Individuals and Travellers

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

Features

​​​​​This visa lets a skilled worker travel to Australia to work in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor for up to four years. ​​

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you have been sponsored by an approved business
  • you have the required skills to fill a position nominated by an approved business.

Global visa processing times

  • 75 per cent of applications processed in 61 days
  • 90 per cent of applications processed in 6 months
  • Last updated 20 July 2017 (for month ending 30 June 2017)

    For more information see Global visa and citizenship processing times

About th​is visa

On 18 April 2017, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia and the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection jointly announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa which will support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages.

Further information on these reforms is available at Abolition and replacement of the 457 visa – Government reforms to employer sponsored skilled migration visas.

Information about the 1 July 2017 changes is available. See 1 July 2017 changes to skilled visa programmes

​The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) allows skilled workers to come to Aust​ralia and work for an approved business for up to:

  • four years after it is granted – if your occupation is listed on the Combined list of eligible skilled occupations or this period is required due to international trade obligations
  • two years after it is granted – if your occupation is not listed on the MLTSSL.

You must be sponsored by an approved business. A business can sponsor someone for this visa if they cannot find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the skilled work.

You can be in or outside Australia​ when you lodge your application.

What this visa lets you do

This visa allows you to:

  • work in Australia for a defined period of time
  • bring  members of your family unit to work or study in Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia as ​often as you want.

Before you apply

This is a sponsored visa. Before you can apply for the visa, your employer must:

  • become an approved sponsor
  • nominate you for a position.

You can apply for this visa at the same time your employer lodges their applications to sponsor and nominate you.

Legislative Instruments​

To maintain flexibility in the Subclass 457 visa program, certain aspects of the program are subject to change from time to time. The aspects of the program that might change are contained in what is known as a legislative instrument.

See: Subclass 457 visa Legislative Instruments

No further stay​

You cannot apply for this visa if you already hold another visa that has a ‘No further stay’ condition.

Contact us if you are not sure whether your current visa conditions prevent you from applying for a further visa while you are in Australia.

Your passport

You must have a valid passport or other travel document for this visa. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. If you get a new passport after you have lodged your application, give the details of your new passport to one of our offices.

You can use Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (89KB PDF).

You might be able to update your passport details using ImmiAccount.

Visa applicants

This information explains what a skilled worker needs to do to apply for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457).

Who could get this visa

To apply you must:

  • be nominated by an approved sponsor to work in an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations
  • meet the skill requirements, and any registration and licensing obligations for the nominated occupation
  • speak a certain level of English.

See below for more information.

Approved occupations

You must work in a skilled occupation that has been approved by the Australian Government.

The list of eligible skilled occupations includes a number (an ANZSCO Code) next to each occupation title.

You can use this code to find a more detailed description of the qualifications and experience required for each of the eligible occupations from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Skill requirements

You need to show that you have the skills and experience necessary to work in the nominated occupation. The evidence that you can provide is listed in the Document checklist for visa applicants.​

If your nominated occupation is a trade occupation, you might need to do a skills assessment. The Trades Recognition Australia website has more information on which occupations require an assessment.

You must provide a skills assessment for migration purposes if your nominated occupation is one of the following:

  • Program or Project Administrator (ANZSCO 511112)
  • Specialist Managers nec (not elsewhere classified) (ANZSCO 139999).

The VETASSESS website has more information. You cannot use a VETASSESS skills assessment that you have had for a Skilled General (Temporary) visa (subclass 485) in your application for this visa.

Registration and licensing

Your approved sponsor should be able to provide you with the necessary licensing and registration information.

English language proficiency

It is important that you can speak, write and understand a sufficient level of English while you are in Australia. We use the following tests to determine your level of English language proficiency:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test (which was conducted on or after 1 January 2015).

If you are sponsored by a party to a labour agreement, you must meet the English language ability specified in the agreement.

Required test scores

Most primary applicants who are sponsored by a standard business sponsor must demonstrate that their level of English proficiency is equivalent to one of the following scores:

  • an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall test score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the four test components
  • an Occupational English Test (OET) score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four components
  • a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) total score of at least 36 with a score of at least 3 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 12 for each of the test components of writing and speaking
  • a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic overall test score of at least 36 with a score of at least 30 in each of the four test components
  • a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 147 in each of the four test components.
IELTS – Academic or General

IELTS is a test designed to assess an applicant’s English language ability.  It has an academic tests and a general training test.  You only need to take the general training test unless advised otherwise by a registration or general licensing body.

English for registration, licensing or membership

A higher level of English might be required for certain occupations where it is a requirement for registration, licensing or membership in Australia.  You can find out if your occupation requires a higher level of English by contacting the registration authority for your nominated occupation.

If you are required to hold a licence, registration or membership to perform your nominated occupation then you must have English language proficiency of at least the standard required to be granted that licence, registration or membership.

This can result in the English language requirement being higher than the test scores detailed above, depending on the requirements of the licence, registration or membership.

Exemptions from English language proficiency

If your prospective employer is a standard business sponsor, you must meet the English language requirement for visa grant unless you fall into one of the following categories of exempted persons:

  • you are a passport holder from Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America
  • you have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where instruction was conducted in English
  • you are nominated for an occupation which will be performed at a diplomatic or consular mission of another country or an office of the authorities of Taiwan located in Australia
  • the person is an employee of an overseas business who is coming to Australia to work for that company or their associated entity and they have a nominated base rate of pay of at least AUD$96,400
  • your occupation requires you to hold a licence, registration or membership and:
    • to be granted the licence, registration or membership you must demonstrate a level of English language proficiency that is equivalent to or better than the level described on the previous page (test/scores), and
    • you have been granted the licence, registration or membership.

If you are seeking an exemption from the English language requirement on the basis of completion of five years of study at a secondary and/or higher institution where the instruction was in English, you should also provide the following information with your visa application:

  • the name and location of the institution/s
  • the level of qualification/s
  • your official transcript from the secondary and/or tertiary institution
  • the number of contact hours of instruction per week delivered in English
  • the number of years of study.

Health requirements​

You must meet certain health requirements. The health examinations you need will depend on your personal circumstances, including your period of stay, country of citizenship, time spent in another country during the last five years and your intended activities in Australia. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

This applies to you and any members of your family unit included in your application.

You are able to organise your health examinations upfront before lodging a visa application.

Health insurance​

You must have adequate health insurance unless you are covered by Medicare. You should ensure that your insurance will provide at least the level of coverage required for the purpose of your stay. Your health insurer could be in either Australia or your home country.

Attachment A in the health insurance standard template letter (138 kB RTF) is a guide to the level of health insurance we will accept as adequate.

Your insurance must cover you and any members of your family who come with you to Australia.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age.

This also applies to all eligible members of your family unit in your application who are 16 years of age or older.

You are able to organise your police certificates before lodging a visa application.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.

​Provide biometrics

You might be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of the application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.

 

Inclu​ding family in your application

You can include the following people in your visa application at the time of lodgement:

  • your partner
  • your child/step-child or your partner’s child/step-child.

For detailed information regarding who you can include in your application see including family members in your application.

The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to you.​​

Members of your family unit must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements.​

They must also be able to show they have the same lev​​els of financial support and health insurance as you.

Your sponsor must agree in writing to include them as secondary sponsored persons. They can do this by including the details of your family members in the nomination application, or by providing this information in a letter to be attached to your visa application.

How to apply

Before you can apply for this visa, your employer must apply to be a sponsor and nominate a position.

Prepare your documents​

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge your application online

You can apply for this visa online at:

You must provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge when you apply.

You need the Transaction Reference Number (TRN) or Application ID for the nomination your prospective employer lodged. This number identifies that you have been nominated before you start your application. You will not be able to lodge your application without this number.

Upload your documents using your ImmiAccount when you lodge your online application. This will help reduce delays in processing the application.

If you cannot upload your documents, you can scan them and email them as PDF files to your case officer. You will be given the name and contact details of your allocated case officer after you have lodged your application.

Cost​

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

Sponsorship and nomination charges also apply.

Other costs​

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

​More information

There is more information to help you prepare your application, which gives advice about certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.

After you have applied

After you have lodged your application and documents, we will acknowledge that we have received your information.

You can track and manage your application using ImmiAccount.

Wait for a decision​

We have visa processing times for each visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including chest x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Outside Australia:
If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa. Wait for a decision from us before you leave your job, sell your home or book your travel.

In Australia:
If you apply for this visa in Australia, you could be eligible for a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed. If you are given a Bridging visa A, you can apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB) to travel outside Australia while you wait for a decision.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

You can provide additional information, including Form 1023, using ImmiAccount.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

To help us locate your application quickly, include the following with any information you give us:

  • your name and date of birth
  • the transaction reference number we gave you when you lodged your application.

Report changes in your circumstances​

Tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929Change of address and/or passport details (86 KB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77 KB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and might be denied permission to board your plane.​​​​​​

​Withdrawing your application

​You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include your file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

​​​All applicants 18 years of age or older, wishing to withdraw, must sign the request for withdrawal.​​​​​​

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.​

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any). Where applicable, your sponsor can apply for the decision to be reviewed
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist for visa applicants

You must provide documents to support your application for this visa.

Use the Document checklist for subclass 457 Visa Applicants​​ to make sure your application is complete.

Visa holders

Workers in Australia – including visa holders with permission to work – have rights under Australian workplace law.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) provides information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements.

See also: Workplace rights for all visa holders working in Australia

This information is for people who have already been granted a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457). It explains your rights and obligations.​

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

How long your visa lasts

This visa can be valid for up to:

You will need to check the letter you received from us when your visa was granted to confirm the date your visa expires.

If your sponsor is a start-up business or has traded in Australia for less than 12 months, then the visa will be granted for 18 months.

What this visa lets you do​

This visa allows you to:

  • work in Australia for an approved sponsor for the life of your visa
  • bring your family to work or study in Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia as often as you want.

Your obligations

If you are granted a subclass 457 visa, there are certain conditions which apply to you depending on whether you are the primary or a secondary visa holder. You must comply with the visa condition or conditions which apply to you, as failure to do so might result in your visa being cancelled.

For visas granted before 19 November 2016, the primary visa holder must not cease to be employed with the approved sponsor for more than 90 days.

For visas granted on or after 19 November 2016, the primary visa holder must not cease to be employed with the approved sponsor for more than 60 days.

Visa conditions

Condition 8107 applies to all primary visa holders only.

Condition 8501 applies to all primary visa holders and all secondary visa holders.

Condition 8107

This condition is only relevant to a primary holder of a subclass 457 visa. You must:

  • only work in your nominated occupation
  • start work within 90 days of arrival in Australia if you were outside Australia when your visa was granted, or within 90 days after your visa was granted if you were already in Australia at the time 
  • only work for the sponsor, who nominated the position you are working in (if your sponsor is a standard business sponsor and is an Australian business, you can also work for an associated entity of the sponsor)
  • not cease employment for a period of more than 60 consecutive days
  • obtain any licence, registration or membership necessary to perform your occupation in Australia and comply with any provisions within 90 days:
    • after initial arrival in Australia on this visa
    • from date of visa grant if already in Australia
  • if your visa was granted on or after 1 December 2015 you must also:
    • not engage in work that is inconsistent with your licence, registration or membership
    • notify us in writing as soon as practicable if your application for the licence, registration or membership is refused
    • notify us in writing as soon as practicable if your licence, registration or membership ceases to be in force or is revoked or cancelled.

To notify us of registration, licence or membership issues you should send an email to: sponsor.notifications@border.gov.au

You are considered to have ceased employment when either you or your employer notifies us of the date you stopped work.

If you stop working for your sponsor, you must do one of the following within 60 days:

  • find another employer to sponsor you and have them lodge a new nomination (which must be approved before you can start working for them)
  • be granted a different visa
  • depart Australia.

If more than 60 consecutive days have passed since the date your sponsor advised us you would be ceasing employment on, you could be in breach of Condition 8107 and your visa could be cancelled.

If you abandon your employment, or are absent without leave, you could be considered to have ceased employment.

If your visa is about to expire and you want to keep working in Australia, you must apply for another subclass 457 visa.

If you want to change employers while you hold a valid 457 visa you do not need to apply for a new subclass 457 visa, however your new sponsor must lodge a new nomination and this must be approved before you commence working for the new sponsor.

Medical practitioners and general managers

Medical practitioners and general managers must work in their nominated occupation but they can work for employers other than their sponsor or an associated entity of their sponsor.

The specific occupations that this applies to are listed in Exemption from the requirement to work directly for the sponsor.

Condition 8501

This condition is relevant for all primary and secondary visa holders. You must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while you are in Australia.

Report changes

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

Children born in Australia

If your child is born in Australia while you hold a 457 visa, you must notify us in writing. Your child will then hold a subclass 457 visa.

You must provide a copy of your child’s Australian birth certificate and the personal details page of their passport. This is particularly important if you are intending to travel outside Australia after the birth of your child.

You must email this information to 457@border.gov.au. General 457 enquiries submitted to this email address will not be responded to.

After you arrive in Australia

Changing employer or occupation

If you have been granted a subclass 457 visa and you want to change your employer or occupation you are not required to apply for a new visa, however before you start working for a new employer or in a new occupation, you must be nominated by your proposed new employer and have that nomination approved first.

If you start working for your proposed new employer or in your new occupation before the nomination is approved, you will be in breach of visa condition 8107 and your subclass 457 visa might be cancelled.

The approval of a new nomination only allows you to change your employer or occupation. It does not extend the length of your subclass 457 visa and does not change the conditions attached to it.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid visa to remain in Australia at all times. To check the visa conditions and expiry date of your visa, refer to Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

Your employment rights in Australia

All employees in Australia are covered by the Fair Work Act 2009. This includes you as a subclass 457 visa holders.

You are entitled to fair pay and to basic rights and protections in the workplace. Your sponsor must provide you with the same terms and conditions as Australian workers performing the same work in the same work location.

For more information contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 131 394, or Unions Australia on 1300 486 466 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au.

You can read the obligations that your sponsor must meet from the sponsor tab.

Payment

What you are entitled to be paid depends on factors including which state or territory you work in, your age, what award you are covered by and the details of your workplace agreement or contract. Your employer must pay you regularly. Your employer must not make deductions from your salary (other than for tax purposes) without your permission.

Conditions of employment

All workers in Australia have minimum conditions of employment. These standards cover things such as working hours, payment for overtime, rest breaks, sick leave and holidays. More information is available at www.fairwork.gov.au.

Paying tax in Australia

In Australia, tax is paid out of money you earn from a job, business or investment. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) collects taxes from individuals and businesses to pay for important community services like hospitals, schools and roads. If you are working, your employer automatically takes tax out of your pay.

Before you start work, you should apply for a tax file number (TFN) from the ATO. If you do not have a TFN, your employer must take the maximum amount of tax from your pay. Be sure to keep your TFN secure. Allowing someone else to use your TFN can cause serious problems.

Rights to representation

All workers in Australia have the right to join and be represented by a trade union. Unions provide their members with advice on wages, employment conditions and workplace rights. They help with workplace problems, and bargain with employers about members’ pay and employment conditions.

You do not have to tell your employer you are a union member. Your employer must not treat you unfavourably or dismiss you because you are a member of a union.

If you want to join a union but do not know which union to join, contact Unions Australia on 1300 486 466.

Unfair treatment at work

You have the right not to be dismissed unfairly. You have the right not to be discriminated against for reasons of your race, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, disability or for being a member of a trade union.

More information is available at www.fairwork.gov.au.

Other workplace rights

You have the right to work in a safe and healthy workplace. If you have been injured at work, you could be entitled to workers compensation. Your employer cannot treat you unfavourably or dismiss you because you make an inquiry or complaint about your employment (to your employer or to anyone else) or because you seek to enforce your rights.

If you believe your workplace is unsafe, you can contact your union or the relevant state authority below.

  • New South Wales – WorkCover NSW 13 10 50
  • Victoria – WorkSafe Victoria 1800 136 089
  • Queensland – WorkCover Queensland 1300 362 128
  • Western Australia – WorkCover Western Australia 1300 794 744
  • South Australia – SafeWork SA 1300 365 255
  • Tasmania – Workplace Standards Tasmania 1300 366 322
  • Australian Capital Territory – WorkCover ACT (02) 6205 0200
  • Northern Territory – NT WorkSafe 1800 019 115.
​​​​​

Sponsors

Search SkillS​elect

This information is for employers who want to sponsor a skilled worker from outside Australia for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457). As an approved sponsor, there is no limit to the number of eligible skilled positions you can nominate.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

​Who can become a sponsor

To become a sponsor, you must be able to show that your business:

  • is a lawfully operating business
  • has no relevant adverse information against your business.

Australian businesses must also demonstrate their commitment to employing 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 legal entity) which is usually valid for five years. You can apply to extend your sponsorship at any time during this five-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, in writing, that you have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to employing local labour. You must also declare that you will not engage in discriminatory recruitment 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 might be able to enter into a labour agreement if you are in one of the following situations:

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.

How to propose a labour agreement

You need, among other things, to:

  • identify the relevant skills shortage in the business and why these vacancies cannot be filled by Australian workers (you need to show you have tried to recruit in Australia)
  • specify the number of skilled workers needed from outside Australia
  • specify the skill and English language requirements that relate to the nominated occupations. Semi-skilled occupations can be considered provided they are specialised and in demand
  • include copies of correspondence showing that relevant stakeholders have been consulted.

You might be able to use a template labour agreement if there is one for your industry or your worker’s occupation. A template labour agreement is a set of standard parameters for similar employers: it does not guarantee an agreement will be approved.

If the template does not suit your needs, you might be able to negotiate an individual agreement.

Labour agreements include a requirement to provide training to Australian employees.

When you have a labour agreement in place, you are an approved sponsor for the term of operation of the agreement. You can then nominate skilled workers from outside Australia under the terms of the labour agreement.

You will also need to meet your sponsorship obligations and any other terms and conditions specified in the agreement.  If you breach the terms and conditions of your agreement, we could suspend or terminate it.     

To find out more about the labour agreement process, contact us by email labour.agreement.section@border.gov.au.

Standard business sponsors

To sponsor a worker as a standard business sponsor, you must:

  • be a lawfully operating business
  • have no relevant adverse information against your business.

If your business is in Australia, you must also:

  • meet training requirements
  • demonstrate your commitment to employing local labour
  • not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO for Organisations) to check the work entitlements of your prospective employees.

A lawfully operating business

You must be a lawfully operating business to apply to be a standard business sponsor. This applies to businesses both in and outside Australia.

To demonstrate this you must show both of the following:

  • your business is legally established
  • your business is actually operating.

A business that exists only on paper cannot satisfy this sponsorship requirement.

If you do not operate in Australia, you must be able to show that you need a skilled worker to:

  • come to Australia to establish, or help establish, a business operation with connections with a business located outside Australia
  • fulfil, or help in fulfil, a contractual obligation.

If your business is new, you can still satisfy this requirement if you can provide evidence that your business is in fact operating, even if this has been for only a short period of time.

Examples of the documents you can use to show that your business is legally established and operating are in the Document checklist.

If you operate a business under a trust arrangement you must provide details of the Trust Name and the Trust ABN when you complete the application form.  The application should be made using the name of the Trustee as it appears in the Trust Deed.

Details of the principals of your business such as Owners, Partners, Directors and major Shareholders should be provided when you complete the application form.  

Training requirements

You must show that you have contributed to the training of Australian workers by providing evidence of meeting the training benchmarks. These benchmarks were introduced to ensure that the employment of workers from outside Australia is not seen as an alternative to training Australian workers.

To be approved as a standard business sponsor, 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.

If you negotiate a labour agreement, your business will have to meet a similar training requirement as part of the agreement.

Training benchmarks

If your business has been trading in Australia for more than 12 months, you must show you have contributed to the training of Australians.

You show this by meeting one of two benchmarks. This can be either:

  • Training benchmark A: recent expenditure to the equivalent of at least two per cent of the payroll of the business, in payments allocated to an industry training fund that operates in the same or a related industry as the business 
  • Training benchmark B: recent expenditure to the equivalent of at least one per cent of the payroll of the business, in the provision of training to employees of the business who are Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

You must provide evidence of expenditure relating to the training benchmarks when you submit your sponsorship application. Not providing evidence can cause a significant delay in processing your application.

The definition of 'payroll' and the types of expenditure that can be counted towards meeting the training benchmarks is outlined in the legislative instrument that specifies the current training benchmarks.

Businesses that do not yet have an operating base in Australia do not need to meet the training benchmarks.

Auditable plans

An auditable plan must clearly identify how the applicant intends to meet one of the training benchmarks. An auditable plan must:

  • relate to the immediate future (within the next 12 months)
  • clearly articulate the forecast payroll for the next 12 months
  • show the intended expenditure towards training benchmark A or training benchmark B
  • show a clear intent to implement the plan.

An auditable plan to meet training benchmark B must clearly articulate the type and duration of training, and the estimated cost of delivering the training.

Sponsorship accreditation

Sponsors who qualify for accredited status get the following benefits:

  • your sponsorship is valid for six years
  • you will receive priority processing of all nomination and visa applications
  • you will receive streamlined processing (if you were approved as an accredited sponsor on or after 1 July 2016 only) for nomination applications where the nominated base salary is equal to or greater than either of the following:
    • the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently AUD 136,700) and the occupation is classified as skill level 1 or 2 in the ANZSCO
    • AUD 75,000 and the occupation is classified as skill level 1 or 2 in the ANZSCO with the exception of the following occupations:
      • recruitment consultant
      • sales representative (industrial products)
      • customer service manager
      • corporate general manager
      • procurement manager
      • quality assurance manager
      • sales and marketing manager
      • specialist manager not elsewhere classified
      • hotel/motel manager
      • contract administrator
      • information and organisation professionals not elsewhere classified.

Your accredited status can be revoked if you no longer meet the required characteristics. This means you will no longer receive priority or streamlined processing. Your sponsorship will still remain valid for six years.

Sponsors with accredited status must still comply with all sponsorship obligations.

How to apply for sponsorship accreditation

You can apply for accredited status using the same forms you use to apply to become a standard business sponsor or vary your existing sponsorship agreement. If you do not meet the characteristics for accredited status, your application for standard business sponsorship will still proceed and be assessed in the usual way.

Who can apply for accreditation

To be approved for accredited status, you must meet the standard sponsorship requirements and the following additional characteristics of one of four categories at the time of application:

CategoryRequired Characteristics
Category 1

Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies
  • Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia
Category 2

Australian Trusted Traders
  • Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia
  • Engage all 457 holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement)**
  • Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business**
Category 3

Low volume usage (of the 457 programme) and high percentage of Australian workers (at least 90%)
  • Be a publicly-listed company or a private company with at least AUD four million annual turnover for the last two years
  • Have been an active 457 sponsor for at least two years
  • Have no adverse monitoring outcomes
  • Have sponsored at least one (1) primary 457 visa holder in the two years prior to the application for accreditation
  • Have a non-approval rate of less than 3% for the previous two years
  • Have Australian workers comprising at least 90% of their workforce in Australia;
  • Engage all 457 holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement)**
  • Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business**
  • Have provided details of all business activities undertaken by their business to the department**
  • Have provided details of all Principals / Directors of their business to the department**
Category 4

High volume usage (of the 457 programme) and medium percentage of Australian workers (at least 75%)
  • Characteristics are the same as Category 3 with two differences:
  • Have sponsored at least ten (10) primary 457 visa holders in the two years prior to the application for accreditation
  • Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia
** Additional evidentiary documentation must be provided against these characteristics

How long the sponsorship lasts

Sponsorships can be valid for:

Australian businesses
Sponsorship for start-up businesses Accredited sponsorships Standard business sponsorships Labour agreement
18 months6 years5 yearsthe length of the labour agreement

Overseas businesses
Overseas business seeking to establish a business in Australia Overseas businesses who have a contractual obligation
18 months5 years

If you have a labour agreement in place, you are an approved sponsor for the term of the agreement.

Applying to be a sponsor

This information explains what you need to do to apply to become a sponsor for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457).

There are two ways an eligible business can become an approved sponsor:

  • negotiate a labour agreement  –  contact us by email at labour.agreement.section@border.gov.au to ask for an information pack about becoming a labour agreement sponsor
  • apply to be a standard business sponsor using the forms listed below.

You can lodge your sponsorship application at the same time as a nomination and visa application.

Prepare all relevant documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. These documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have all the required documents ready when you lodge your application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge your application to be a standard business sponsor

You can apply to become a standard business sponsor online at:

You must provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge by credit card when you apply. Upload your documents through your ImmiAccount when you apply. This will help reduce delays in processing your application.

Fees

There is a fee for businesses applying to become an approved sponsor. Payment of this fee must accompany your application. Payment does not guarantee approval of the application.

To check the current application fee, see Temporary work sponsorship and nomination fees, which can be found under the work tab.

Report changes in your circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change. Use the following forms:

You might be able to update your address details using ImmiAccount.

The types of changes that must be notified are:

  • a change to your business trading name, your ABN, or other business details
  • a change to your contact or address details
  • corrections to information you provided in your application.

Changing your business structure

  • Businesses sometimes decide to change their structure and this can have implications if your business sponsors 457 visa holders.  If a change in your business structure results in a new legal entity being created (for example, a sole trader commences operating as a company) then the new entity will need to apply to become a standard business sponsor and new nominations will be required for each of your 457 visa holders.  If you do not do this you could be breaching your sponsorship obligations and your workers will not be complying with their visa conditions which might result in their visa being cancelled. 
  • Changing your business structure could also have implications for you and your 457 visa holder if you want to sponsor them for a permanent visa in the future.  You should read the Employer Nomination Scheme pages for more information.

Sponsorship decision

If your application to be sponsor is approved, we will send you a letter with:

  • the date your sponsorship ceases
  • your sponsorship agreement number
  • the obligations you have as a sponsor.

If your application is not approved, we will send you a letter stating:

  • why your application was refused
  • your rights (if any) to a merits review of the decision and relevant time limits.

Sponsor obligations

Sponsorship obligations apply to all sponsors of subclass 457 visa holders. They are in place to ensure that overseas skilled workers are protected from exploitation, and that the subclass 457 visa programme is being used to meet genuine skills shortages, and not to undercut local labour wages and conditions.

Some obligations apply beyond the term of sponsorship approval.

As a sponsor you must:

  • cooperate with inspectors
  • ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment
  • keep records
  • provide records and information to the Minister
  • tell us when certain events occur
  • ensure  the visa holder  participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity
  • not recover from, transfer or charge certain costs to another person
  • pay travel costs to enable sponsored people to leave Australia
  • pay costs  to remove unlawful non-citizens
  • provide training to Australians and permanent residents
  • not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices.

Cooperate with inspectors

You must cooperate with inspectors appointed under the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) who are investigating whether:

  • a sponsorship obligation is being, or has been, complied with
  • you have hired an illegal worker
  • there are other circumstances in which we could take administrative action.

This obligation:

  • starts on the day the sponsorship is approved or work agreement commences
  • ends five years after the day the approved sponsorship ends  or work agreement ceases.

Cooperating with inspectors can include (but is not limited to):

  • providing access to premises 
  • producing and providing documents within the requested timeframe  
  • not preventing  or attempting to prevent ,access to a person who has custody of, or access to, a record or documents 
  • providing officers with access to interview any person on their premises.

Ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment

If you are a standard business sponsor, the terms and conditions of employment for the person you have sponsored must be no less favourable than those you provide, or would provide to an Australian performing equivalent work in the same location. Further, if you are a standard business sponsor, the terms and conditions of employment for the person you have sponsored must be no less favourable than the terms and conditions you advised you would be providing to the sponsored person at the time of the nomination.

This obligation does not apply to a sponsor if the annual earnings of their sponsored visa holder are equal to, or greater than AUD 250,000.

If you sponsor someone under a work agreement, you must ensure that the people you sponsor are paid the amount specified in the work agreement.

This obligation starts on the day (whichever is the earliest):

  • the person you have sponsored is granted a subclass 457 visa
  • your nomination is approved (if they already hold a subclass 457 visa when your nomination was approved)

This obligation ends either:

  • on the day the sponsored visa holder stops working for you, or 
  • on the day they are granted a further visa other than another subclass 457 visa, or a bridging visa, a criminal justice visa, or an enforcement visa.

If the sponsored visa holder is granted another subclass 457 visa to continue to work for you, this obligation continues.

Keep records

You must keep records that show your compliance with your sponsorship obligations. All of the records must be kept in a reproducible format and some must be capable of verification by an independent person. Records that must be kept, in addition to records that must be kept under other Australian Government, and state or territory laws, include the following:

  • written requests for payment of outward travel costs for a sponsored visa holder  or their family, including when the request was received 
  • how the outward travel costs were paid for a sponsored visa holder or their family, how much was paid, for whom they were paid, and when they were paid 
  • notifying us of an event required to be reported to us, including the date and method of notification and where the notification was provided 
  • tasks performed by the sponsored visa holder  in relation to the nominated occupation and where the tasks were performed 
  • money paid to the sponsored visa holder (unless the sponsored visa holder earns over AUD 250,000)
  • money applied or dealt with in any way on behalf of the sponsored visa holder  or as the sponsored visa holder directed (unless the sponsored visa holder earns over AUD 250,000)
  • non-monetary benefits provided to the sponsored visa holder , including the agreed value and the time at which, or the period over which, those benefits were provided (unless the sponsored visa holder earns over AUD 250,000)
  • if there is an equivalent worker in your workplace, a record of the terms and conditions that apply to the equivalent worker, including the period over which the terms and conditions applied (unless the sponsored visa holder earns over AUD 250,000)
  • the written contract of employment each sponsored visa holder is engaged under
  • if you were lawfully operating a business in Australian at the time of your approval as a standard business sponsor or variation of the terms of your approval as a standard business sponsor—how you are complying with the training obligation
  • if you are a party to a work  agreement, the records required to be kept under the work  agreement.

The obligation starts the day the sponsorship is approved or work agreement begins.

This obligation ends two years after both of the following:

  • your sponsorship or the work agreement ceases 
  • you are no longer sponsoring anyone. 

Provide records and information to the Minister

You must provide records or information, if they are requested by a departmental officer that goes to determining whether:

  • a sponsorship obligation is being or has been complied with, and 
  • determining whether other circumstances, in which the Minister might take administrative action, exist or have existed,
    in the manner and timeframe requested by us.

We might ask you in writing to provide records or information which relate to your sponsorship obligations, and any other matters that relate to your sponsorship of Subclass 457 visa holders. You must provide the records or information requested if it is a record or information that:

  • you are required to keep under Commonwealth, state or territory law
  • you have an obligation to keep as a sponsor.

This obligation starts to apply on the day the sponsorship is approved or work agreement commences.

This obligation ends two years after:

  • your sponsorship or work agreement ceases
  • you no longer have a sponsored visa holder.

Tell us when certain events occur  

You must tell us in writing when certain events occur. Send the information by registered post or electronic mail to a specified address and within certain timeframes of the event occurring.

Examples of events include (but are not limited to):

  • a change to your address or contact details
  • the end or expected ending of a primary sponsored visa holder’s employment, program or activity
  • a change to the duties carried out by the primary sponsored visa holder.

This obligation starts to apply on the day the standard business sponsorship is approved or the work agreement commences.

This obligation ends two years after:

  • your sponsorship or the work  agreement ends, and 
  • you are no longer sponsoring anyone.

Changes or events that all sponsors must notify within 28 calendar days

You must notify us within 28 calendar days if:

  • the sponsored visa holder’s employment ends, or is expected to end(the sponsor must tell  us if the end date changes) 
  • there are changes to the work duties carried out by the sponsored visa holder 
  • you are a standard business sponsor and there is a change to the information in the sponsorship application or the application to vary a term of sponsorship approval relating to the training requirement and the sponsor’s address and contact details
  • if you are a party to a work agreement and there is a change to the address and contact details or the training information provided in the work  agreement
  • you have paid the return travel costs of a sponsored visa holder  or any of their family members in accordance with the obligation to pay return travel costs
  • you have become insolvent within the meaning of subsections 5 (2) and (3) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and section 95A of the Corporations Act 2001
  • your business ceases to exist as a legal entity.

If your business is a company

A company must also notify us of the following changes or events within 28 calendar days if:

  • a new director is appointed
  • an administrator is appointed for the company under Part 5.3A of the Corporations Act 2001
    • the company resolves by special resolution to be wound up voluntarily under subsection 491(1) of the Corporations Act 2001
    • a court has ordered that the company be wound up in insolvency under Part 5.4, or on other grounds under Part 5.4A, of the Corporations Act 2001
    • a court has appointed an official liquidator to be the provisional liquidator of the company under Part 5.4B of the Corporations Act 2001
    • a court has approved a compromise or arrangement proposed by the company under Part 5.1 of the Corporations Act 2001
    • the property of the company becomes subject to a receiver or other controller under Part 5.2 of the Corporations Act 2001
    • procedures are initiated for the deregistration of the company under Part 5A.1 of the Corporations Act 2001.

If you are an individual

If you operate your business as an individual, you must also notify us of the following changes or events within 28 calendar days:

  • you enter into a personal insolvency agreement under Part X of the Bankruptcy Act 1966
  • you enter into a debt agreement under Part IX of the Bankruptcy Act 1966
  • a sequestration order is made against your estate under Part IV of the Bankruptcy Act 1966
  • you become a bankrupt by virtue of the presentation of a debtor’s petition under Part IV of the Bankruptcy Act 1966
  • you present a declaration of intention to present a debtor’s petition under Part IV of the Bankruptcy Act 1966
  • a composition or scheme of arrangement is presented in relation to you in accordance with Division 6 of Part IV of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.

If your business is a partnership

You must also notify us of the following changes or events within 28 calendar days:

  • a new partner joins the partnership
  • any of the events listed for an individual or a company occurs.

If your business is an unincorporated association

An unincorporated association must also notify us within 28 calendar days if:

  • a new member is appointed to the managing committee of the association
  • any of the events listed for an individual or a company occurs.

Where to send a notice of an event or change

You must send details of these events by email or to one of our state or territory offices listed below.

By email (preferred): sponsor.notifications@border.gov.au

By registered post:

  • Australian Capital Territory
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 717
    Canberra ACT 2601

  • New South Wales
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 9984
    Sydney NSW 2001

  • Queensland
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 9984
    Brisbane Qld 4001

  • Northern Territory
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 864
    Darwin NT 0801

  • South Australia
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 2399
    Adelaide SA 5001

  • Tasmania
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 794
    Hobart Tas. 7001

  • Victoria
    Sponsor Monitoring
    GPO Box 241
    Melbourne Vic. 3001

  • Western Australia
    Sponsor Monitoring
    Locked Bag 7
    Northbridge WA 6865

Ensure that the visa holder participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity

You must ensure that the person you have sponsored participates only in the occupation, program or activity for which you nominated them. If you want to engage a visa holder for a different occupation, program or activity, you must lodge a new nomination application. This obligation starts on the day the person you have sponsored is granted a visa. If they already hold a visa when you nominate them, your obligation starts on the day the nomination is approved.

This obligation ends on the day (whichever is the earliest):

  • the sponsored visa holder has a nomination approved for another approved sponsor
  • the sponsored visa holder is granted another  substantive visa of a different type for which you sponsored them (unless that other visa is a bridging visa, criminal justice visa or enforcement visa  
  • the sponsored visa holder  has left Australia and  the relevant visa (and any subsequent bridging visa) is no longer in effect.

If you are a standard business sponsor, you must employ the person you have sponsored under a written contract of employment. They cannot work for another business, and you cannot supply them to another business.  If you were lawfully operating a business in Australia at the time you were approved as a standard business sponsor, the person might work for an associated entity.

You cannot engage in activities related to the recruitment or hire of the sponsored visa holder to another business unless it is an associated entity and you lawfully operated a business in Australia at the time you were approved as a standard business sponsor (or at the time the terms of your approval were last varied).

The only exception to this rule is if the sponsored visa holder’s occupation is an exempt occupation for the purposes of this obligation.

The obligation ends on the day the sponsored visa holder  is granted another substantive visa of a different subclass from the one they last held. The obligation continues if the sponsored visa holder is granted another subclass 457 visa to continue to work for you. 

Not recover, transfer or charge certain costs to another person

You must not take any action or seek to take any action that would result in the transfer or charging of costs  (including migration agent costs) to another person, such as a sponsored visa holder or their sponsored family members this includes costs that relate to:

  • the recruitment of  the person you sponsored 
  • becoming or being a sponsor or former approved sponsor.

This obligation:

  • starts on the day the sponsorship is approved or the work agreement commences
  • ends on the following two events: 
    • you cease to be an  approved sponsor or party to a work agreement 
    • you no longer have a sponsored visa holder.

Sponsors are also required to pay certain costs associated with becoming a sponsor and not pass these costs, in any form, onto another person. These include:

  • cost of sponsorship and nomination charges
  • migration agent costs associated with the lodgement of sponsorship and nomination applications
  • administrative costs and any sundry costs an employer incurs when they conduct recruitment exercises, including:
    • recruitment agent fees
    • migration agent fees
    • the cost of job advertising
    • screening of candidates, short listing, interviews and reference checks
    • salaries of recruitment or human resource staff
    • the cost of outsourcing background checks, police checks and psychological testing where they relate to an employer determining an applicant’s suitability for the position
    • training of new staff
    • responding to queries for prospective candidates, and advising unsuccessful applicants
    • travel costs for the sponsor to interview and/or meet the applicant either overseas or in Australia.  

Pay travel costs to enable sponsored people to leave Australia

You must pay reasonable and necessary travel costs to enable the sponsored person and their sponsored family members to leave Australia. They must ask you in writing for you to pay the costs. We can also make a written request on their behalf.

The costs will be considered reasonable and necessary if they include all of the following:

  • travel from the sponsored persons usual place of residence in Australia to their place of departure from Australia 
  • travel from Australia to the country (for which the sponsored visa holder holds a passport) and intends to travel to
  • economy class air travel or, where that is not available, a reasonable equivalent.

Travel costs must be paid within 30 days of receiving the request.

You will only be required to pay return travel costs once. If a sponsored person returns to Australia (whilst holding the visa for which you sponsored them) after you have paid their return travel costs, you will not be required to pay their return travel costs again.

This obligation starts on the day:

  • the visa is granted (if the sponsored person did not already hold a visa when your nomination of them was approved , or
  • your nomination is approved (if the person already held  a visa in this subclass when your nomination is approved).

This obligation ends on the day (whichever is the earliest):

  • another sponsor has their nomination application for the sponsored person approved
  • the person you sponsored is granted another visa other than a subclass 457 visa, a bridging visa, a criminal justice visa, or an enforcement visa the person you sponsored has left Australia and the relevant visa (and any subsequent bridging visa) is no longer in effect. 

Pay costs to locate and remove an unlawful non-citizen

In the event a primary sponsored person (or any of their sponsored family members) becomes an unlawful non-citizen, you might be required to pay the costs incurred by the Commonwealth in locating and/or removing the primary or secondary sponsored persons from Australia.

You might be liable to pay the Commonwealth the difference between the actual costs incurred by the Commonwealth (up to a maximum of AUD 10,000) less any amount which might have already been paid under the obligation to pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia (see ‘Obligation to pay travel costs’ above).

This obligation starts on the day the person you sponsored becomes an unlawful non-citizen. It ends five years after they leave Australia.  This means that we might, up to five years after the person you have sponsored has left Australia, give you a letter requiring payment of the costs that the Commonwealth paid to locate and remove the person you sponsored prior to their departure from Australia.

Provide training to Australians and permanent residents

If you are a standard business sponsor and you lawfully operated a business in Australia at the time you were approved as a standard business sponsor (or at the time you had your terms of approval varied). You must contribute to the training of Australians by either:

  • spending an equivalent of at least two per cent of your payroll in payments to an industry training fund that operates in the same or related industry as you
  • spending an equivalent to at least one per cent of your payroll in the provision of training to employees of your business who are Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

The obligation begins on the day you are approved as a sponsor. You must meet this obligation in each 12 month period within which you employ a sponsored visa holder (including if the sponsored visa holder is not employed by you for the full twelve months). Where your approval as a standard business sponsor is varied, you must meet the training requirement if you employ one or more primary sponsored persons.

The obligation ends either:

  • three years after you are approved as a sponsor
  • if you are an accredited sponsor, six years after you are approved as a sponsor.

Obligation not to engage in discriminatory recruitment practices

If you are a standard business sponsor who lawfully operates a business in Australia, you must not engage in, or have not engaged in, discriminatory recruitment practices that adversely affect Australian citizens, or any other person, based on their visa or citizenship status.

You should keep documents on hand that demonstrate that the recruitment process in relation to a subclass 457 holder did not discriminate based on citizenship or visa status.

Note: This new obligation was introduced on 19 April 2016. It is not engaged if discrimination in recruitment decisions is evident on other grounds such as sex, gender, race, social group or pregnancy. These issues are outside the remit of us and should be directed to other relevant agencies, such as the Fair Work Ombudsman or the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Monitoring of sponsors and visa holders

You must comply with your obligations as a sponsor. We monitor your compliance with the sponsorship obligations and whether your visa holders are upholding their visa conditions.

We monitor you while you are a sponsor and for up to five years after you cease being a sponsor. We do this routinely and in response to information provided to us, and in three main ways:

  • writing to you to ask for information in accordance with the obligation to provide records and information
  • site visits, usually to the sponsored business premises, with or without notice
  • exchanging information with other Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies, including the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Department of Employment and the Australian Taxation Office.

Your compliance with the sponsorship obligations might be monitored by Immigrations inspectors, Fair Work Inspectors or Fair Work Building Industry Inspectors who have investigative powers under the Migration Act 1958. Failure to cooperate with inspectors is a breach of the sponsorship obligations.

Sanctions for not meeting your sponsor obligations

If you do not meet your obligations, we could take one or more of the following actions:

Administrative

  • you could be barred from sponsoring more people for a specified time
  • you could be barred from applying for approval to be a sponsor, in relation to this visa or another one
  • all of your existing approvals as a sponsor could be cancelled.

Enforceable undertaking

You could be invited to enter into an enforceable undertaking.  Enforceable undertakings require you to promise, in writing, to undertake to complete certain actions to demonstrate that the failures have been rectified and won’t happen again.

Civil

  • we can issue an infringement notice of up to AUD$12,600 for a body corporate and AUD$2,520 for an individual for each failure.
  • we can apply to a court for a civil penalty order of up to AUD$63,000 for a corporation and AUD$12,600 for an individual for each failure.

Other circumstances in which administrative action might be taken

In addition, you could also have sanctions imposed if:

  • you provide false or misleading information to us or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
  • you no longer satisfy the criteria for approval as a sponsor or for variation of a term of that approval
  • you have been found by a court or competent authority to have contravened a Commonwealth, state or territory law
  • the person you have sponsored breaks a law relating to the licensing, registration or membership needed to work in the nominated position.
  • The types of actions that could be taken depend on whether the sponsor is a standard business sponsor or has made a work agreement.

    If you have sponsored someone under a work agreement, we could suspend or terminate it in accordance with the clauses of the particular work agreement.

Adverse information for sponsors

What is adverse information?

Adverse information is information that reveals that a business, or a person associated with the business:

  • has become insolvent within the meaning of subsections 5(2) and (3) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and section 95A of the Corporations Act 2001
  • in relation to a Commonwealth, state or territory law:
    • has been found guilty by a court of an offence
    • has been found to have acted in contravention of the law by a competent authority
    • has been the subject of administrative action (including being issued with a warning) by a competent authority
    • is under investigation, subject to disciplinary action or subject to legal proceedings.

The Commonwealth, state or territory law must be about:

  • discrimination
  • immigration
  • industrial relations
  • occupational health and safety
  • people smuggling and related offences
  • slavery, sexual servitude and deceptive recruiting
  • taxation
  • terrorism
  • trafficking in persons and debt bondage.

When is adverse information relevant to an application?

Adverse information is relevant if it:

  • raises doubts about a person's suitability as an approved sponsor
  • is about something that happened in the previous three years
  • is known to us.

There are limits to what is relevant. For example, information that a business has received a fine for having an unregistered vehicle on a public road is not likely to be relevant. On the other hand, information that the managing director of a company was being investigated for people trafficking offences would clearly be relevant.

What do we do with adverse information?

When we become aware of adverse information, we can:

  • disregard it if it is reasonable to do so
  • refuse an application to sponsor or nominate someone, or refuse their visa application
  • cancel a sponsorship or impose administrative sanctions if the business is already an approved sponsor.

Document checklist for sponsors

You must provide documents to support your application to become a sponsor.

Use the Document checklist for sponsors to make sure your application is complete.

Nominate

Nomination is the process of identifying a position to be filled by a skilled worker from outside Australia in an approved business. Nomination is required for both standard business sponsors and parties to a labour agreement.

The nomination process identifies:

  • the occupation is relevant to the position to be filled
  • the skills and experience required for the position
  • the market salary rate for the position and the salary rate to be paid to the prospective overseas employee
  • the name of the prospective overseas employee
  • where the employee will be working.

How long is the nomination valid for?

An approval of a nomination ceases on the earliest of the following:

  • the day we receive notification in writing of the withdrawal of the nomination by the sponsor
  • 12 months after the day the nomination is approved
  • the day the applicant, or the proposed applicant, for the nominated occupation, is granted a subclass 457 visa
  • if the approval of the nomination is given to a standard business sponsor – three months after the day their approval as a standard business sponsor ceases
  • if the approval of the nomination is given to a standard business sponsor, and their approval as a standard business sponsor is cancelled – the day the approval as a standard business sponsor is cancelled
  • if the approval of the nomination is given to a party to a labour agreement – the day the labour agreement ceases.

Who can nominate

To lodge a nomination you must be an approved business sponsor or have lodged a sponsorship application. You can lodge a sponsorship application at the same time as a nomination (and visa application - where applicable).

How to nominate

In order for an approved sponsor to nominate an eligible occupation, you must at a minimum:

  • name the skilled worker to be employed and state where they will work in Australia
  • meet any direct employer requirements
  • provide employment terms and conditions that meet certain requirements
  • meet the 'genuineness' criterion
  • meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) requirements
  • not be subject to adverse information.

Skilled workers and eligible occupations

The worker you are nominating can be one of the following:

  • a holder of a subclass 457 visa
  • an applicant for a subclass 457 visa
  • a proposed applicant for a subclass 457 visa.

If you are an approved standard business sponsor, the occupation you are nominating must be eligible for the subclass 457 visa programme.

The list of eligible skilled occupations includes a number (an ANZSCO code) next to each occupation title.

You can use this code to find a more detailed description of the qualifications and experience required for each of the eligible occupations from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sponsors who want to employ a 457 worker in an occupation which is not on the list of eligible skilled occupations must instead consider doing so under a Labour agreement.

Identify your nominee

You must identify the person who will work in the nominated occupation at the time you nominate.

When you lodge the nomination you will be asked for the following information:

Your nominee's full name, date of birth and gender, and

  • If your nominee already holds a subclass 457 visa, the Transaction Reference Number (TRN), Application ID or Visa Grant Number for that visa.
  • If your nominee has already lodged a subclass 457 visa application, the TRN or Application ID for that application.
  • If your nominee holds an Australian visa or has previously applied for one, the TRN, Application ID or Visa Grant Number for that visa or application.

You should also identify in the nomination all known members of the family unit of the nominee who will accompany them on their subclass 457 visa. 

If your nominee is an existing subclass 457 visa holder and you do not want to include their family member who currently holds a 457 visa, you must outline your reasons in the nomination application form for not including them.

Direct employer requirements

For a business in Australia

The worker you nominate must work directly for your business or for an associated entity of your business, unless the nominated occupation is exempt from this requirement - see Exemption from the requirement to work directly for the sponsor.

You retain ultimate responsibility for the worker you have sponsored, and you must comply with the required sponsorship obligations. If you fail to comply with any applicable sponsorship obligation, it could result in sanctions, barring or cancellation from the subclass 457 visa programme.

For a business outside Australia

If you do not operate a business in Australia, the worker you nominate must work directly for your business only. They are not permitted to work for a business in Australia even if it is an associated entity of your business.

On-hire arrangements

Employers who propose to supply the services of subclass 457 visa holders to unrelated businesses cannot do so under standard business sponsorship. They can only do this through a Labour agreement.

Employment terms and conditions

Unless the overseas worker will be paid AUD 250 000 or more, subclass 457 sponsors must ensure that their overseas workers are afforded equivalent terms and conditions of employment to Australian workers. This includes paying overseas workers the 'market salary rate'.

This requirement is designed to protect skilled overseas workers from exploitation. It is also designed to ensure that skilled overseas workers are not used to undercut local employment conditions and wages.

If there is an Australian worker already preforming equivalent work in your organisation in the same location, you should provide evidence of the terms and conditions under which they are employed to demonstrate the market salary rate. This could include the following documents relating to this Australian worker:

  • common law contract
  • pay slips
  • payment summaries
  • state industrial award.

If there is no equivalent Australian worker, you must determine the market salary and provide an explanation and evidence to demonstrate how you have done this. Such evidence could include:

  • fair work instrument or state industrial instrument
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) or job outlook data
  • job vacancy advertisements
  • data from reputable remuneration surveys.

Genuine position - for standard business sponsors only

The position associated with the nominated position must be genuine. It must:

  • be consistent with the nature of your business (it must fit broadly within the scope of the activities and the scale of your business)
  • have duties that are consistent with the skill level and the tasks of the nominated occupation as listed in the ANZSCO
  • not have been created just to help your nominee get a subclass 457 visa.

Important: See subclass 457 Document checklist for nominations for advice about the type of evidence you should attach to your nomination application to demonstrate that you meet this requirement.

The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)

The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) ensures that your workers will have enough money to be self-reliant while they are in Australia. You must demonstrate that the market salary rate for the position you are seeking to fill is greater than the TSMIT which is currently set at AUD 53,900. If the market salary rate for the position you want to fill is below the TSMIT, you cannot offer to pay an overseas worker more just to access the sub class 457 visa programme.

Notes:

  • The TSMIT is compared to the market salary rate for the nominated occupation, not the nominated worker's proposed salary
  • You cannot inflate a nominated worker's proposed salary to meet the TSMIT requirement
  • The TSMIT does not determine the salary you should pay your worker from outside Australia.

Written contract of employment – for standard business sponsors only

Unless the nominated occupation is exempt (see Specification of Occupations for Nominations in Relation to Subclass 457 for Positions other than in the Business of the Nominator), you are required to engage the nominee as an employee under a written contract of employment. A copy of this contract, which has been signed by both you and the nominee, must generally be provided to us.

Adverse information

We can take into account the existence of adverse information whenever we are making particular decisions about sponsors. The adverse information test is applied whenever you or a skilled worker lodges any application in relation to a subclass 457 visa. See Adverse information for sponsors under the sponsors section.

Labour market testing

For information about the Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirement, see Subclass 457 - Labour Market Testing requirement.

Lodge your application

If you are or have already applied to be a subclass 457 sponsor, you can lodge a nomination application form online by completing: Form 1196 (Internet).

Once you have lodged your application, you should attach any relevant supporting documentation to your application in ImmiAccount as soon as possible. This will help reduce delays in processing your application. As soon as the Department is required to request additional information from you, this is likely to slow down processing by at least 28 days.

There is a fee for businesses nominating a worker - see Temporary work sponsorship and nomination fees. Payment of this fee must accompany your application. Payment does not guarantee approval of the nomination.

Document checklist for nominations

You must provide documents to support the claims made in your nomination application. These documents are listed in the document checklist for nominations. Some of these could take some time to obtain.

To reduce delays in processing, you should where possible wait until you have these documents ready before you proceed to lodge your application.

Estimate the cost of your visa

Will the primary applicant be in Australia when the application is lodged?
* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The following Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator might not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.