the Temporary Work (Long Stay) (457) visa.
NOMINATING THE OCCUPATION
You will still need to nominate an occupation. There are now two occupation lists: Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSOL) and Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL).
Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL)
If you are nominated for a 457 visa in an occupation on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) you will be granted a two year 457 visa. You are able to renew this visa once, for a further two years. You will not have a pathway to permanent residency through the 457 visa program.
Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSOL)
If you are nominated for a 457 visa in an occupation on the Medium Long Term Skilled Occupation List (MLTSOL) you will be granted a four year 457 visa. Once you have worked on your 457 visa for three years, you will be eligible to be nominated on a permanent residency (PR) visa by your 457 employer. As many people working in occupations on the MLTSOL are eligible for a skilled PR visa, this is another option you could consider.
TIMING OF THE CHANGES TO THE 457 PROGRAM
The changes to the 457 program will be rolled out over the coming months until March 2018 and include:
Expanding mandatory skills assessments (where integrity concerns exist)
Mandatory police clearance checks
Tightening existing training benchmarks
Removing English language exemption and increasing required English scores
Increased visa application fees
Labour market testing for all occupations
Not all 457 program changes are in effect now. These changes will come into place progressively. It is important that you rely on Australian visa policy information from a migration expert. Information shared and opinions espoused on forums can be incorrect.
ELIGIBILITY FOR A TEMPORARY WORK (LONG STAY) (457) VISA
As required previously, you must meet the English language requirement and demonstrate that you have sufficient (by Immigration's definition) skilled work experience and/or the appropriate qualification (level and relevance) to meet the visa requirements. The job must meet the minimum salary threshold, bearing in mind that some occupations now have a caveat stating a higher minimum salary requirement. The offered position must be full time.
457 VISA PROCESSING TIME
A lodged Temporary Work (Long Stay) (457) visa is processed in approximately 8 - 16 weeks. Even if your current visa is expiring soon, we may be able to lodge your 457 visa and allow you to stay in Australia on a bridging visa during the processing time.