457 Temporary Skilled Visa

harbour bridge view 457 Temporary Skilled Visa

Sydney Harbour Bridge with Kirribilli below.

Temporary 457 Work Visa (previously called Temporary Business Visa) is an employer sponsored visa that allows overseas workers to work in Australia for a maximum of four years. The subclass 457 visa is probably the most common visa in Australia, other than the visitor or student visa.

Don’t worry, after your four years are up you can renew your 457 visa for another four years but, to be honest, at that point you should probably consider applying for your Permanent Residence (PR) Visa. Most expats living in Sydney usually start out on a 457 visa then apply for a PR visa after a couple of years.

With a 457 visa eligible dependants, spouse or de facto partners are able to work and study in Australia without worry about their visa status.

For example, I am the secondary on my husband’s 457 visa. As the secondary I am able to work anywhere that will have me, switch jobs whenever I want or go back to school without worrying about my visa status. On the other hand, my husband’s visa status is dependent (as is mine as I won’t be allowed to stay in Australia without him) on him working at a specific position with the company that has sponsored his visa.

Ok, cool. So how do you get a 457 visa?

This is how it worked for us and I reckon it will be similar for you.

My husband was contacted by an IT recruiter that was looking to fill a position in Sydney. After several emails back and forth with the recruiter, discussing the position and asking about other positions she might have available plus comparing salary options, not to mention deciding if we even wanted to move abroad which now seems like such a silly question, he finally said yes that he was interested in the position in Sydney.

From there she got in touch with the hiring company and set up an interview. He had a couple of interviews actually, now that I think about it. That makes sense though, right? Since they were moving us all the way out to Sydney they wanted to make sure he was a good fit for the company and he equally wanted to be certain that it would be a good career decision even regardless of the location. In the end all things went well and the position in Sydney was offered and accepted. That’s when all the fun began.

Want to get in touch with a recruiter in Sydney? I have an article on finding a job in Sydney with a list of recruiters at the bottom. Check it out.

There are basically three stages to getting your 457 visa, with you stepping in really at the last stage. The first is up to the employer and getting approval to sponsor overseas workers. The second is then nomination of the position the company needs to fill. Then the last stage is the overseas employee (you) applying for their 457 visa.

Don’t worry. Most companies have a migration agent or a staff person who is very familiar with the process and will walk you through it. Even so there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Character requirements for your 457 visa application

To be granted an Australian work visa you need to be of “good character”. By this they basically mean not a criminal but unfortunately they won’t take your word for it. To prove you are of good character you need to provide police certificates (yeah, as in a “rap” sheet) for each country that you have lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years since turning 16.

Here is a link to a pdf on how to obtain your police records. http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/character-requirements/character-penal.pdf

If you’re from the states you will need your FBI Identification Card. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks/background_checks

Do this today or at least as soon as you possible can!! It takes forever and can hold up your visa application process.

You will need to get fingerprints done. Be sure to use the FBI fingerprint form. We went down to our local police station, with our finger print form, and had it done there. If by chance you are from Seattle then here is a link for finger printing: http://www.seattle.gov/police/contact/publicrequestunit.htm#fingerprinted

Health Requirements for temporary entry into Australia

Here is the link to the pdf from the Australian Immigration website: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1163i.pdf

You will also have to get a medical examination and chest x-ray for the health requirement for your visa. The examination and chest x-ray are to make sure you don’t have any contagious cooties like Tuberculosis (TB). To meet this requirement you will need to go to one of the immigration panel doctors. Here is a list of doctors outside of Australia: http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/panel-doctors/

Having private health insurance while you are living in Australia is a requirement for a 457 visa. Here is a link to our section on health insurance for expats.

Spouse and de facto partner

To prove that you are the spouse of the primary applicate is a whole lot easier than proving de facto partnership. All it takes is a marriage certificate. To prove a de facto relationship it’s a bit more involved.

Acceptable evidence of a de facto relationship may include, but is not limited to:

  1. evidence of co-habitation
  2. joint bank account statements
  3. joint ownership of property
  4. billing accounts in joint names

I have a couple of friends that moved to Australia and were not able to prove that they were de facto. The work around that they came up with was the person who was not on the visa got a tourist visa, or maybe it was a holiday working visa, then when in Australia they started working towards proving their de facto relationship.

For example, they opened up a joint bank account, had both their names on their new lease and utility bills. Then they just added the secondary applicant or de facto partner on to the visa application at a later date. In fact, I think the employer sponsoring did most of the paperwork for them.

How long will it take to get your 457 visa approval?

If you send in all your documents at the same time as your visa application DIAC usual turn around is 90 days. We sent in all of our documents except for our FBI records because it was just taking too long which added on time for our visa application approval but really not much. We did end up on a plane on our way to Sydney without our 457 visa approval.

Instead we had a Bridging Visa (sorry, no longer an option, instead try a…) temporary three month ETA visa that allowed us to enter Australia lawfully while our 457 visa status was being determined.

So don’t panic if things get down to the wire, the temporary holiday visa will get you into the country and give you time to find an apartment before your 457 visa comes through. Be aware though that the real estate agent will need that 457 visa asap to rent you an apartment as you cannot sign a lease without it. You also cannot work on a temporary holiday visa. This is a good option if you don’t have very long to wait for your visa approval. For us it was a few days after we arrived before our 457 got approved and it took longer than a few days to find an apartment in Sydney. Ah, good times.

There is a great group on LinkedIn for 457 Visa Holders. Several migration agents are part of the group and they answer questions on a regular basis. It’s a fast and easy way to get all your questions answered. I highly recommend joining it as you will see from the comments below. Please remember I’m not a migration agent so it is best to ask those in the know.

Changes to the 457 visa requirements effective July 1st 2013.

  1. Employers are now limited to the number of employees they can sponsor on a 457 Visa.
  2. 457 visa holders now have 90 days to find new sponsorship. Increased from 28.
  3. The market salary assessment exemption threshold has been increased to $250 000.
  4. All new company sponsorship applications will now have to stipulate how many places they want to be able to nominate in the life of the sponsorship agreement.
  5. An English language exemption for certain occupations has now gone. Everyone will have to prove English language ability (e.g. IELTS exam) if they are not a UK, USA, Ireland, Canada or NZ passport holder. If you have five continuous years secondary schooling or higher in English that will satisfy the requirement.
  6. Skills assessments required for 457 visas now for project and program administrators and specialist managers not elsewhere classified.
  7. Start-up businesses that have been trading less than 6 months will only be granted an initial 12 month sponsorship agreement and ant connected 457 visas will also only be granted for 12 months.

These changes do not affect those who already have their 457 visa.
 

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 457 Temporary Skilled Visa

 

Comments

  1. Venkat says

    Hi,

    I have 4 years of experience in Server administration and VMware support. I want to migrate to Australia with Temporary work permit visa and later apply for PR.

    I wanted to know how to get sponsored from an Australia company from my home country for a temporary work permit visa.

    Is it advisable to go to Australia with a PR and search for job in Australia or get a temporary work permit visa and then migrate to Australia ?

    Please also provide how are the job opportunities in my field in Australia and which places in Australia have good job opportunities that suits my job profile.

    Thanks,
    Venkat

    • says

      Choosing to apply for a PR visa or to try to find a job that offers sponsorship is difficult. Many temporary sponsored visa holders often apply for PR after a few years.

      I have a post about finding a visa sponsoring job in Australia here that will help you with making that decision. It’s well worth a read as there is a very strategic way to go about finding a job that will sponsor you move.

      Best of Luck,
      Lauren

  2. Mitesh says

    Hi sir
    This is mitesh bambhaniya. i would like to know that I have a RPL certificate IV in pastry cook from Australia.
    Now I had an question that do I have to give assessment for 457. I do have 2.5 year of experience in pastry cook from Australia when i was there in Australia and RPL pastry certificate IV. My passport is from India.
    Thanks
    Mitesh

  3. says

    Hi Lauren,

    Me and my wife have already planned to shift to Sydney with 457visa process,
    my wife will continue her bachelors and I will be working. I know I will be able to work only part time as my wife will be doing her bachelors.
    I need your help that how much i need to earn to live a happy life with my wife in Sydney.
    I really need your help…

    and please tell me the things on which I should focus on it.
    how much me and my wife will earn (approx.)

    I have completed my degree in B.SC.IT

    Akshar

  4. Cynthia says

    Hi:
    I’m applying for a 401 Visa. The company I will be working for has my start date set for the end of
    April, 2014. How long does it take process and finalize the visa application?

  5. Cynthia says

    Hi:
    I’m applying for a 401 Visa. I’m schedule to start my new job the end of April, 2014. How long does it take for the Visa process to be completed? I’m coming from the US.

  6. Debbie Jo Appleton says

    My ex husband is in Melbourne on a 457, our kids want to go and try life out there, aged 14 & 17, are hearing all his good reports, how does he add them on to his visa? How long does it take, they are eager to go ASAP especially as a new school year started last week. My sister has citizenship out there too in Brisbane and says its great for the kids, nieces and nephews are the same ages as mine. Cheers Deb

    • says

      Hi Debbie,

      For more specific questions about visas I’m going to have to refer you to the 457 Visa Holders group on LinkedIn: http://lnkd.in/2mHH57. There are a several migration agent that are part of that group and very quick to answer questions. Sorry to have to refer you somewhere else it’s just that I’m not up-to-date on all the visas ins and outs and there’s a lot of them.

      I don’t think it will take that long since the initial visa is already approved and he is just adding them to his visa but then again since I’m not sure. If there is a delay then you might want to look into getting temporary ETA visa that will cover them for three months until the 457 approval goes through. Though on a three month holiday visa they won’t be able to go to school but they will be able to be in the country and can check out schools. Even being added on to the 457 visa, they might have to wait to go to school. It all depends on the school. Some schools in Sydney don’t accept 457 visa students. Sorry I don’t know more about schools in Melbourne as I’ve only been to Melbourne on holiday. It’s lovely, a great city.

      Australian visas require a lot of patience.
      Lauren

  7. says

    Hi Lauren, what type of bridging visa did you get while waiting for the 457 visa ? As it seems to take a while to have it approved I am interested in findind out more about the bridging visas options. Thanks.
    Michela

    • says

      Hi Rocky,
      So I’ve been searching and searching for the visa we got and, not sure if it’s my mistake or if things have changed since 2008, but I can’t find it. An alternative is to get a temporary holiday visa that will get you in the country and lasts for three months. The only thing is you cannot work on that visa but you can start your search for apartments etc. The whole visa process does take a long time but should be too bad once you have sponsorship.

      Thanks so much for the comment. I’ll update it and to make sure I don’t lead anyone else astray.
      Lauren
      PS If you have other questions about the 457 visa check out the LinkedIn group I mentioned above. They are all super helpful and quick to answer questions. If you have anymore questions let me know and I can ask a couple of migration agent friends. :-)

  8. laks4u says

    Hi Lauren, I had been living in Sydney on a 457 visa for last 2 years and i had to leave my job and get back to home country due to personal reasons. The validity of my visa is until 2015, what happens to my visa if a new sponsor is ready to nominate me for a position after i depart Aus? will my visa still be valid for the prospective sponsor after departing Australia but i am within the 90 days threshold? Thanks Deeptha

    • says

      Hi Deeptha,

      Ok so I’m not a migration agent and you should probably get with one of them to make sure this is true but as far as I understand it really depends on the employer that was sponsoring you. If that employer has let the immigration office know that they are no longer sponsoring your visa, you have 90 days to find a new sponsorship if you are still in Australia. If your sponsorship has been terminated and you have left the country, your 457 Visa is no longer valid.

      Once again I strongly suggest you double check that this is true with a migration agent. The 457 Visa Holders group on LinkedIn is great: http://lnkd.in/2mHH57. I would definitely ask your question there.

      Good luck.
      Lauren

  9. Nicolas Ammouial says

    Hi Lauren.
    I’m Nicolas and I am from France. I have been sponsored for 5 months now as a hairdresser on a 457 skilled. I am thinking going dowm to 4 days a week and eventually 3 days a week instead of 5 so that means less money too. Is this possible because of the sponsorship?

    • says

      Hi Nicolas,

      I’m been searching for the minimum hours of a 457 visa holder and haven’t found anything that specifically spells out how many hours a 457 visa holders is obligated to work. It is my understanding that a 457 Visa is a full time worker visa, meaning a max of 38 hours a week.

      Have you talked to your employer about decreasing the number of days you work a week? Since they are sponsoring you, they would really have a final say as to how many days/hours you can work a week.

      Since I’m not a migration agent I really don’t know all the details of Australia’s 457 visa. There are a couple of groups for 457 Visa holders online that you might want to check out. One is on LinkedIn: http://lnkd.in/2mHH57. The other is a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/457s.in.Oz/. I would recommend the LinkedIn group over the Facebook group because there are migration agents that are members of that group and answer questions regularly.

      Hope that helps.
      Lauren

  10. Michelle says

    Hi Lauren,

    I am an American currently living in Sweden as a “love refugee”. My honey is Swedish and is being courted by an IT co in Sydney. No contracts have been signed or offered, but there have been several interviews and the email list of basic info on what this company provides as benefits and what to do when you arrive in Sydney was sent this morning.

    My question is since I will be secondary on his visa, would I still have to bother the FBI? I have been looking for an excuses to go back to Seattle, so I can see the silver lining. Am I jumping the gun with thinking about this stuff? Or is it good to think about this now because dealing with any government agency is never as easy as it seems it should be.

    Thanks for your time
    Michelle

    • says

      Hi Michelle,
      Yep, you still need the FBI records even if you’re the secondary on the visa. I’m the secondary on our 457 visa and need to get my records. You’re not at all jumping the gun. There’s a lot of paperwork to think about and get organized, hopefully the company will be able to help you out with the whole visa process.

      When we applied for our FBI ID card it took forever then finally came through at the last minute.

      Are you applying as a de facto or spouse? If you’re applying as de facto there is a whole other set of paperwork you’ll need to think about. If you’re applying as spouse all you need is a valid marriage certificate.

      Where in Seattle are you from? We lived in Ballard just before moving to Sydney.

      I’m curious to know what was included on the “what to do when you arrive in Sydney” list the company sent to you. That’s nice of the company to offer that information. My husband’s company didn’t have that service and those few months in Sydney were kind of frantic, though very exciting. :-) Did the list have anything relevant on it that you found helpful or was it pretty basic stuff like find an apartment, open a bank account which you can do before you arrive btw.

      Thanks for the comment Michelle. So nice to hear from a fellow Seattleite.

      Lauren

  11. says

    Thanks for your comment. Speaking from my experience, I’m the secondary on my husband’s 457 Visa and, yes, we both need to have private health insurance coverage since we are from the USA and not eligible for Medicare while living in Australia.

    Depending on where you are from, you maybe eligible for Medicare in Australia. Check out: http://sydneymovingguide.com/reciprocal-health-care-agreement/.

    From what I’ve heard from others from countries with reciprocal health coverage in Australia is, to get a 457 Visa one needs proof of private health insurance. Then upon arrival in Australia, one can apply for Medicare. After Medicare coverage is sorted, the private health insurance can be cancelled or changed to another plan so that it is more of a supplement for Medicare. Most Australian’s have private health insurance coverage to supplement their Medicare coverage.

    Hope this helps.

  12. Erin W says

    Hi Lauren,

    We’re in the process of applying for (our half of the) 457 visa. I held one about 5 years ago, but the process is a lot more complicated than it was back then…anyway I digress.

    I’m very scared to ‘submit payment’ of $2600 when I haven’t submitted my health assessment or have all the FBI stuff done. I’m also weary about purchasing insurance before I’m approved as well. Do they tell me what I need to obtain, once the app is complete? All they did was ask me a bunch of questions and information etc…nothing about ‘have I attached this or that’.

    I’m meant to start the 6th of January at my new job in Melbourne but all of this red-tape is making me very apprehensive. I’m getting overwhelmed by it all and any excitement I had about the move back has all but disappeared. I have two young children and no real ‘relocation’ incentives, so no hotel time or anything upon arrival.

    Any wisdom to share? I’d be so appreciative!
    Glad you’re enjoying your Aussie adventure!
    Erin

    • says

      Hi Erin,

      On the DIBP website it says that “This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted.” http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/457.aspx

      To me that sounds like you can submit your other paperwork before having to pay the fee. Don’t worry about the health insurance, that’s easy peasy and won’t take much time at all.

      Is it too late to negotiate with the employer sponsoring your visa to pay the application fee? Does the company you’ll be working for in Melbourne have a migration agent that they work with? They would be a better resource for you than I.

      It sounds like you’re doing all the heavy lifting (financially) to relocate to Melbourne and the company you’re going to be working with is on easy street. Not sure if Victoria is the same, but in NSW 457 visa holders have to pay tuition for government schools for their kids. Another expensive you’ll need to know about.

      Hmmm, sorry I don’t have any words of wisdom for you. This is all sounding very costly and discouraging that you’re not getting any relocation help. Maybe take it up with your employer and see what comes of it.

      Lauren

  13. Stanleigh Hipolito says

    Will 457 visa work for a part time job? I’m a professional stock trader/self employed and I really do not need a job but would like to stay a while in Sydney without being pressured into marriage. :)

  14. SU says

    Hi,
    Both me and my husband are considering moving to Sydney early next year from USA . I want to know if he has a 457 visa then what are the work options and work restrictions for 457 visa s spouse. Do I need to get a. Sponsor too if I want to work.
    Thanks and regards SU

    • says

      Hi Su,
      Nope, you don’t need a sponsor because you’ll be the secondary on your husband’s visa.

      I’m the secondary on my husband’s visa and it’s kind of awesome. I can switch jobs without having to worry about finding a new sponsor or go back to school or be self-employed. The fact that I didn’t need visa sponsorship actually helped with getting a job here in Sydney for me. It saved my employer money and time. Plus I could start straight away. I did have to show them proof of our 457 visa and, I think , they had to record the number and maybe send it to DIBP. I can’t really remember now but your employer will tell you.

      Thanks for your comment Su. Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Lauren

  15. Tepa says

    Hi, where did you find the information that “you cannot be out of the country for more than 28 days consecutively”?

    • says

      Hi Tepa,
      Thanks so much for your comment and calling me out on my mistake. I wrote a separate post about the changes to the 457 Visa back in July 2013 but I didn’t add those changes to this post. Doh! I did post a link and thought I would get to it later but I’m a space cadet and forgot. So sorry for any confusion I might have caused you and I’ll update the post above as soon as I’m done here.

      There are no travel restrictions for 457 Visa holders. The only restriction would be from your employer. The normal amount of paid vacation in Australia is 4 weeks. Taking more time off than that would fall under the Leave Without Pay area and most likely needs to be approved by your employer.

      Sorry again and thanks again for your comment.
      Ok, got to get that update posted now.
      Lauren

  16. RB says

    Hi Lauren,

    How and when did you apply for a bridging visa? We were hoping to move whilst waiting for the 457 but my understanding is you have to be physically in Australia in order to get a bridging visa, is that not the case? Thanks

    • says

      Hi RB,

      The employer sponsoring my husband’s 457 Visa applied for our bridging visa. To be honest, I don’t remember what exact bridging visa it was or if there have been any recent changes to the bridging visas lately. There are 5 different bridging visas that pretty much cover most circumstances. Here’s link: http://www.immi.gov.au/visas/bridging/.

      Timing might be an issue. For us our 457 Visa was slightly delayed and we already had our airline tickets locked down. Because our visa was just a few days late, our bridging visa covered the gap until it was approved. Not sure if it would cover longer periods of time.

      Can the sponsoring employer of your 457 visa help you out? I can put you in touch with a couple migration agents if you need some help. Let me know.

      Thanks so much for the comment. Hope that helps. :-)
      Lauren

  17. Lydia B says

    Hi Lauren, is there such a thing as applying for your police records *too* soon? I haven’t started the 457 nomination or visa application stages yet but wanted to get as much prepped as possible to help speed things up once I start my application. Would they be concerned that I might have convictions or things added to my record in the time between getting a copy of my police records and submitting them with my visa application? Just a thought.

    • says

      Hi Lydia,

      Sorry for the very, very late reply. I’ve been offline for the past couple of weeks, life kind of got in the way.

      I’m sure you probably already found the answer to this, and to be honest, I’m not really sure but I’m pretty sure that the dates have to jive, so to speak. The date on your police records would have to be on or after the date on your visa application.

      Interesting question. I would play it safe and not give DIAC any reason to delay your application.

      For any other specific question you have on the 457 visa application process I would highly recommend the LinkedIn group 457 Visa Holders: http://lnkd.in/2mHH57
      Or the 457s In Oz group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/457s.in.Oz/

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