The 457 Visa Application

Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (Subclass 457)  

We’ve covered the first two applications involved in making a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457) application. In this article, we will be writing about the visa application.

  1. Standard Business Sponsorship application (Business)
  2. Nomination application (Position)
  3. Visa application (Applicant)

These three applications can be made in a single day, but are processed in the order presented above. Should the Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) application or nomination application run into trouble, your visa application cannot be successful. If you’ve gotten past the first two applications, in particular the very tricky nomination application, well done! We think you should be in the clear. Let’s not make any mistakes now.

  • Nominator is an approved sponsor (SBS) or is party to a labour agreement*
  • Nomination application is approved
  • Occupation exists on the consolidated sponsored occupation list (CSOL)
  • Applicant will genuinely perform in the position as applied for
  • Applicant has the appropriate experience, skills and qualifications to perform the role to the standard that is expected (outlined in ANZSCO)
  • Applicant has a suitable skills assessment (if required)
  • Applicant has all registrations and licences required to perform in their nominated occupation
  • English requirement is met
  • Applicant will be covered by health insurance for the period of their stay in Australia
  • Applicant must meet health and character requirements

*Labour agreements are uncommon as they exist under select circumstances and exist only for the period of a project if approved. Labour agreements will not be discussedMost of these requirements would have been assessed in the nomination application. Please read about these requirements in detail in our previous article.Read about the 457 nomination application

Skills, qualifications and experience

ANZSCO

In last week’s publication on the nomination application, we explained that skills assessments are not generally not required. If this is you, you will still need to provide evidence to your being qualified, skilled and experienced, and at a standard that is expected in Australia. This ensures that the skilled workers being granted visas are capable of performing and specifically in the CSOL jobs that are in short supply. Evidence supplied can come in the form of qualification certificates, statement of completion letters, training documents, work reference letters, your CV, evidence of being in paid work – payslips, tax and etc. Holding registrations and licences related to your nominated position would also be considered as evidence of skill.The DIBP assesses if the applicant is appropriately skilled using ANZSCO definitions as a guide.

Take the above example; ANZSCO has defined the standard for the responsibilities for an electrical engineer should hold. The applicant’s work experience may only be counted where it vastly commensurates with ANZSCO definitions. If the applicant may have spent 5 years in the industry but if the applicant has been in roles that are not a close match to the ANZSCO definitions, they would not be deemed skilled for that occupation.

ANZSCO uses skill levels to identify the qualifications needed for an occupation.

“Occupations at Skill Level 1 have a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher qualification. At least five years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job-training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

Visit the ANZSCO site to understand what the requirements are for qualifications and/or work experience at the other skill levels.

An electrical engineer (skill level 1) who does not have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree would not be considered sufficiently skilled. Further to this, overseas qualifications are be assessed against Australian standards ((Australian Qualifications Framework (AFQ)). 5 years of relevant experience may substitute but must show to be closely related as well as be at an appropriate skill level.

Should the DIBP have any doubts, they may request for the applicant to have a skills assessment done.

Skills assessment required

Obtaining a suitable skill assessment is non-negotiable if you are;

  • in a trade occupation and your country of passport is on this list provided by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) (click “nominated occupations and countries” for the list),
  • your nominated occupation is program and project administrator [511112],
  • specialist manager nec [139999],
  • or armature winder (a specialization under electrician (general) [341111].

For the applicant who is in a trade occupation and country of passport highlighted on TRA’s list, an exemption is available should the applicant:

  • Already hold a 457 grant for the same nominated occupation
  • Holds relevant qualification at Certificate IV level or higher through study in Australia
  • Holds relevant qualification meeting the skill level defined in ANZSCO from a country normally not subject to the skills assessment requirement e.g. nominated occupation is cook, country of passport is India (on TRA’s list), but qualifications are from Bangladesh (not on TRA’s list)
  • Has relevant Australian licensing/registration for the nominated occupation
  • Be an intra-company transfer and is being transferred from a similar occupation by their company overseas

Program and project administrators [511112] and specialist managers nec [139999] would be exempt if and only if they are being transferred from a similar position by their company to Australia.

Even if you are not from a country skills assessments are required for, the DIBP  may request a skills assessment should they be unconvinced.

Specific occupations

Chefs and cooks will have their experience heavily scrutinised to determine if they are indeed skilled for their nominated occupation. The DIBP will look at the type of restaurant, style of cooking and so forth. An applicant who has experience in cafe style business would not qualify as being skilled enough to be nominated to work in a restaurant.

Read about how the DIBP defines food businesses

Butchers and smallgoods makers are required to complete a Certificate III in Meat Processing and alternate qualifications such as a Certificate in Food Processing cannot be considered an appropriate substitute

Medical practitioners will need to provide a letter from the relevant medical board for their occupation recognising their qualifications and that the applicant is registered or will be given registration upon a visa grant. For example, registered nurses will need to apply for registration from APHRA and provide evidence of having done so.

English requirement

The English requirement for the 457 visa is not your standard defined levels used in the point test system. The 457 English requirement is a little more generous than it is for many other visas.

Find out about the 457 English requirement here

Health insurance

Applicants are required to provide evidence that they have undertaken health insurance. This needs to happen before the application can be approved. Health insurance will need to cover the applicant for the period of their stay. There is a minimum standard that is required. What this is is detailed in Attachment A under the health insurance standard template letter as provided by the DIBP.

Documents such as a certification letter and evidence of a rolling contract for health insurance should suffice.  Most health insurance companies provide a specific cover for 457 applicants. How handy! This is generally termed as Overseas Visitor Health Cover.

Health requirements

You may be required to perform a health exam. This is performed by BUPA Visa Medical services. After you have submitted your application, the DIBP will issue you a letter for a medical exam through immiAccount. This letter will contain a HAP ID which you will need to book the appropriate examination.

Character requirements

This is generally not required for 457 applications. Should the DIBP have any suspicions, they may request for police clearance certificates. These must be provided for each country in which they have resided for more than 12 months in the last 10 years.

I’ve been granted my 457, now what?

There are obligations that need to be fulfilled upon a visa grant. The sponsoring business must continue to meet training requirements for the period that they are approved to be an SBS. Failure to do so may result in the 457 visa holder being ineligible to apply for their PR, or the sponsoring business struggling to continue being an approved sponsor should they so wish.

The sponsor is to uphold contract agreements, paying the nominee at the rate that has been presented to the DIBP that allowed for the application to be approved. The 457 visa holder is required to work with the sponsor in the nominated position with roles and responsibilities as outlined in the application. Should the 457 holder leave the position, the 457 visa holder will have a limited time in which they may apply for another substantive visa, find another sponsor to lodge a nomination application for them, or depart Australia.

The 457 application is in entirety is a complex one. If you have a successful 457 application, the next step to think about is fulfilling the requirements for your employer sponsored PR, whether it is through ENS or RSMS, we’ve got you covered.

ENS/RSMS related articles:

Read From a 457 visa to permanent residency 

Read 2 year work requirement going from 457 to 186/187 

Read about fulfilling training requirements

Other 457 related articles:

Read from ABC news, 457 visa: Government to cut occupations list for skilled migrants

Read our introduction to the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457)

Read about the Standard Business Sponsorship application and its obligations

Read More edits to the 457

Read 457 post employment visa expiry changes

Read about 457 visa holders and part time work


Zoe He

Senior Migration Agent
Australian Immigration Law Services
MARN 1464926

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