When it comes to finding work in Australia, the government recognises that some skills are in such short supply that there is a great need for workers to be brought in from overseas. This has led to the creation of the 457 visa, which is a skills-based employer sponsored visa.
Features of the 457 visa
The 457 visa allows applicants to:
- Work in Australia for a maximum of four years.
- Migrate to Australia with other family members (who are allowed to work and study in Australia).
- Travel without restriction to and from Australia during this time.
Because it is sponsored, you must have your employment arranged with your employer before you apply for the visa. Your employer must then become an approved sponsor and nominate you for your employment position.
The advantage of a 457 visa is that you have the certainty of knowing that you have a job before migrating to Australia. Applying for permanent residency at the end of the visa period is also a natural step, and you may even have a better chance of securing permanent residency via the 457 visa.
In all, the 457 visa offers greater flexibility if you are unable to apply for other skilled visas.
Sponsorship approval and nomination process
Before you apply for the 457 visa, your employer must first apply to be approved as a sponsor.
Employers must be able to demonstrate that they have not been able to fill the position with local workers, and must meet other requirements including training benchmarks, to ensure that employers are not trying to avoid training Australian workers.
The employer must then nominate the applicant for the position.
457 visa application
Once your employer is approved as a sponsor and has nominated you for the position, you must demonstrate that:
- Your occupation is on the CSOL.
- You are proficient in English.
- You have the skills that are required for the job.
- You meet any registration and/or licensing requirements for your occupation in Australia.
- You and your family are in good health and in most cases hold health insurance.
- You and your family are of good character.
You will need to provide supporting documents to meet the visa application requirements. Any errors may delay your application or require you to start the process all over again. Move Migration is highly experienced in 457 visa application and document preparation, and can assist you with this process.
Minimum earnings for 457 visa holders
To protect 457 visa holders from exploitation, the Australian Government maintains a minimum earnings requirement for sponsor employers to meet. This is known as the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold. The threshold currently requires employers to pay 457 workers at least $53,900 (valid as of 3/12/2015) Australian dollars per annum.
While this is a minimum amount, employers are expected to provide equal pay and conditions to 457 workers. In other words, regardless of country of origin, employers must pay their 457 workers an appropriate market rate for their occupation.
The 457 visa requirements are strict but there are many benefits to applicants, including a high level of flexibility and good work conditions.