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Following the growth of globalization of economic and business, the international labor become increasingly significant for Australia. In the past. As you are no doubt aware, a company in Australia who has sponsored in the past, would be more open to sponsoring again in the future, as they are already comfortable with the sponsoring process. Australian companies who have advertised jobs in Australia with 457 visa sponsorship, are also likely to have been pre-approved by the Department of Immigration in Australia, as a qualifying 457 visa sponsoring organisation.

Anyway, the subclass 457 visa program is designed for people who want to work temporarily in Australia. This program allows applicants to work for up to four years for a sponsoring employer and is restricted to people seeking to be employed in skilled occupations. There are three processing stages: sponsorship, nomination and visa application(Settle, 2011).

This is the most commonly used program for Australian employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia in skilled positions on a temporary basis. There are also special arrangements for employers in regional areas across Australia which allow them to sponsor workers into less-skilled positions that are not otherwise open to workers in cities and non-regional areas.

So you are in Australia and have been working on your working holiday visa for an employer for 4 months or so, know that your 6-month limitation on working for the one employer is fast approaching but want to keep working for your boss and want to stay on in Australia as long as possible. Alternatively, you want to come to Australia to work and live and are not eligible for permanent migration as you cannot satisfy the pointes test requirement(Warning, 2009). Thus the subclass 457 Sponsored temporary visa which allows you to live and work in Australia for up to 4 years for the sponsoring employer.

Anyway, sometimes we need some special labor that we do not have. For example, it costs millions of dollars to train a test pilot and almost as much for a flight-test engineer. This kind of training isn't done in Australia but the country needs these people. We recognises this need and is attracting highly qualified people, including Doug, from around the world to work, particularly in the defence industry (Nova, 2009). Thus the subclass 457 become significant for us.


Stages 1 & 2 – Sponsorship and Nomination

We need to talk about the sponsorship and the nomination together under the subclass 457 visa, it is worth noting that recent policy changes suggest that assessment of sponsorship applications are going to be tested more rigorously and that it will be more difficult to get approval to sponsor employees on a 457 visa.

However, as the policy changes are so new, it is impossible to comment to what extent standard business sponsorship applications and associated nominations and subclass 457 visa applications will be rejected where historically they would otherwise have been approved.

Subclass 457 visa is the easiest and most common form of visa for employing persons in Australia who are not permanent residents. This visa is particularly designed to enable employers to fill positions for which they need a person with particular qualifications or for which there is a shortage of suitable persons in Australia.

This visa is especially favoured by the Australian Government because it is a temporary visa that allows a person to remain in Australia only as long as that person is employed unless that person changes to another visa. Moreover, all the qualifications and experience of the person are paid for by another country before the person comes to Australia.

First of all, union and share holders must direct employer of the employees. As a general rule, recruitment agencies are no longer allowed to sponsor a worker under the subclass 457 visa program for the purposes of supplying their labour to an end user or third party.

Determining who is the ‘direct employer’ is very much a question of the employment law principles but the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship usually considers the direct employer to be responsible for such things as, payment of salaries , PAYG tax instalments, superannuation, conditions of employment, day-to-day supervision of the employee.

Next, the employment of skilled workers from overseas must benefit Australia and not just the sponsoring business. To meet this criterion you must show that the employment of the sponsored person in the nominated role, and the grant of the subclass 457 visa, will lead to the, maintenance of or creation of employment for Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents, Expansion in the trade of Australian goods or services, Improvement of business links with international markets or Improvement of or an increase in competitiveness within the relevant sectors of the Australian economy.

Since the announcement of the cuts to the Australian Migration program by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Christopher Evans, these above criteria are arguably now being tested much more rigorously leading to refusals of sponsorship applications that historically would have been successful. We need employees who have enough academic skill and language level.

Thirdly, as obvious as it seems, the sponsoring employer must establish that they are lawfully operating a business that is actually and actively engaged in business activities.

However, the Department of Immigration & Citizenship has recently stated that businesses with turnover of less than $500,000 will be looked at more closely to ensure they are able to meet their sponsorship obligations as created by Australian Immigration Law.

Thus I think this subclass 457visa suitable for the middle state self business. With the skillful oversea labour and less cost of business the small and middle business can growing faster and stronger. As a way to keep the step of the globalization, subclass 457 visa also help the small or middle business get a strong chance to rush in global market.

However the developed organization also helped by this subclass, anyway they need more workforce with high academic working skill and education level.

Stage 3 - Employee Eligibility for the grant of a subclass 457 visa

As an employee, to be granted a subclass 457 visa, first of all you need an employer willing to sponsor you to apply for the subclass 457 visa and also to offer you work in a skilled position that is set down on the subclass 457 gazette notice. Just like the A-list nightclub doorman, if your occupation is not on the list, then you’re not coming in and cannot successfully apply for, and be granted, a subclass 457 visa.

Once these employees have a sponsor, the next step is establishing to the Department of Immigration & Citizenship that you have the skills, qualifications, and experience and employment background to match those required for the position for which you have been nominated by your sponsoring employer. This is usually done by presenting evidence of your qualifications with work references and up-to-date curriculum vitae.

Employees will also have to show you have strong English language skills, unless you are from England, Ireland, Canada and the USA and provide, with your application, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score showing average band score of 4.5 across the four test components.

Problem analysis

Anyway, there are still some problem that we need to thinking even subclass 457 visa looks perfect for the business running.

Mostly the employees who have the 457 visa want to get the PR or TR in Australia in future, especially some Asian country, it may reducing the quality of workforce. For example, IELTS 4.5 is not very hard if they have welled IELTS training, but they still may hard to make the communication with local Australia employees. It makes the barriers in the business and hard to cover.

And subclass 457 visa also hard to change the employees, sometimes the business owner may facing the problem of unsuitable oversea employees. But under the subclass 457 visa you cannot simply transfer or just advise the Department of Immigration and Citizenship that you have changed employers. A new and completed sponsorship, nomination and subclass 457 visa application will have to be lodged and approved before you can change to commence work with a new employer.


The Australian Government has reviewed the 457 skilled immigrant visa and has made some provisions that will fast track the transition to permanent residency starting on July 1, 2012. Starting in July 1, 2012, non-resident workers on the 457 skilled immigration visa will be able to transition to permanent residency if they have 2 years with the employer who has sponsored them and if the employer provides a full-time position in the 457 visa holder's nominated occupation. Furthermore, the Australian Government has recognized that 457 visas deserve priority in review as they are highly responsive to the needs of the labour market.


R.Sappey, J. Burgess, M.Lyons and J. Buultjens, Industrial Relations in Australia: Work and Workplaces (2nd Edition), Pearson, Sydney, 2009

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations M. Bray, P. Waring, and R.Cooper Employment Relations: Theory and Practice, Sydney, McGraw Hill, 2009. Chapter 13 provides brief discussion of the Rudd government
S. Settle, Subclass 457 in future 2011 journal article of business vol 1

Turner Coulson Immigration Lawyers - Australian Immigration Articles

Employer Sponsored Workers

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