Australian Department of Immigration Changes Requirements for 457 Visa
29 Jul 2016

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection have implemented positive changes as a result of the Independent Review of the 457 business sponsorship visa. 

How would these changes affect 457 visa applicants and Australian businesses: 

  • Eased English language requirements - The department will accept a broader range of English testing systems, including TOEFL IBT, PTE, CAE, as well as the IELTS. Also an overall score will be accepted as opposed to a minimum required score on each band. Applicants who are native English speakers will still be exempt from the English language requirements. In addition to this, anyone who has completed min of 5 years of studies in English, you will be exempt from this requirement as well. 


  • Longer validity period for the business approval – Existing businesses who are looking to sponsor overseas applicants will get an approval for up to 5 years as opposed to 3 years. This means that Australian employers, as well as overseas businesses who are looking to set up a branch in Australia will be able to sponsor as many employees as they wish for the next 5 years once they become an approved business, without the need to provide the same documents again. This means that companies will be able to sponsor more overseas applicants over a longer period of time with less hassle. 


  • More flexibility for start-up businesses – Applicants who are looking to start up a company in Australia will avail of a longer validity period of their business approval. The validity period will be extended to 18 months as opposed to 12. This will provide start up businesses with more freedom to set up and grow their business during these 18 months. This also means that such companies will have far better changes to get their 457 visa renewed as they will benefit from the increased timeframe to develop the business. They will have far better changes to show that their business is sustainable and is making profit, as a result they will have greater chances to get their visa extended. 


  • Reduced market salary exemption threshold from $250,000 to $180,000 - Australian employers will not be required to provide evidence of relevant salary rate, where the proposed annual salary is over $180 k, previously the requirement was $250 k. Employers will face less paperwork in terms of the market salary rate in cases where the proposed salary meets the new reduced threshold. 


  • Extended period to notify Immigration of changes – So far 457 visa holder or their employers had to notify Immigration within 10 days of any change, including change of position or employment. Now overseas employees will have 28 days to notify Immigration of such changes. If a 457 visa holder ceases employment and finds a new job offer, they will have 90 days to organize all the required documents and submit them to Immigration. The extended notifiable period will provide more flexibility and more time to arrange the information needed and submit it to Immigration. 

VisaFirst encourages anyone who is interested in applying for a 457 visa to give us a call for more information and visa advice. You can register for a free visa consultation here or give us a call on 056 777 0227 for Ireland, 0207 659 9186 for UK, 1 300 655 094 for Australia.

Author: Visa First