Three stages to 457 visas

Date: Aug 14, 2012

If you are thinking about sponsoring an employee for a 457 visa, it is important to know how the process works.

Applications for the three stages of a 457 visa can all be made at the same time - but with different criteria to be met by both the employee and the employer, you will want to make sure you have all the information close to hand.

Applying to be a sponsor

All nominations for 457 visa applications need to come from an approved sponsor - in other words, an employer that meets all the relevant requirements as set out by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

A sponsorship application usually requires the proof of three things - that the business is lawfully operating in Australia, that the government does not have any adverse information about the company or its directors and that, if the business is Australian, it meets training requirements set out by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Eligible businesses usually apply to be a standard business sponsor, which is valid for up to three years.

Nominating a position

Businesses need to nominate a role for a skilled worker to fill in the business - and this role must comply with specific criteria set out by the Department for Immigration and Citizenship.

Nomination applications need to include the occupation for the skilled worker to fill, as well as the experience and skills they will need to carry out their duties. Employers also need to compare the salary for the role with the corresponding market salary rate for this position.

Finally, employers will be asked to provide the name of the overseas employee, as well as the location where they will carry out their duties.

Employee application

The last - but certainly not least - part of a 457 visa application involves the eligibility of the individual skilled worker, who is known as the primary applicant.

The primary applicant must work in an approved skilled occupation to be eligible for a 457 visa, and must be able to prove that they have the skills and experience deemed necessary to perform their role.

This evidence can include previous employment history, letters of reference, academic qualifications and details to show English language proficiency. At this time, immediate family of the primary applicant - including a partner or spouse, as well as dependent children - can also be included on the application.

An experienced migration lawyer can help both employers and employees prepare comprehensive 457 visa applications and ensure they meet the relevant criteria as set out by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.