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Changes to the subclass 457 visa

Reforms to the subclass 457 visa commenced on 1 July.

How will the changes affect Australian businesses?

The changes will not adversely affect the majority of employers who are using the program appropriately. The changes will, however, strengthen the government's capacity to identify and prevent employer practices that are not in keeping with the purpose of the subclass 457 program.

If the department has any concerns that an employer is not committed to training Australians, or a nominated position may not be genuine, then they may be requested to provide additional justification before a sponsorship or nomination can be approved. 

Sponsors are also required to understand their new obligations.

How will the changes affect current subclass 457 visa holders?

There will be no adverse effects on existing visa holders. However, visa holders should note the changes to the English language and skills requirements if they plan to change employment, change their occupation or seek a further subclass 457 visa.

How will the changes affect subclass 457 visa applicants?

All subclass 457 visa applications lodged before 1 July 2013 but not finalised, will be subject to the new visa requirements. Your case officer will request further information if required.

All subclass 457 visa applications that are lodged after 1 July 2013 will be subject to the new visa requirements. The majority of subclass 457 visa applicants will not be affected by the changes.

In some circumstances further evidence to demonstrate claims for a subclass 457 visa may be required. Visa applicants should note the changes to the English language and skills requirements.

Are there changes to how subclass 457 applications can be lodged?

All subclass 457 sponsorship, nomination and visa applications must now be lodged online. Paper applications are no longer accepted.

For more information on the changes please visit the department’s website.

Comments (22)


Even though I have all other qualification to apply for visa 457, I could not find a JOB SPONSOR from Australia.

I have IELTS over roll - 5.5
I have VETASSESS Skills assessment.



I have the certificate of NVQ level 4 as a vehicle painter taken according to RPL.I am working as a vehicle painter since 2006,but havent done a automotive course in a institute i am working in my brother's workshop so i have lot of experience in the field.And it is useless to do a automotive full time course because there is nothing to learn.so i want to ask you whether i can apply for the skill assessment through this certificate even if i do a course i receive the same certificate.


Thanks for your comment Thilina, for enquiries regarding skills assessments please contact the appropriate assessing authority. For more information on skills assessments please see the Department’s website.


Thanks for your comment Rajive.

The intention of the subclass 457 visa program is to fill genuine skills shortages in the Australian labour market rather than achieve migration outcomes. The program is targeted at assisting employers to meet their skilled labour needs.


What's the effect of the permanent resident pathway of people who's been holding the 457 for a while?


Thanks for the comment Rujipart.

The subclass 457 integrity reforms do not impact on the pathway to the permanent Employer Sponsored Nomination and Regional Sponsored Migration schemes. These pathways still exist through the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

For more information on making that transition please see the SkillSelect pages of the Department's website.


These changes that will add significant costs, delays and administrative burdens to all employers participating in the 457 program. I note that DIAC have increased charges for nominations fourfold to 'reflect the cost of processing'. It 's not unreasonable to assume that sponsor internal costs have increased a similar amount, or more.

It seems unrealistic to claim otherwise.


Thank you for your comment Philip.

The changes will not impact greatly on those people who using the program to fill genuine skills shortages. Many of the new regulations require the employer to provide documents that they would already have on hand. For example one of the new regulations at nomination stage requires sponsors to provide a written contract of employment. Most employers would have that document and therefore would not be burdened by the new regulation.


Will the extended period in which a 457 visa holder can seek new sponsored employment apply to existing visa holders?


Thanks for your question Kyle.

Yes, this change will apply to those subclass 457 visas granted prior to 1 July and those granted on or post 1 July. The change to the 8107 condition will allow subclass 457 visa holders who cease employment with their sponsor 90 days, rather than 28, to find a new sponsor or leave the country.


Hi, If I lodged visa 457 before 1 July 2013 but not finalised, my nominate occupation is project administrator (nomination approved). I need to provide skill assessment or not? If the skill assessment is required, I need to apply it (around 5-7 weeks), It may cause some trouble...


Thank you for your question Benny.

From 1 July all Subclass 457 visa applicants who have been nominated as a Project and Program Administrator will be required to undertake a skills assessment. This must be a conducted by VETASSESS and be a skills assessment for migration purposes. This requirement applies to both new applications and those which as at 1 July 2013 have not been decided by the Department.


I could not lodge my e-visa 457 application online even after multiple attempt. Any suggestions?


Thanks for your question.
There are few things I can recommend that you try:

1.Check that your computer is set up correctly by reading through the Online Services – Browser Requirements on the Department’s website

2. Ensure that you are not trying to lodge during a period where there is a systems outage. The Planned System Maintenance and Technical Issues section of the Department’s website lists all the planed outages.

3. Read through the eVisa Frequently Asked Questions (particularly the last question).


Thank you for your reply,

I'm told by a migration agent that If I want to apply for an ENS under the Temporary Residence Transition stream I need an ielt score of 6 in each band OR I have to for 8k+$ for exemption. Is that correct information?

I did provide immigration my ielt score when I first applied for 457 which was granted in October 2011. What a scenario this will be?

Best Regards


Thanks for your question Rujipart.

You can find further information regarding apply the requirements you would need to meet for the grant of a permanent visa employer sponsored visa by looking at the Skills Select section of the Department’s website.


If a holder of a 457 visa changes sponsors, they are required to lodged a new nomination through their proposed business that is either already a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) or if the business is not already an approved SBS, they will be required to lodged an application to become an approved SBS and then lodge a new nomination and if approved, the 457 visa holder can then work with new sponsor. As such then the 457 visa holder will not in breach of condition 8107.

However, if the new sponsor has been trading for less than 12 months, according to current Law, they will be granted an SBS for a period of 12 months.

will the 457 visa holder's visa be subjected to a period of 12 months associated with their current and new sponsor?


Thank you for your question Daniel.

Subclass 457 visa holders who are nominated by a new employer are not required to obtain a new visa, unless their visa is due to expire. This is the case regardless of whether the new sponsors is a start-up business sponsor or not.


Can you elaborate more on:
"Visa applicants should note the changes to the English language and skills requirements."

My application was lodged on beginning of June and all necessary documents were provided with health exams as well.
I did not need to undertake the IELTS exam as per my occupation (Software Engineer) I did not have to.
Now I was told that since changes of 1st July I would probably have to do so? What excatly changed regarding this? Can someone share some light?

Thanks in advance,


Thank you for your question Peter.

In a small number of cases applicants who as at 1 July have not yet had their application decided by the Department may be asked to provide additional information to substantiate the claims made in their application. This may include a requirement for a visa applicant to demonstrate a vocational level of English if the occupation which they have been nominated to work in is no longer exempt from 1 July, and they are not otherwise exempt.

The new English language requirements are listed on the Department’s website, in the subclass 457 visa applicants section.



My employer indicated that they are willing to sponsor me for a 186 (Temporary Residence Transition) visa. I'm currently on a 457 visa, which expires 3 Aug 2013, however their nomination only expires 14 May 2014.

From my understanding: due to the 2 year working for the same company requirement, and my current 457 being issued for 2 years I'd need to apply for another 457 visa, and once that has been issued I would then be able to apply for the 186 visa. Is this correct, or is there an alternate pathway?

Then: for my employer to sponsor me for the 186 visa, they would need to do another nomination, for the 186 visa, do they also ned to apply for sponsorship?



Thanks for your question Henry. You can find further information regarding the requirements you would need to meet for the grant of a permanent visa employer sponsored visa by looking at the Skills Select section of the Department’s website.