The subclass 457 Visa is a temporary working Visa that allows Australian businesses, and in some cases overseas businesses, to sponsor non-Australian workers to work in their businesses. Only approved sponsors can sponsor overseas workers and to be eligible for the 457 Visa the prospective employee will have to establish, among other things that they have the skills and qualifications necessary to work in the role in Australia. Once working in Australia on the 457 Visa, a number of Australian permanent residence pathways may become available to the 457 Visa holder.
To be approved as a sponsor a business must show that it is lawfully operating, meet minimum training benchmarks and have no adverse information about potential visa holders that is known to the Department. It is possible for foreign businesses and companies to sponsor workers in relation to their Australian-based contracts and operations.
Once an employer has been approved as a sponsor it is entitled to nominate employees on a case-by-case basis to work in skilled areas within its operations or business. For each nomination the employer must specifically nominate an employee and the position in which they will work. The nominated employee must be paid at the minimum market salary rate as established within the particular industry.
The final step in the application is for the 457 Visa. This can be granted for between three months to 4 years to successful applicants. Applicants must show and prove to the Australian government that they have the qualifications, skill or work experience to work in the nominated position. Depending on the position applicants may have also have to obtain registration or licensing, complete IELTS examination or have their skills independently assessed.
Skill Select is an online portal that allows skilled workers and business people wishing to come to Australia to work to lodge an expression of interest to be considered for a visa.
Applicants can either lodge the expression of interest on their own behalf, or they can be nominated by an Australian employer, state or territory government.
Successful applicants are then given an invitation to lodge a visa application.
Expressions of Interest
This is not an application. It is any indication to prospective sponsors that you would like to be considered for a skilled visa. Information required in an expression of interest include:
qualifications and education
level of English language proficiency
a skills assessment relating to the nominated occupation
The Selection Process
Expressions of interest are ranked based on criteria such as occupation ceilings, point score tests, whether the prospective sponsor is a private company or business or a State or Territory government.
As demand will vary for needed skills and occupational ceiling may be applied. This means that there may only be a set number of invitations given for each occupation group. This means that Australia does not have an influx of plumbers when it really needs primary school teachers.
If the ceiling is reached, no further invitations for that particular occupation group will be issued during the programme year. Invitations would then be given to other occupation groups even if they score lower on the point score test. State or Territory governments cannot issue a nomination if the nominated occupation has reached its ceiling.
Subject to the occupation ceiling invitations are issued automatically to people with the highest ranking points test. The points test is the minimum number of points need to receive an invitation. Invitations are issued regularly.
State and Territory governments can do their own assessment before they nominate the applicant. If you are nominated by State and Territory government and meet the minimum points test you will be issued an invitation subject to occupation ceiling.
If you are applying under the Business Innovation and Investment visa a State or Territory Government can issue bonus points if they believe the proposed business is of exceptional benefit to the state or territory.
If you have already received a nomination from an employer you do not have to submit an expression of interest.
Employers can search expressions of interest and contact skilled workers to discuss employment opportunities. It is up to the applicant to decide whether they wish to deal with a particular employer.
If you receive an invitation to apply for a visa you will receive confirmation from Skill Select. You then have 60 days to make a valid visa application online. If no application is made the invitation expires and is no longer valid.
The invitation will explain the application process. You will be required to provide evidence to support your application at that time. This will include a full character and health assessment.
Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa (Permanent)
This visa is suitable for skilled and experienced workers and their dependent family members, who obtain sponsorship from a State or Territory government.
The applicant must first lodge an Expression of Interest through the Skill Select online service. At the time lodging the application the applicant must:
Be under 50 years of age;
Have had their skills positively assessed; and
Score at least six in all four components of the IELTS test.
Successful applicants are then given an invitation by the relevant government agency.