Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
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Work permits (457)

Australia Immigration & Australian Visa

Temporary (457) work visas

Contact BCIS if you have a job offer in Australia or if you are an employer looking to sponsor skilled applicants for a temporary visa (period).

BCIS have a specialised 457 division and can offer exceptionally effective and efficient visa processing for all 457 visas.

Basic FQA's on 457 visas

I have a Temporary Business (Long Stay) 457 visa and my sponsor is a Labour Hire Firm. Have there been any changes to my 457 visa?

There have been no changes to the conditions and requirements of Temporary Business (Long Stay) 457 visa holders who are employed by labour firms.  The 457 visa requires the visa holder's sponsor to be the direct employer.  This is not new.  It has always been the requirement.  The department has found, however, through our monitoring and other enquiries that some labour hire sponsors are not the direct employer.  We have asked that these arrangements be rectified and that the direct employer be the sponsor.

Some characteristics of a direct employer include: provision of your work environment, tools and equipment; allocation and supervision of your work; occupational health and safety responsibilities (including Workcover); determining your salary, deducting your tax, making your superannuation contributions; determining your conditions of employment including your conditions of appointment and dismissal.

If your direct employer is not currently your sponsor, your employer has the option to apply to the nearest departmental business centre to be an approved sponsor and to nominate you as an employee for a skilled position within their business.

How do I have my educational qualification/trade skills recognised?

You will need to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills to perform the proposed activity in Australia. Where Australian registration or licensing with an Australian State authority is required to undertake the nominated position, you may be asked to provide evidence that you are eligible for the relevant registration or licensing.

What is the minimum skill level?

The minimum skill level relates to occupations on a list (the SOL) of acceptable occupations. They reflect occupational groups 1-4 of the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (2nd edition) publication produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Major occupational groups in this range are:

  • managers and administrators,
  • professionals,
  • associate professionals, and
  • tradespersons and related workers.

Some occupations within the ASCO 1-4 range, such as Apprentice positions, have been omitted from the list and cannot be filled.

What is the minimum salary level?

The minimum salary level is based on the annual average salary for all Australians, as calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The minimum salary level represents gross salary and cannot include salary packaged items, such as superannuation, vehicles, bonuses or other allowances.

Employees may be provided with other benefits but these will not count towards the calculation of remuneration for the purposes of the minimum salary level.

From 8 June 2005, immigration law has been amended to revise the minimum salary levels for positions nominated under subclass 457 (temporary business (long stay) visas). Positions in Information and Communications Technology occupations will now have to be paid a minimum of AUD $50,775, and all other occupations will now have to be paid a minimum of AUD $39,100.

The occupations in Information and Communications Technology (to which the higher minimum salary of $50,775 will apply) will be:

  • 1224-11 Information Technology Manager;
  • 2231-11 Systems Manager;
  • 2231-13 Systems Designer;
  • 2231-15 Software Designer;
  • 2231-17 Applications and Analyst Programmer;
  • 2231-19 Systems Programmer;
  • 2231-21 Computer Systems Auditor;
  • 2231-79 Computer Professional Not Elsewhere Classified.
How do I nominate a position to be filled by a person from overseas?

When you have been approved as a sponsor, you may nominate the position(s) to be filled by completing application form/s and to provide any required supporting documentation. You will be asked to provide:

  • a full description of the position to be filled by the temporary business entrant,
  • a statement of skills, qualifications and experience required for the position to demonstrate that the position meets the minimum skill level,
  • evidence that the position will be remunerated at a level equal to or above the minimum salary level, and
  • personal details of the overseas person who will fill the nominated position and any dependents (spouse, children) accompanying them.

When making a decision on the nomination application, the department will assess whether:

  • the employer is an approved SBS, PQBS or overseas business sponsor,
  • the position relates to an occupation which meets the minimum skill level, and
  • the position is to be renumerated at the minimum salary level or above.

You are required to show that the nominated position satisfies the requirements for approval. To enable prompt processing, lodge nomination applications at the same time as the sponsorship application. It is in your interest to include all necessary information and documentation with every application, as a decision may be made on the basis of the information you have provided.

A letter is sent to the employer to confirm approval of the nomination application. This letter must be attached to the nominee's visa application, together with a copy of the job description or duty statement.

How do I apply for approval as a business sponsor?

Every employer seeking to employ someone from overseas has to qualify as a sponsor. To apply for approval as a business sponsor, you must complete application forms, and provide supporting documentation to satisfy the department that you:

  • are a lawfully and actively operating business,
  • are the direct employer of the temporary business entrant (that is, paying wages and setting conditions of employment),
  • can meet their sponsorship obligations in respect of each person they sponsor,
  • will benefit Australia through the employment of a temporary resident, creation of trade links or addition to the economy,
  • will advance skills through technology or training, and
  • have a satisfactory record of compliance with immigration laws.

In the sponsorship application stage, the department assesses the standing of the business wishing to become a sponsor, the proposed benefit to Australia from recruiting overseas personnel and the business's ability to meet sponsorship undertakings in relation to sponsored overseas employees.

There are three types of sponsor:

  1. Pre-Qualified Business Sponsor (PQBS) - allows for the sponsorship of an unlimited number of temporary business entrants and usually suits larger businesses. The first PQBS approval is valid for two years and then can be renewed annually.
  2. Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) - allows employers to sponsor, within a 12-month period, a specified number of temporary business entrants.
  3. Overseas Business Sponsor (OBS) - allows businesses which have no formal operating base or representation in Australia to bring employees to Australia in order to establish a branch, joint venture or fulfil a contract or other business activity in Australia.
I have a Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa and have changed my employer or occupation. What do I do now?

The work condition on your visa does not allow you to change employer or occupation without prior authority from the Department. The prospective employer will be required to be an approved sponsor and the new position must be skilled.

If you are considering changing, or have already changed employer or occupation without permission, you should contact the department's immediately to discuss the matter.

I have a four-year temporary business visa but my employer no longer needs me. What are my options?

The work condition on your visa does not allow you to change employer or occupation without prior authority from the department. If your employment with your original employer has finished earlier than the validity of your visa, you should make arrangements to leave Australia without delay.

If you wish to continue to work in Australia, and you have another employer prepared to sponsor you, you should lodge a new application immediately.

If no offer of employment is forthcoming or the prospective employer is not approved as a sponsor, your visa may be cancelled and you may be required to leave Australia immediately.

You may not start work for a new employer until you have received written authority from the department allowing you to do so.

How can I stay longer or live permanently in Australia?

There are some options available to you if you want to stay longer or remain permanently, but you have to apply for a new visa.

If you wish to either continue working for your original employer or take up different employment, you must lodge a new visa application while your current visa is valid.

To extend your stay as a 457 visa holder:

  • the employer, or new employer, must be an approved sponsor,
  • the position to be filled must be the subject of an approved and current nomination, and
  • you must apply for a new visa before your existing visa expires.

There is information on this website about the various visa classes that may allow you to remain permanently.

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