Temporary Business (Long Stay) Visa – subclass 457

If you would like to offer employment to an international skilled worker they will most likely require a subclass 457 visa in order to be able to live and work in Australia. The Temporary Business (Long Stay) Visa – subclass 457 enables international candidates to participate in the workforce for a defined period of time. A faculty or administrative unit may nominate an international candidate for this visa if the position to be filled is highly skilled and cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

For more information visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

FAQs

What roles can be filled by a subclass 457 visa holder?

If you wish to fill a position with a subclass 457 visa holder, you will need to ensure that the role to be performed meets certain criteria. The minimum criteria that need to be met are:

Defined occupations
The Australian government has defined certain occupations as eligible occupations for overseas skilled workers. Only those positions which have been determined as highly skilled and are on the Approved Occupations List are eligible occupations for subclass 457 nomination. To find out whether the position you wish to fill with a subclass 457 visa holder is on the approved list, check the Migration Regulations 1994 on the Australian Government ComLaw website.

Activities performed
Each occupation contains a number of activities and has recommended qualifications. The individual will need to be performing the majority of the tasks associated with a particular occupation and will need to meet the qualification requirements in order to be eligible for nomination for a subclass 457 visa. For more information search the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations - First Edition, 2006 on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

Base salary payable
The final aspect to consider is the minimum base salary of the position. To protect Australian workers and to ensure that international skilled workers are not disadvantaged, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has set a minimum base salary for positions which may be filled by subclass 457 visa holders.

The minimum base salary is called the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) and is reset regularly, generally on 1 July. The current TSMIT for the 2011-2012 financial year is $49,330. This is the minimum base salary payable for any position filled by a subclass 457 visa holder.

Full time, part time and casual roles
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection expects that positions nominated for subclass 457 visa are full time roles.

In very limited circumstances, part time employment may be permissible for a subclass 457 visa holder, however the position will need to meet the TSMIT based upon the pro-rated minimum base salary payable for the reduced working hours. This means that the reduced hours minimum annual salary will need to be greater than $49,330 (or the relevant TSMIT). If you wish to employ a staff member in a casual position, they would not be eligible for a subclass 457 visa.

Visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website to find out more about the eligibility of positions to be filled by subclass 457 visa holders.


What are the University's requirements?

To meet its obligations as an employer to ensure that only skilled or specialised individuals are put forward for a subclass 457 visa, the University requires positions to be at a minimum equivalent to an HEO level 6 role. This ensures that our integrity is maintained and supports our commitment to the employment of Australian citizens and permanent residents.

In order to continue to receive approval as a subclass 457 sponsor, the University must provide evidence that it is committed to the employment of Australian citizens and permanent residents first and foremost.

If the position you wish to fill with a subclass 457 visa holder is below HEO Level 6, please talk to the before making any formal offer of employment to the candidate.


What criteria does an individual need to meet to apply for a subclass 457 visa?

The individual whom the University wishes to employ and nominate for a subclass 457 visa is also required to meet certain criteria:

  • The applicant must have the skills, qualifications and experience to match those required for the position for which they have been nominated. Generally, the minimum required is a relevant degree and at least three years' work experience in a related field, although the amount of experience required can vary depending on the position.
  • The applicant must speak a level of English commensurate with the requirements of the position.

What are the requirements for the nomination of family members and other dependants?

The University will extend sponsorship to any spouse or interdependent partner, dependent children of the main visa applicant or dependent children of the main visa applicant’s spouse or interdependent partner.

Any dependants over the age of 18 must demonstrate that they are financially dependent on the visa applicant in order to be classed as a dependant for the purposes of this visa. The University may consider nominating relatives other than dependent children, if the relative is wholly or substantially reliant on the main visa applicant for financial support for their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing and they have been reliant on that support for a substantial period of time.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will require the subclass 457 visa holder to provide evidence of long term relationships and/or financial support at the visa application stage.


What does the subclass 457 visa allow a staff member to do?

With this visa the University can employ overseas workers and offer them the following conditions:

  • they can work in Australia for a period of between one day and four years
  • they can bring any eligible secondary applicants with them to Australia – secondary applicants can work and study
  • after entering Australia, they have no limit on the number of times they travel in and out of Australia.

What is the subclass 457 staff member not allowed to do?

The staff member is not allowed to:

  • change their employer (without prior approval from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection)
  • work in an occupation that is inconsistent with the occupation on which the visa was issued.

How long does it take to get the subclass 457 visa?

Processing for the subclass 457 visa occurs in Australia for both the Employer Nomination and the visa application. Further information on the current visa processing times is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Generally, the Employer Nomination and the visa application are lodged via an online application process. Once the Employer Nomination is lodged, the staff member is provided with a Transaction Reference Number which enables the immediate lodgment of the visa application.

If the Employer Nomination is not approved, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will not review the visa application.


How long can the visa be granted for?

Whilst there are no restrictions on the period of employment a subclass 457 visa holder may engage in, the subclass 457 visa is issued for a maximum of four years only. At the conclusion of the four year period, a further subclass 457 visa may be applied for. Individuals may apply for an unlimited number of subclass 457 visas.


How far in advance should I complete the documentation for a new staff member?

To enable sufficient time for the full process to be completed we strongly recommend that commencement dates are set no earlier than three months after receipt of the signed employment contract within the HR Service Centre. This will offer a good chance that the visa will be issued in time for the proposed commencement and allow the staff member time to make flight arrangements and prepare for their relocation to Australia.

Due to the fact that many staff members may be accepting employment offers for periods over 12 months, there are often requirements for medical examinations and x-rays which must be completed as part of the visa process. Additional application processing time should be considered for all such employment offers.

Important: There is no alternative or temporary visa option which enables a staff member to commence working with the University pending the grant of a subclass 457 visa.

Employing a staff member prior to the grant of a subclass 457 visa is a breach of the University’s sponsorship obligations and exposes the University to significant risk of penalties.


What are the University’s obligations during the employment period?

The subclass 457 visa is a sponsored visa, which means the University must first seek approval from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to sponsor a subclass 457 visa holder. As a sponsor, the University is required to meet certain obligations and notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection when certain events occur.

View a full list of the University’s obligations on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Some examples of the University's obligations are:

  • ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment for the subclass 457 visa holder as would be provided to an Australian citizen or permanent resident employed in the same position
  • pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia if the subclass 457 visa holder or the Department of Immigration and Border Protection requests this in writing
  • pay costs incurred by the Commonwealth to locate and remove unlawful non-citizens.

To assist the Immigration and Relocation Team to identify and notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of certain events in line with the University’s obligations, we require you to notify the team if any of the following situations occur (before any actual change takes place):

  • the individual does not commence employment with the University
  • the staff member’s position number, location, Faculty/School/Department or classification level is proposed to change
  • there is a change to the work activities of the position or role from those advised in the Employer Nomination
  • the staff member is recommended for promotion to a higher level
  • the staff member is offered an extension of their employment period
  • the staff member ceases or is expected to cease employment with the University.

The University is required to notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of any of the above within 10 days of identifying the change.

Failure to notify any of the above actions will result in a sponsorship breach, which carries penalties for each separate breach.


What are the penalties if the University’s obligations are not met?

If the Department of Immigration and Border Protection believes that the University is not complying with its obligations, the University will be issued with a breach notice. The consequences of a breach notice may include any of the following sanctions:

  • up to two years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $66,000 per breach
  • suspension of the University from nominating any employees under the Temporary Business (Long Stay) - Subclass 457 visa for a specified period of time
  • cancellation of the business sponsorship agreement, and/or
  • cancellation of the visas of any staff members and their accompanying family members.

What are the visa conditions applicable to subclass 457 visa holders?

The visa grant notice issued to a subclass 457 visa holder will outline the visa conditions applicable to the individual. Listed below is some information to help prepare the visa applicant:

8107 - This condition restricts the primary visa holder to work in the nominated position and for the sponsoring organisation (i.e. the University) only. The visa holder is not permitted to engage in private consultancy or receive any form of remuneration from any entity that is not related to the University and the nominated position.

8501 - The visa holder is responsible for obtaining and maintaining adequate health insurance for themselves and any dependants for the duration of their stay in Australia. The University will require the staff member to provide evidence that adequate health insurance cover has been obtained prior to commencement of employment. Travel insurance does not provide adequate health cover for the duration of their stay in Australia.

Any one or more of these conditions may be imposed:

8303 - The visa holder must not become involved in activities disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community.

8502 - The visa holder must not enter Australia before the entry to Australia of a person specified in the visa.

8516 - The visa holder must continue to be a person who would satisfy the primary or secondary criteria, as the case requires, for the grant of the visa.

8522 - The visa holder must leave Australia not later than the time of departure of the person:
(a) who has satisfied the primary criteria, and
(b) of whose family unit the holder is a member.

8525 - The visa holder must leave Australia by a specified means of transport on a specified day or within a specified period.

8526 - The visa holder must notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in writing, not earlier than 7 days before the date the visa ceases to be in effect, and not later than that date, of the holder's place of residence in Australia by posting the notification to the Central Office of Immigration in the Australian Capital Territory.

More information on health requirements.