27th April 2018
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Home | Employment Visas | Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa

Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa

457 Visa Overview

The 457 visa program allows employers to sponsor overseas workers for skilled positions in an Australian business.

The most common process to sponsor an overseas worker is where:

  • the employer applies for approval as a 457 Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) (DIBP Application fee $420)
  • the employer nominates a position for approval under the 457 visa scheme (DIBP Application fee $330)
  • the visa applicant (the nominee) applies for a 457 visa (DIBP Application fee $1060 per applicant

Sponsorship Approval

When a business applies for approval as a 457 Standard Business Sponsor they make the application under the Migration Act and Regulations and must meet stringent legal criteria both to become an approved sponsor and will have ongoing sponsorship obligations for the period of the approval (generally for 5 years).

The basic criteria for approval as a 457 Standard Business Sponsor is:

  • Lawfully operating a business.  The business should be registered for tax purposes and have an ABN. The 457 scheme is available for all types of business, including, small business with or without employees and different entities such as sole trader, company, partnership or a trust.
  • Meet training benchmarks (for businesses that have traded more than 12 months).  Training benchmarks are set by the Department of Immigration. A business can meet training benchmarks by paying 2% of payroll into an Industry Training fund OR  by evidencing expenditure on training employees equivalent to 1% of payroll.  Training expenditure should be incurred before applying to become an approved 457 Standard Business Sponsor.
  • No adverse business history.  Businesses must demonstrate that they: do not have a history of non-compliance with immigration and workplace laws,  have not sought payment from visa applicants for sponsorship or to recover costs of the application process, and a demonstrated commitment to non-discriminatory employment practices/employing local labour.

Approval as a 457 Standard Business Sponsor will generally be approved for 5 years (where the business has traded for more than 12 months).  

Businesses must comply with ongoing Sponsorship Obligations under the Migration Regulations, including: meeting training benchmark expenditure each year and advising the Department of Immigration of any changes to the business and position.

Ongoing 457 Standard Business Sponsorship Obligations are found in Division 2.19 of the Migration Regulations. The Migration Regulations require that sponsoring Businesses under the 457 Scheme are required to:

  • cooperate with inspectors (Regulation 2.78)
  • ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment (Regulation 2.79)
  • pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia (Regulation 2.80)
  • pay costs incurred by the Commonwealth to locate and remove unlawful non-citizens (Regulation 2.81)
  • keep records (Regulation 2.82)
  • provide records and information to the Minister (Regulation 2.83)
  • provide information to the Department of Immigration when certain events occur (Regulation 2.84)
  • ensure primary sponsored person works or participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity (Regulation 2.86)
  • not to recover, transfer or take actions that would result in another person paying for certain costs (Regulation 2.87)
  • provide training (Regulation 2.87B)
  • not to engage in discriminatory recruitment practices 

Nomination of the Skilled Position

As an approved 457 Standard Business Sponsor, the employer is able to nominate positions for approval by the Department of Immigration.

The basic criteria for approval of a nominated position is:

  • the nominated occupation is on the CSOL occupation list and the duties of the position match the description used by immigration as per the ANZSCO dictionary
  • the business sponsor will be the direct employer and provide a signed employment contract
  • the nominated position is a genuine position in the business
  • market salary for the position is above the minimum salary level of $53,900.00 (TSMIT) and the terms and conditions offered to the 457 worker are at least equivalent to those offered to Australian 

Labour market testing requirements are also assessed at this stage of the process, if applicable.  Labour Market Testing requirements are particularly relevant to trade, nursing and engineer occupations.

457 Visa Application: Key Criteria

The key criteria for the 457 visa applicant is that they must have skills to perform the nominated role. This means a formal qualification or equivalent years of relevant work experience in the nominated position and a level of English to meet the 457 visa standard.

The key criteria for a 457 visa applicant are:

  • Qualification or equivalent relevant work experience as set out for the nominated occupation in the ANZSCO occupation dictionary (generally at or above trade qualification, degree or diploma level or equivalent years of employment experience)
  • English language ability (salary above $96,400, or native English speaking passport holder or IELTS score of 5.0 in all 4 bands or equivalent acceptable test)      
  • meet health criteria for the period of the visa
  • Meet character and other public interest criteria

A 457 visa is generally granted for a period of 4 years.  

The 457 visa is not a general work visa for Australia rather it is a visa granted to work for a specified employer, in a specified occupation for a specified period of time.  

The 457 visa is granted subject to conditions, including, condition 8107 which requires the applicant to work for the nominated employer in the nominated position.  

Where the 457 visa holder ceases employment for more than 90 days then the visa may be subject to cancellation by the Department of Immigration. During the 90 days the 457 visa holder may find a new sponsor and after a nomination application is lodged and approved, may be able to transfer the 457 to the new sponsor.

Australian Migration Lawyer


Established in 2002, Haag Walker Lawyers has successfully assisted thousands of Australian businesses and individuals to navigate migration law requirements.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long will it take for my visa application to be processed and finalised?

A. The processing time for visa applications will vary according to the visa class being applied for, and the priority order in which applications are processed by the Department of Immigration.

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