The 457 visa is a temporary skilled worker visa, designed to help employers with immediate skills shortages that cannot be filled by Australian citizens or residents.

The steps to sponsor an employee for a 457 visa

To sponsor an overseas candidate for a 457 visa, an employer must be have standard business sponsor status and nominate the position to be sponsored.

1.The employer becomes a standard business sponsor.

2. The employer checks the position is on either the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skilled List (MLTSSL)  or the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

If the position is listed on the MLTSSL, the visa will be valid for 4 years and offer a pathway towards a permanent visa.

If the position is listed on the STSOL, the visa is valid for 2 years. This can be extended to 4 years if the sponsor requests it and international trade obligations require it.

3. The employer provides evidence:

of its general business registration

it is a lawfully operating business

that its business meets training requirements

for the business need to fill the position

of the nominee’s contract

the terms and conditions of the nominee’s contract is consistent with Australian employees

of labour market testing and tried to fill the position with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

the position will pay a market salary rate.

the business will commit and show they comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations law.

4. Once the nomination has been approved by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the nominee can submit their application for a 457 visa.

The nominee will need to show:

their occupation and trade, including a 457 skills assessment recognised by Trades Recognition Australia

their CV

relevant English language proficiency. For the 457 visa, this is the equivalent to an IELTS score of 5. The English language requirement does not apply if the candidate holds a passport issued by the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada or the United States.

personal documents

family documents

health insurance

Employer responsibilities

Employers take on responsibilities when they engage a 457 visa holder. These include:

ensuring equivalent terms and conditions of employment as their Australian counterparts.

ensuring the visa holder carries out the nominated occupation

paying travel costs to enable the sponsored people to leave Australia

providing training to Australians and permanent residents

Frequently Asked Questions about 457 visas

Question: What is the difference between the Short-term Skilled Occupation List and the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List?

Answer: Occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List are eligible for 457 visas through the short-term stream. This means the visa is valid for 2 years with no option for renewal. Occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List are eligible for 457 visas through the medium-term stream. This means the visa is valid for 4 years. In addition, visa-holders can apply for permanent residency after living in Australia for 3 years.

Question: I am a nominating business looking to fill a skills shortage using the 457 visa stream. The occupation my business nominated for sponsorship is on the STSOL. What does this mean?

Answer: You can still nominate the occupation for sponsorship. However, because the nominated occupation is on the STSOL, your overseas skilled worker will have to apply for a 457 visa through the Short Term stream. Short Term stream 457 visas are valid for 2 years with no extension.

Question: What does it mean if the occupation my business nominates for sponsorship is on the MLTSSL?

Answer: If the occupation your business wants to nominate is on the MLTSSL, the visa applicant can apply for a 457 through the Medium Term stream. This visa stream is valid for up to 4 years and can be a pathway to permanent residency.

Question: The occupation my business nominated for sponsorship has been removed from the new skilled occupation lists. What happens now?

Answer: You may be eligible for a refund.

Do you have a question about 457 visas? Contact us with your query.

Timeline of 457 visa changes

By December 2017 – Additional changes to 457 visa requirements

From March 2018 –  457 visa ends and is replaced by the TSS visa

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