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What is a 457 visa?

 

And how to apply for a 457.

19 August 2015. Dessie Hristova, immigration lawyer

‘On a 457 visa’. ‘457s’. ‘457 workers’. These are terms the media bandy about - on an almost daily basis - and rarely with much explanation. It’s become taken for granted that everyone knows what a 457 visa is - that it is a catch-all term for a temporary migrant worker.

The reality is, of course, more nuanced.  A 457 visa is a very specific visa, underpinned by precise requirements.

The Subclass 457 visa is a temporary and employer-specific work visa. I say temporary, as it applies for a period of three months to up to 4 years; and specific, as it restricts the overseas national to only work for the sponsoring employer (unless they fall within the list of a few occupations - the vast majority of which are medical - in a legislative instrument published by the Minister which allows them to work for various employers).

Employer and employee need to satisfy various requirements before a visa can be granted. For instance, the employer must apply to the Federal Government to become an approved sponsor, the specific role offered to the overseas national must have been approved by the Government as a business nomination, which may require that the role is advertised locally; that the employee is offered market level remuneration and that the duties of the role align with the duties of a limited list of occupations which are selected by the Government and published by the Minister on a specific list, also known as the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL). Applicants generally have to meet skills and qualifications standards, English language requirements (typically through the International English Language Testing System, IETS) and satisfy a character and health test.

Once attained, a 457 visa affords a holder many valuable rights: they are allowed to bring family to Australia; they can travel freely in and and out of Australia; and they can study if they so wish.

However, the subclass 457 visa holder is restricted to working for the one employer unless they can find another employer who is approved to sponsor them as a 457.

Are there age restrictions on applying for a 457 visa?

There is no limit on the age of subclass 457 visa applicants.

How do I apply for one?

Generally it is the employer that recognises a locally unfulfilled need for staff and seeks out non-residents. The employer then manages the process, co-ordinating matters between the Department and the prospective employee. However, it isn’t unusual for individuals to either take the initiative in the process or for employers to ‘hand-ball’ the process to the employee. The responsibility for obtaining the status of an approved sponsor and the approval of the business nomination remains with the Australian employer and requires high level of involvement from the employer.

How abode migration lawyers can help

We will spend 15 minutes in email and phone communication with each potential visa applicant and their prospective sponsoring employer to clarify the requirements to be met in order to become an approved sponsor and have a successful business nomination, as well as the likelihood in meeting the requirements for the visa. We will only offer to move the matter forward if we form the view that there is a strong case to put before the Department of Immigration.

*** April 2017 update: the 457 visa has been abolished. Click here to learn more about the TSS visa, its replacement. ***

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