If you thinking to come to Australia to work, the chances are you will arrive here on 457 visa. In the financial year 2012-2013 over 68,000 457 visas were granted. Out of that number around 40,000 visa holders were granted permanent residence.
Importantly, 457 visa is closely linked to ENS/RSMS (186/187) visas that give you an easier option to apply for permanent residency if your employer decide to offer you a permanent employment.
So what do you need to work legally in Australia on 457 visa?
1. An employer (your sponsor).
That seems quite obvious but your employer needs to be also authorised by Department of Immigration to sponsor you. To put it simply, a ‘willingness’ to employ you is not enough. Your company has to be granted a status of a ‘Standard Business Sponsor (SBS)’ or hire you under a ‘labour agreement’. The first option is much more common as it is already ‘standardised’ and as such does not require from the sponsor to negotiate individually all working conditions with Department of Immigration.
2. A ‘right’ occupation.
All occupations eligible for 457 visa are listed on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL). But that’s not enough. Every country has their own educational systems and for example a bricklayer or a finance manager from overseas, even though they are listed on CSOL, might have the skills that (at least officially) do not fit an Australian standards. Therefore a relevant skills assessment might need to be carried out. CSOL has all assessement authorities listed next to each occupation and they should be contacted to find out about requirements. Please note that skills assessment is not always necessary.
3. Licences, registrations..
If your occupation requires any licence or registration you must be able to obtain it in order to be granted a visa. Check with your skills assessment authority for these.
4. A reasonable level of English.
Called ‘vocational’ it is equal to IELTS of at least 5 in each band or score ‘B’ in each of 4 components of an Occupational English Test (OET). You will be exempt from English language requirement if you have a passport from any of these countries: Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, UK or USA. If you have finished at least 5 years of high school or university in an English speaking country you also won’t need to meet an English requirement.
This is just a brief introduction to 457 visa requirements. There are also others such as health insurance, translation of your documents, family members’ details (if any), etc. I just wanted to pinpoint a few important starting points for anybody keen to work in Australia only temporarily or the one who treats a 457 visa as a jumping board to apply for permanent residency. If you need to consult the details please contact us.
Have a happy work!