How much will it cost to convert my 457 to permanent residency in Australia?
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) application fees payable to the Department of Immigration are as follows:
Nomination Application Fees
ENS Nomination Application Fee - $540.00
Visa Application Charges
Base Visa Application Charge - $3,600.00
Additional Applicant Charge (over 18 years) - $1,800.00
Additional Applicant Charge (under 18 years) - $ 900.00
Other costs include:
English Testing - For applicants who have turned 18 at the time of application and who are assessed as not having functional English there will be a second instalment visa application charge for main applicants ($9,800.00) and secondary applicants ($4,890.00).
NOTE: Our professional fees are charged on a fixed fee basis and are in addition to visa application charges.
Do I have to work for two years for my employer before I can convert my 457 to permanent residency?
No. Under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), there are two options available when you are living and working in Australia to convert your 457 visa to permanent residency as follows:
Option 1: Subclass 186 visa - ENS: Direct Entry Stream
Obtain a Skills Assessment and demonstrate you have had at least three years full-time work experience in the occupation for which you will be sponsored. The work experience can be in Australia or overseas.
Option 2: Subclass 186 visa - ENS: Temporary Transition Stream
Work full time for two (2) years on a subclass 457 in your nominated occupation with the sponsoring employer. The 2 year period excludes any periods of unpaid leave or working on other visas.
Also refer to Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) for Skilled Migration options, particularly State Sponsored Skilled Migration which attracts priority processing by the Department of Immigration & Border Protection.
How long do I have to stay with my employer after I convert my 457 visa to permanent residency?
To convert your 457 visa to permanent residency under the Employer Nomination Scheme, you must have been offered a job that is available for at least the next 2 years. However, if your circumstances or those of the business change after the grant of the permanent residence visa there are no specific visa cancellation provisions which apply to the Employer Nomination Scheme.
If you are sponsored under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) the position must be available for at least two years.
There are specific visa cancellation provisions if you do not remain with your employer under a RSMS visa.
Is there a minimum salary my employer must pay to convert my 457 to permanent residency?
No. There is no specified amount. However, employers must pay market salary if the nomination application by the business is to be approved.
Market salary rates are determined by reference to either an equivalent Australian Citizen/Resident worker who is performing the same work in the sponsors business or, where there is no equivalent Australian worker, by reference to independent market indicators (eg, see Job Outlook, Seek, Salary Surveys).
How do I convert my subclass 457 visa to permanent residency?
If you are applying under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) the process will be:
Step 1: You will first need a full-time employment offer from an Australian business for a job that is available for at least two years (either in the same occupation as your 457 or for a direct entry application an occupation on the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL).
Step 2:The Australian employer lodges a Nomination Application.
Step 3: The Visa Applicant lodges a permanent residency application.
If you are applying under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) the process will be:
Step 1: You will first need a full-time employment offer from an Australian business for a job that will be available for at least two years in a specified occupation.
Step 2: The Australian employer asks the Regional Certifying Body to confirm a need for the position in the regional area.
Step 3: The Australian employer lodges a Nomination Application.
Step 4: The Visa Applicant lodges a permanent residency application.
Do I have to be sponsored by my current 457 sponsor to go from 457 to permanent residency?
No. A new employer could sponsor you directly from your current 457 to permanent residency under Option 1 (Skills Assessment plus three years full-time employment experience in your occupation).
It is important to note that you must continue working for your current 457 sponsor until you have been granted permanent residency when moving from your 457 to permanent residency in this way.
You could also apply from your 457 to permanent residency under the skilled migration scheme. From 1 July 2012, applicants for skilled migration can remain in Australia for the grant of the visa.
What documents do I need to prepare a "complete" permanent residency application?
Providing the correct supporting documentation may serve to significantly reduce the amount of processing time required by the Department Immigration to assess your application.
Our role is to assist intending employer sponsors and visa applicants evaluate and assemble the supporting documentation required to satisfy the relevant visa criteria, and in doing so, ensure the application submitted to the Department is complete at the time of lodgement.
Where an incomplete application is submitted, the Department may request further documentation be provided. However, it is important to note that the Department is not obliged to do so, and may make a final decision based solely on the documentation submitted at the time of lodgement.
In the case of a 186 visa application, a refund of the Visa Application Charge (VAC) is generally not available. If either the nomination or sponsorship applications are refused or withdrawn, it is unlikely that the VAC will be refunded.
What is my Nominated Occupation for the purposes of converting my 457 to permanent residency?
When you are converting from a 457 to permanent residency you should know the exact occupation code that was used for your 457 visa application. This code is used to determine your Nominated Occupation for your permanent residency application. Your Nominated Occupation is not always listed in your visa grant letter, so you may need to ask your employer for a copy of the 457 Nomination Approval and Position Description provided to the Department of Immigration with your initial 457 visa application to confirm your eligibility.
If you are applying under the temporary transition pathway based on 2 years on a 457 visa, your nominated occupation for the permanent residency application must be the same or within the 4 digit ANZSCO Unit Group to be approved. This means employers must take care in arranging 457 visas to ensure the nominated occupation accurately reflects the duties of the position.
How long after I convert from 457 to permanent residency can I become an Australian Citizen?
To meet the residence requirements for Australian Citizenship you will need to have spent four years in Australia, including one year as an Australian permanent resident.
Significantly, this means that time spent in Australia on your 457 visa will be counted towards the required four years.
Depending on how long you have been in Australia, prior to converting your 457 to permanency residency, you could wait as little as one year to meet the Australian Citizenship criteria.
Can I include family members when I convert from 457 to permanent residency?
Yes, you can include members of your family unit, including: your partner, dependent children and any other eligible dependent family members who are wholly financially dependent on you.
When you apply in Australia to convert your 457 to permanent residency under the Employer Nomination Scheme your family members will need to be in Australia when the visa is granted.
Is there a waiting time before I can sponsor family members to Australia once I convert from my 457 to permanent residency?
Once you have moved from your 457 to permanent residency you will be able to sponsor as an Australian permanent resident. The waiting time before you can sponsor depends on the type of visa you intend to sponsor for.
You will be immediately eligible to sponsor relatives under the skilled migration scheme or a partner who was not included in your application, for example, if you become engaged or marry after your permanent residence is granted.
To sponsor other relatives, including parents, you must be a 'settled' Australian permanent resident. This generally means you have been usually resident in Australia for at least two years. In these circumstances, you will need to rely on time spent in Australia on your 457 and as a permanent resident.
If my 457 visa is for four years, when should I convert from my 457 to permanent residency?
As soon as possible! Australian immigration requirements change frequently and skilled migration is driven by labour market forces. A change in Australia's skilled labour requirements could mean that you are no longer eligible to apply for permanent residency to Australia.
How do I start the process of converting from 457 to permanent residency where I am sponsored by my employer?
Step 1: Discuss permanent residency sponsorship with your employer and confirm they will offer you a further two year position.
Step 2: Collate initial supporting documents
Step 3: Email us for a Client Information Questionnaire, to arrange an initial telephone conference or an in-person consultation to get started.
Who should pay the costs to convert from the 457 to permanent residency?
Generally when you obtain a 457 visa the costs associated with the application are met by the employer. This is because the 457 visa scheme is for employers to bring in temporary overseas workers and Australia's immigration law includes a prohibition on employers recovering costs of the process from the visa applicant. On 14 December 2015 new criminal and civil penalties and visa cancellation provisions were introduced as part of a framework that allows for sanctions to be imposed on a person who asks for, receives, offers or provides a benefit in return for a visa sponsorship or employment that requires visa sponsorship (otherwise known as a 'sponsorship-related event').
The intent and scope of the ‘Payment for Visa Sponsorship’ framework is to address unlawful practices where people ask for, receive, offer or provide a benefit in return for visa sponsorship or related employment. The legislation was cast broadly to include third-parties such as professional service providers because we were aware of circumstances where unlawful payments have been disguised in the context of fees charged for other professional services.
However, neither the legitimate delivery of professional services nor the employment of sponsored visa holders are considered to be within the scope of the framework and there is no intention of using this legislation to sanction the delivery of legitimate professional services for profit. It should also be noted that there are substantial costs to the Government in referring matters to the courts and as such, we would only pursue such action where there are solid legal grounds and evidence.
When converting your 457 to permanent residency, costs may be met by either the employer or the applicant. The major costs involved in the application process are in respect of the visa applicant. This is reflected in the Department of Immigration & Citizenship application fees, where the employer nomination fee is AUD$540.00, and the visa application fee is AUD$3,060.00.
Legal fees to act on behalf of the applicant and employer in preparing the application as decision ready are in addition to application fees and may also be met by the applicant or employer, depending on the arrangement reached. (see also question 8 above).
More questions on how to convert from 457 to permanent residency?
If you would like to receive specific advice about converting your 457 to permanent residency, please choose from one of our immigration advice services.