Over the past decade, Australia has become a very popular destination for skilled migrants worldwide. With a strong economy, a multi-cultural lifestyle and weather to rival any country in the world, Australia offers exciting new opportunities for those seeking a new life and opportunity.

If you are considering moving to Australia, the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa, or ‘subclass 457 visa’ allows skilled persons to be sponsored by an approved employer for up to four years. Based on the principle of strengthening the Australian economy through increasing the skilled workforce (in industries/sectors where there are shortages of skilled workers), the 457 visa is the choice visa for many potential skilled migrants to Australia. By Sponsoring skilled migrants, both Australia and the skilled migrant share a mutually beneficial relationship (one that the Government would hope to help aid the economic and cultural growth of the country).

In essence, the 457 visa allows applicants that have the necessary qualifications and (importantly) the right sponsor to immerse in the Australian workforce and way of life. Should they decide to make the change more permanent, there are pathways to permanent residency. Furthermore, 457 visa applicants are able to include their immediate families in their application (which usually aids with the transition process for most applicants). Primarily, this serves to entice skilled persons to relocate their lives to Australia. Another reason that this visa is offered is because Australia prides itself on a large diversity of people, which is crucial to Australia’s unique multi-cultural way of life.

To apply for the 457 visa, firstly it is important to understand that this subclass is driven by employer demand. Therefore, it is crucial to identify whether an applicant’s qualifications and experience falls under a category where the Australian Government deems to have shortage in. There are numerous occupations and skills that fall under this category, and the list is constantly changing. As a reference, this list is called the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).

Once an applicant’s proposed vocation is identified on the SOL, the applicant must ensure that their proposed ‘sponsor’ (in most cases it is an applicant’s proposed employer) is eligible to become a registered sponsor. This requires that the applicant’s employer must apply and fulfill several requirements to become an approved standard business sponsor. The good news is that recently, the Department of Immigration has changed their policies in allowing a longer term for sponsors that are approved (both business and start-up sponsors). This bodes as an incentive for businesses that willingly act as sponsors for their employees (as it will save them time and money in terms of administrative costs and resources allocated for human resource issues).

Included amongst other requirements asked of the sponsor is the meeting of employment benchmark standards and meeting a demonstrated commitment to employing local labour. These requirements were placed so that companies cannot seek to exploit the 457 visa system (by deliberately employing overseas workers and taking away the chance for local Australians to be employed). Further, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) acts to guarantee those with 457 visa that they will be paid no less than what an Australian employee would be paid in the same position. This eliminates any bias on behalf of the employer and in effect, effectively sends out the message that the position given to the 457 applicant is based on merit.

As with all visas, there are requirements that are demanded from the applicants themselves as well. To qualify under this visa, applicants must demonstrate the minimum standard in English (which has recently been made easier by the Australian Government), as well as show that they have adequate health insurance for the period of their stay in Australia, amongst others. This ensures that applicants have the right character, capability and health to contribute to Australia’s growing multi-cultural community.

Applying for the subclass 457 visa can be quite complex and confusing. Therefore, to avoid confusion it is highly recommended that you see a professional about discussing your options and qualifications regarding your potential application. At Valet Migration, we can help you do just that. With our experienced and friendly migration agents and lawyers ready to help, we are able to provide you with all the information necessary to help you decide if the 457 visa is right for you. Our service is fast, friendly and effective.

Further, should you have any enquiries whatsoever regarding migration or visas in general, do not hesitate to email us at info@valetmigration or call at (02) 9191 5580 to obtain more information. Our team is more than happy to discuss with you your potential life-changing relocation anytime.