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Accessing the International Talent Pool - 457 visa
All business owners agree on one thing - great staff are hard to find. When they are great overseas workers, they can be even harder to keep. Business owners today are capitalising on the opportunities that come with engaging skilled overseas workers who are perfect matches for their businesses. However, when it comes to sponsoring overseas workers, many employers are often unaware about the process.
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There are no great companies without great people.

All business owners agree on one thing - great staff are hard to find. When they are great overseas workers, they can be even harder to keep. Business owners today are capitalising on the opportunities that come with engaging skilled overseas workers who are perfect matches for their businesses. However, when it comes to sponsoring overseas workers, many employers are often unaware about the process.

The subclass 457 visa is the most commonly used programme for employers to sponsor overseas workers in Australia.

1. Sponsorship

The first step is for the employer to lodge an application with the Department to become an approved standard business sponsor. A business cannot sponsor an overseas worker without first becoming an approved sponsor. Once sponsorship is approved, it is usually valid for 3 years, during which time the business can sponsor additional overseas workers.

To be eligible, the business must be lawfully operating in or outside Australia, meet the prescribed training benchmark for Australian and overseas workers and show a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to, employing local labour.

At this stage, the business will be required to provide supporting documents to demonstrate its viability. Such documents include profit & loss statements, balance sheets, business activity statements (BAS), company extracts and evidence of business registration. Once lodged, the Department’s processing time is approximately 3 months.

2. Nomination

Once you are an approved sponsor, you will need to nominate a position to be filled by an overseas worker. The occupation must be chosen from the ANZSCO list, which is basically a list of occupations that have been identified as in demand. Luckily there are hundreds of occupations on the ANZSCO list so finding a suitable one is rarely an issue.

After choosing the occupation, you will need to identify the person who will work in the nominated position and specify the location(s) where the nominated occupation is to be carried out. If you are creating a new position for the nominated person, this is the time to provide business plans, position descriptions and employment contracts that establish the nature of the position.

You will also need to provide information about your attempts to recruit Australians, including the details and expenses of any advertising conducted. The Department’s processing time for this part of the process is approximately 3 months.

3. Visa Application

To be granted a subclass 457 visa the employee-applicant will need to demonstrate that they:

• Are applying for the position that is the subject of the approved nomination;
• Have a genuine intention to perform the occupation;
• Have the necessary skills and experience to perform the occupation;
• Meet the English language proficiency requirement (unless exempt); and
• Have the relevant licensing and registration required to perform the duties of the nominated occupation (if required)


Once lodged, this final stage of the process takes approximately 3 months until a decision from the Department is received.

Whilst the Department’s processing time for each individual application can ordinarily take up to 9 months combined, typically, we lodge applications contemporaneously in order to bring down the time

There are very real rewards and benefits that can arise for all parties to a 457 visa application. Employees are given the opportunity to work and live in Australia and employers are able to access skilled, motivated and loyal employees.

If you would like to discuss the 457 visa process, or any other immigration matter, BlueRock would be delighted to assist you. Please contact Chantelle Georgy on (03) 8658 2017 or email chantelle.georgy@thebluerock.com.au

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Did you know?
The origin of the BlueRock name is a mash-up of the founders two favourite things.
Through a mutual love of the Carlton football team and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, a firm was born!