457 temporary work visas

This is the most commonly used program for employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis.

Who is eligible for a Temporary Skilled Visa (Subclass 457)?

Employers can be either Australian businesses or overseas businesses to make an application. This visa is for employers who would like to employ overseas workers to fill nominated skilled positions in Australia.

With this visa you can employ overseas workers for a period of between three (3) months and four (4) years in occupations that appear on the Skilled Occupation List. Note for start up businesses the initial visa period available is 12 months.

Employer & Position Requirements for the Temporary Skilled Visa (Subclass 457)

An employer needs to be approved as a sponsor in order to make an application to employ skilled workers from overseas.

If you are an employer with a business that operates in Australia, you must meet benchmarks relating to the training of Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Generally you must demonstrate the equivalent of 1% of gross wages is or will be spent on training per annum.

If you are an employer with a business that has no formal operating base or representation in Australia, you may apply to bring employees to Australia to do one of the following:

  • establish a business operation in Australia
  • fulfil obligations for a contract or other business activity in Australia.
  • Note: Overseas Business Sponsors do not need to be operating in Australia but may need to meet other employer eligibility requirements.
  • From 27 June 2009, there has been a requirement for sponsors under subclass 457 visa program to attest that they have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to:
  • employing local labour


  • non-discriminatory employment practices

To meet this requirement, there must be nothing adverse known about the business or a person associated with the business.

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Employer & Position Requirements for the Temporary Skilled Visa (Subclass 457)

As an employee, you must meet all the following requirements:

  • be sponsored by an employer to fill a genuine nominated position
  • have skills, qualifications, experience and an employment background which match those required for the position
  • have English language skills equivalent to allow immigration for the position.  Passport holders of certain countries do not have to satisfy this requirement
  • be eligible for any relevant licences or registration required to allow immigration for the nominated position if necessary.
  • be able to demonstrate that you are to be paid at least the minimum salary level that applies at the time a decision is made on your visa and at a level consistent with an Australian employee in the Australian labour market

You can apply for this visa while you are in Australia, only if the last visa you held is on the prequalifying list.

Skills assessment

Australia requires all visa applicants to satisfy the criteria for grant of their visa, thus Subclass 457 visa applicants must satisfy certain skills requirements. Where necessary for safety or to prevent fraud, Australia will undertake more extensive skills assessments to confirm skills claimed by applicants.

Australia is improving its skills assessment processes to provide for formal skills testing of some trade occupations. The pilot of this arrangement will commence on 1 July 2009 and be extended as capacities are increased.

Benefits of a Temporary Skilled Visa

With this visa, people you employ from overseas can:

  • work in Australia for a period of between three (3) months and four (4) years (12 months when nominated by a start up business)
  • bring any eligible secondary applicants with them to Australia – secondary applicants can work and study
  • (after entering Australia,) have no limit on the number of times they travel in and out of Australia.

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