Over the past years 457 visa has become one of the most popular choice for employers to employ skilled overseas workers on a long term basis. Consequently, this has now become the most commonly used program for Australian or overseas employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work in Australia.
The Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) visas is one of many visa categories which are part of the national migration program. When the 457 visa was introduced in the second half of the 1990s it represented a significant shift in Australian immigration policy. Before this, Australia had avoidedtemporary worker schemes, deciding instead to focus on large-scale permanent settlement migration. This approach valued immigrants not only as workers but future permanent residents and citizens.
But a government inquiry in 1996 found that sudden increases in the demand for skills and intense international competition for skilled labour meant there was an increasing international labour markets for the highly mobile, high skilled workforce. In this context, the permanent migration avenues were insufficient. Therefore, 457 visas were introduced to achieve greater flexibility in the migration system to allow businesses to respond quickly to skill shortages during times of economic growth.
Research has shown that the 457 visa has been effective in enabling businesses to access skilled workers rapidly during times of economic growth. The scheme has been especially effective in recruiting skilled workers to regional and remote areas where there has been great difficulty in recruiting Australians, especially in medical services, engineering and other specialised skilled trades.
457 VISA Requirements
This information below demonstrates the requirements to sponsor a skilled worker in your business under the subclass 457 visa program.
The purpose of the sponsorship stage is to confirm that the business intending to employ the skilled worker:
- is a lawfully operating business;
- meets training requirements (Australian businesses only);
- agrees to the number of subclass 457 workers to be nominated;
- has no relevant adverse information relevant to your business.
Australian businesses must also demonstrate their commitment to employ local labour as well as non-discriminatory recruitment practices.
There are two ways you can become an approved sponsor:
- Option 1: Apply to be a standard business sponsor
- Option 2: Negotiate a labour agreement.
Option 1: Apply to be a standard business sponsor
The standard business sponsorship arrangement is the most common way to sponsor a skilled worker using the subclass 457 visa program. You must lodge an application to become a standard business sponsor.
You can have only one standard business sponsorship approved at any given time (that is, one sponsorship approval per Australian Business Number if your business is in Australia) which is usually valid for three years. You can apply to extend your sponsorship at any time during this three-year period by lodging a variation application.
The requirements for approval as a standard business sponsor differ for businesses that are outside and in Australia.
Business in Australia
You must attest that you have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to employing local labour. You must also declare that you have a strong record of, or demonstrated commitment to non-discriminatory work practices.
Make the attestation and the declaration about your workplace record in your sponsorship application form.
You must also meet training requirements. This means you must either:
- meet the training benchmarks if you have traded in Australia for 12 months or more;
- have an auditable plan to meet the training benchmarks if you have been trading in Australia for less than 12 months.
Business outside Australia
You must be seeking to employ a skilled worker to either:
- establish, or help establish, a business operation in Australia;
- fulfil obligations for a contract in Australia.
If your business does not yet have an operating base in Australia, you are not required to satisfy the training requirement.
Option 2: Negotiate a labour agreement
A labour agreement is a formal arrangement negotiated between an Australian employer and the Australian Government. You may be able to enter into a labour agreement if you are in one of the following situations:
- the occupation of the workers you want to employ is not listed on the Skilled Occupation Lists (Formerly Known as Form 1121i) or the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO);
- you are a recruitment company seeking to sponsor skilled workers to be on-hired to another businesses, and the occupations requested are on the Consolidated Occupations List (CSOL);
- standard immigration options are not suitable.
You must be able to provide evidence that:
- there is a genuine and systemic shortage of skilled workers
- there are no suitably qualified Australian workers available
- you have a commitment to training Australians.
A labour agreement comes into effect when it has been signed by all parties involved in the negotiations. A labour agreement is typically valid for three years.
Source: DIPB (No need to change the above sections)
How does a Business Plan / BEP helps in support of the SBS and 457 visa application
As mentioned above, applicants for sponsorship must be employers who are lawfully operating a business, regardless of whether that business is in or outside of Australia. Australian businesses should demonstrate that they are legally established by providing evidence of their business which includes the followings:
- Business Registration Details;
- Details that the business is actively engaged in business activities;
- Details of their future plan, missions and goals;
- Details of its market and marketing plans;
- Details of various stakeholders;
- Details of its funding;
- Details of their management team;
- Details of their training & development plans;
- Details of their past, present and forecasted financial statements.
A Business Plan is a completed document that generally provides all the above information in a well presented format. It provides the reader with specific information about the business in an effective way. It is an document acceptable to the DIBP. In fact, the DIPB consistently requests Business Plans from the SBS applicants as it helps them (the DIPB) determine the validity of the business in an effective way.
Over the years we have prepared hundreds of Business Plans for clients in various industries for their SBS and 457 visa applications. We have done so well that we can proudly say our success rate is close to 100%. Our tailored Business Plan will not only help you through your immigration process but also help you organise your business with a clear future goal.
Click here for latest 457 VISA Checklist
If you are a business which is operating outside Australia, with no operations in Australia, you must be able to demonstrate that your application for approval as a standard business sponsor will enable you to:
- employ a subclass 457 holder who will establish, or assist in establishing, a business operation on your behalf in Australia with overseas connections, or
- fulfil, or assist in fulfilling, one of your contractual obligations.
A Business Expansion Plan then comes into effect to help your application as a SBS. It has all the elements of a Business Plan as well as other additional contents which helps to establish connection between your expansion plan and your current business activity along with solid market research.
457 to Permanent Residency
The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) is for skilled workers who want to work in Australia. This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa programme.
This visa is a permanent residence visa. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.
The visa has three streams:
- The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for two years, while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who has lodged a valid nomination with us under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.
- The Direct Entry stream is for:
- people who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
- people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or
- temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream
- The Agreement stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.
DELIVERY TIMEFRAME: 7 days
PRICE: $1,250+GST (457 Business Plan)
$1,350+GST (457 Business Expansion Plan)