The Parliament of Australia has published a Q&A guide regarding the subclass 457 visa. The post is reproduced here in full, but can be found at its original source here.

This guide provides an overview of the program to assist enquiries into the role of employers and visa holders, and some of the broader considerations in the program. Links to information sources are provided throughout the quick guide and in the final section ‘Need to know more?’

Broader considerations

Where are subclass 457 visa holders employed and in what industries?

Predicting where temporary residents settle is an important consideration for policy decisions and future planning at all levels of government. Particularly strong growth in demand in WA means that it now ranks second to NSW for subclass 457 visa holders (almost 33,000 as at 30 June 2012). In WA, construction and mining are the largest sponsor industries, involving many fly-in-fly-out arrangements.

The industries
employing most subclass 457 visa holders are ‘other services’ (compromising personal services, religious, civic, professional and other interest group services, selected maintenance repair activities; and private households employing staff (12per cent)), health care and social assistance (10 per cent), accommodation and food services (10 per cent), information media and telecommunications (10 per cent), professional, scientific and technical accounted (8 per cent), mining (7 per cent), and manufacturing (5.5 per cent). Strongest growth in demand by industry was recorded in accommodation and food services (125 per cent), retail trade (83.5 per cent) and agriculture, forestry and fishing (63 per cent).

Subclass 457 visa holders are also sponsored by governments
. In the period 2013–14 (to September 2013), 40 primary visas were granted to employees of the Australian Government, 840 across state and territory Governments and 10 across local governments.

Is there a link between the temporary and permanent migration programs?

Many subclass 457 visa holders go on to settle permanently in Australia, and in 2012–13 they accounted for 69 per cent of the (permanent) Employer Nominated Scheme and 31 per cent of Regional Skilled Migration Scheme
applicants. The Department has been creating more efficient avenues to permanent residence for temporary skilled visa holders with ‘streamlined’, ‘simplified’ and ‘fast-tracked’ options now available.

Even before becoming permanent, subclass 457 visa holders are often counted towards Australia’s population gain, with net overseas migration (NOM) calculated by the ABS to include people who have stayed in Australia 12 months out of a 16-month period. NOM accounts for 60 per cent of population growth. Over recent years, the largest contribution to NOM has been from people ontemporary visas.

How much revenue does the subclass 457 scheme generate?

The scheme generates revenue through visa application charges, additional fees, taxes and consumer spending. In terms of fees, a typical family of four would pay in the vicinity of $2,250 for visas under the scheme, with employers contributing around $750 in sponsorship and nomination charges.

In 2008, the Access Economics Migrant Fiscal Impact Model reported that for every 1,000 subclass 457 arrivals, $25 million would be generated by this cohort to the Australia’s economy in the first two years after arrival, and between $5 million and $8 million generated each year after that. Recent increases to the visa application fee were expected to add around $198 million to government revenues over four years.

What are the recent changes to subclass 457 visa legislation and policy?

The Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Act 2013 which came into effect on 1 July 2013 prioritises the employment and training of local workers, legislates sponsor obligations, empowers Fair Work Australia to investigate breaches and strengthens DIBP’s ability to prosecute against wrongdoing. Legislative instruments also contain provisions regarding training benchmarks,income thresholdsmarket rates exemption levels and exemption from the requirement to work directly for the sponsor.

There are regular updates to the Skilled Occupations Lists which target high-value skills over the next three to five years. There are currently 188 occupations on the Skilled Occupations List including occupations as diverse as forester, motor and lift mechanic, locksmith, software engineer, solicitor and neurosurgeon.

Recent reviews include a KPMG Skilled Migration Survey of employers (2012), a report by the Visa Subclass 457 External Reference Group (2008), and a Visa Subclass 457 Integrity Review (2008).

Need to know more?

G Larsen, Temporary Skilled Migration, Parliamentary Library Briefing Book: Issues for the 44th Parliament, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2013, accessed 11 November 2013.

G Larsen, ‘Measuring success in skilled migration policy: the subclass 457 visa program, FlagPost weblog, 11 September 2013, accessed 11 November 2013.

I McCluskey and D Spooner, Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013
, Bills digest, 8, 2013–14, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2013, accessed 11 November 2013.

J Phillips and H Spinks, Skilled migration: temporary and permanent flows to Australia, Background note, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 6 December 2012, accessed 11 November 2013.

J Phillips and M Klapdor, Migration to Australia since Federation: a guide to the statistics
, Background note, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 29 October 2010, accessed 11 November 2013.   © Commonwealth of Australia  Creative Commons With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and to the extent that copyright subsists in a third party, this publication, its logo and front page design are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia licence.


  1. sam

    currently I am on 457 visa and went to india for 3 months for my wife medical treatment.
    I am going to put 186 visa for PR next month.
    Do you think as I was away for 3 months from work. it will affect at the time of PR.
    I have completed 2 yrs with my current employer. Only one time I went to india for 3 months
    I am worried that it may create problem getting PR.

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