The subclass 457 visa regime allows employers to access the skills of overseas workers where a genuine skills shortage exists in Australia or where a suitably qualified Australian worker is not available. This regime addresses employer demand for skilled workers in a way which ensures job opportunities for Australians are not undermined.

Overview of the subclass 457 visa regime

The subclass 457 regime allows employers to sponsor highly skilled overseas workers to work in Australia on a full time basis for up to 4 years. The overseas worker’s entitlement to obtain a subclass 457 visa is dependent upon their continued employment with their sponsoring employer in the nominated position.

The visa involves a three stage process:

  1. The employer applies to become a sponsor of overseas workers
  2. The employer nominates the position to be filled by the overseas worker
  3. The overseas worker lodges a visa application to fill the nominated position.

Each stage of the process requires supporting documentation to be lodged with the application to ensure the relevant criteria is met.

Once an overseas worker has obtained a subclass 457 visa and has worked for 2 years in the same occupation with their nominating employer, they may be eligible to obtain permanent residency through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

The transition stream

Provided that the employer is willing to sponsor a holder of a subclass 457 visa for permanent residency, the Temporary Residence Transition Stream provides subclass 457 visa holders with a streamlined process to obtaining permanent residency.

When apply for permanent residency under this stream, it is still necessary for the sponsoring employer to lodge a nomination application and the subclass 457 visa holder to lodge a visa application. However, in comparison to applying for permanent residency under the direct entry stream, the supporting documentation required under the transition stream is significantly less burdensome on both the employer and the visa applicant.

Benefits of the subclass 457 visa regime

The subclass 457 regime is popular to both employers and overseas workers.

The regime allows employers to recruit foreign workers with specialised knowledge where there is no suitably qualified Australian citizen or permanent resident. As the regime is limited to providing work on a full time basis for a maximum period of 4 years, the employer has no obligation to permanently employ the worker beyond this period. In fact, an employer can sponsor the worker for a significantly shorter period if they choose. Additionally, subject to the terms of the employment agreement, an employer can terminate the employment before the end of the visa term if things don’t work out.

The regime is popular with skilled overseas workers as it provides a pathway for these workers to become Australian permanent residents. Provided that the workers have the required skill and a willing employer to sponsor them, it can provide a streamlined process to obtaining permanent residency.

If you are interested in sponsoring overseas workers, either on a temporary or permanent basis, and would like advice on your eligibility or require assistance with the applications, please contact:

Joanne D’Andrea
Principal and Registered Migration Agent
Migration Agent No. 9904625
Harwood Andrews
03 5226 8567
jdandrea@harwoodandrews.com.au

Nicole Stornebrink
Lawyer
Harwood Andrews
03 5225 5209
nwhelan@harwoodandrews.com.au