With the July 1 changes now in place (subject to a labour government) we can now look at how your business might be affected.
This is also a good time for 457 sponsors to check and see if they are meeting the 457 training benchmarks. With the recent news about fraudulent sponsors we have no doubt the department will be cracking down on 457 sponsors.
This July Active Migration would like to offer a free health check to our currrent 457 company sponsors to make sure they understand the 457 visa requirements and are complient. To take this offer up please email
Ok, So the election hasn't really gone anyones way yet, But what can we expect if Labour get in. Obviously Labour work closely with the unions and we can see they have a tremendous problem with the 457 program. They tell us they support businesses with the need for skilled workers but they then make it increasingly difficult to get the workers we want.
So, If labour get in we can expect that we will need to run advertisements for the position for at least 4 weeks before we can sponsor a worker, and with processing times of 40 working days, that is nearly three months before you will get your workers on board. More importantly if you want to extend a 457 visa holders visa, you will need to start the process 4 weeks earlier to allow for the advertising.
It is also expect under labour that the 457 fees could increase by up to $1500 per applicant.
If your business has been trading in Australia for more than 12 months, you must show you have contributed to the training of Australians.
You show this by meeting one of two benchmarks. This can be either:
- Training benchmark A: recent expenditure to the equivalent of at least two per cent of the payroll of the business, in payments allocated to an industry training fund that operates in the same industry as the business
- Training benchmark B: recent expenditure to the equivalent of at least one per cent of the payroll of the business, in the provision of training to employees of the business who are Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.
You must provide evidence of expenditure relating to the training benchmarks when you submit your sponsorship application. Not providing evidence can cause a significant delay in processing your application.
Businesses that do not yet have an operating base in Australia do not need to meet the training benchmarks.
Streamlined nomination processing for accredited 457 sponsors
Under the new sponsorship accreditation arrangements for “streamlined nomination processing”, sponsors will be asked to provide more information ‘upfront’. For example, sponsors might ask for a copy of a template written contract of employment as part of the sponsorship process. Then:
Sponsors would not need to provide this information every time they lodge a new lower-risk nomination; and
Case officers would be able to largely assess certain relevant criteria as ‘met’ based on certifications in the application, without having to seek or consider additional information with each application.
This would be subject to no significant concerns arising when reviewing the case and agents still providing ‘assessment-ready’ applications where possible.
Applications lodged by Accredited Sponsors already get priority allocation, but DIBP are hoping the new arrangements will then also ‘streamline’ the assessment process for lower-risk nominations and applications being finalised more quickly after initial assessment.
Comparing the 187 visa and the 457 visa
Not really a change, but a very good idea for companies with 457 workers that might want to transition their staff to a more permanent soultion, Or sponsors not wanting the monitoring aspect of the 457 visa. The advantage of the 187 over the 457 are listed below.
· The 187 is a permanent visa, the 457 is a temporary visa, and it is likely the applicant will want to go for a permanent visa in the future so we are cutting out a step.
· The 187 is not monitored by the department (the 457 is, not that this is a problem).
· The 457 requires the company to repatriate the person if required.
o This means if the applicant wants or needs to be sent home you are responsible for the flights
§ You do not have to sell their car or look after their cat, just the cheapest one way ticket to their home country
§ If they are killed you are responsible for sending their bodies back (not a nice thought and we hope this doesn't happen)
· The 187 is permanent to sending them home is Australia - No repatriation is required
· A 457 applicant can transfer their nomination to another sponsor
· A 187 applicant cannot transfer their nomination to another sponsor
· There is no training requirement on a 187
· The 457 has a minimum salary of $53.900 plus super and must be a market salary.
· The 187 has no minimum but must be at "least" market salary.
o We recommend using job outlook to demonstrate a market salary, this can be below the $53,900. However if you have an Australian in the same role doing the same thing at the same level then they should be paid the same money.
· The 187 must make a commitment for 2 years however ...
o If you let The applicant go for reasons outside his control such as a downturn in work they keeps his visa
o If the applicant leaves you within 2 years for reasons within their control (another job) their visa is subject to review and possible cancellation.
§ This gives you security of retaining the applicant and the applicant and their family security of having permanent residence.
The advantage of the 457 is
· Once the company is set up as a sponsor it is relatively quick and easy to sponsor more workers
o This is great if you want to trial people. A great strategy is to sponsor people on a 457 with a view to PR after a probation period.
· It can be established to employ people for less than the 2 years if you cannot foresee two years’ work however on the 187 if you don't get the work and let the applicant go there is nothing you have to worry about. On the 457 you must consider the possibility of repatriation - so I don't know if this is a plus.
· The eligibility requirement for the applicant (generally) is lower for a 457 than a 187.
For further help and advice please contact