Application processes for employer-sponsored work visas are long and it is often difficult to guarantee a positive outcome. Certain factors must be met for both for the sponsor and the applicant to fulfil the requirements to receive a Visa 457. Below, we set out basic information on the most common employer-sponsored visas and focus on what sponsoring businesses should be aware.
About the Visa 457
The most common visa that applicants will aim for is Visa 457, or a Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa. This visa allows workers to come to Australia and work for up to four years, provided an approved business sponsors them. The 457 visa allows the applicant also to bring their family to work or study in Australia and to travel in and out of Australia on unlimited terms.
There are a few steps involved in Visa 457s. Firstly, the business must apply to be a standard business sponsor. Once this is approved, then the business must nominate the position. Only once the above two approvals have been obtained can the visa applicant submit an application his or her visa approved.
Businesses can also become sponsors through the negotiation of a labour agreement with the Australian government. However, this is less common as the requirements are harder to satisfy. The information in this article will focus on applications to be a standard business sponsor.
Who can sponsor?
To become an approved sponsor, you must be able to show that your business:
- Is a legally operating business, and
- There is no adverse information against your business.
- Any business that can prove the above criteria can apply to be a standard business sponsor.
You must ensure that the worker you have nominated is for a position on the Skilled Occupation Lists, which are relatively extensive. The applicant you nominate must also meet the skill requirements for the occupation and be able to speak vocational English.
There are a number of documents that a business will need to prove they meet the criteria and to nominate the position. The key documents necessary are:
- ABN registration certificate;
- ASIC company extract and business names details;
- Business plan, including an organisational chart;
- Financial documents – including profit and loss statements, Business Activity Statements (BAS), annual reports;
- Training benchmark documents – including receipts for training expenditure for your employees and payroll details (for businesses trading less than 12 months, then the forecasted versions of the documents);
- Statement of duties and responsibilities of the nominated position;
- Employment contract between you and the visa applicant;
- Market salary rates proof – including samples of similar job vacancy ads, references to the government’s Job Outlook and a search on Payscale.com;
- Labour market testing proof – generally job advertisements for the positions that have been posted (note this is not required for all positions, you can check whether your position is exempt on the Australian Border website).
- Other additional documents may be provided to help prove the business is legally operating, such as sample employment contracts and lease agreements for the business premises. Note that there depending on the company structure, other documents can also be required (e.g. franchisees must provide relevant pages of their franchise agreement).
If you are an employer thinking of sponsoring a skilled worker for the 457 visa and would like some legal advice on the matter, contact LegalVision’s employment lawyers.