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Interested in learning more about the 457 program?

We have developed a guide that provides an overview of the 457 program.

The 457 program allows employers to hire skilled overseas workers where experienced Australian workers are not available. It’s the simplest and fastest option that helps businesses deal with skill shortages.

If you are interested in learning more about the 457 program, including how to sponsor and nominate an overseas worker, take a look at our Guide to the 457 program.

Comments (33)

The 457 visa program is probably redundant now that the LAFHA allowances are being abolished!

As you are aware, the Australian Government announced in the 2012-13 Budget measures to address the growing exploitation of LAFHA. From 1 July 2012, only people who can provide evidence that they have maintained a home in Australia but were required to live elsewhere for work can continue to receive the LAFHA tax-free.

Closing this tax loophole will reinforce the market salary rates requirement of the 457 visa program. This ensures that overseas workers must be paid the same wages as Australians and will assist in continuing to maintain the integrity of the 457 program.

Dear sir/madam,

The guide is an epic, thank you. However, I have another question which is irrelevant to the subject above. In the announcement about visa subclass 189 the English requirement stats that in order to get 10 points you need an IELTS with a score 7 . Does this means 7 in all the exam sections as previous or 7 in overall. Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Thanks for your question. For points based skilled visas, including the subclass 189, the Department’s requirements for IELTS scores (for points and for minimum requirements) are that the particular score is achieved in each of the four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening). So, in your example, an overall band of 7 alone would not be enough to get 10 points – you would have to have 7 or higher in each component.

Can we study in 457 visa in your own time??

The main purpose of the 457 program is for the primary 457 visa holder to work in Australia. However, as long as you only work for your sponsor in your nominated occupation, there are no conditions on the 457 visa that preclude you from studying in your own time.

I was in Australia very recently for several interviews with employers hoping they would sponsor me on the 457 visa, the majority of employers know little or nothing of this visa or are reluctant to commit to a employee for 2yrs, I was told several times that if the employer could employ me on a probational month or so they would be more likely to employ a overseas worker, my question is what is the Dept doing to change employers attitudes and fears of this visa and is the Dept doing enough to let small and medium business know about the benefits of the 457 visa. Regards Alan.

Well done Alan! that is a common question for the thousands of us in AU looking for sponsorship but because of the employers attitudes and their fears of this visa (not enough knowledge) is building extreme frustrations for us who have the skills but don't have the sponsorship.

Over 17,000 Australian businesses across all industries are 457 sponsors. While I appreciate that you are finding it difficult to find a sponsor, the 457 program is designed to serve Australia’s economic interests by allowing employers to sponsor overseas workers when they cannot find a suitable Australian

Detailed information on the 457 visa program, sponsorship, nomination, visa application and associated forms is contained in Information Booklet 9. Information Booklet 9 can be downloaded from the Department’s website link at: www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/books9.htm

Is there pathway to permanent residency after the visa is issued?

Thanks for your question. A number of different pathways are open to skilled migrants seeking permanent residency. The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) allows Australian employers to sponsor employees for a permanent visa to work in Australia. The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) allows employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia, to sponsor employees for a permanent visa to work in Australia.

To assist you to decide which visa may be suitable for you, you may use the Visa Wizard tool on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s website: www.immi.gov.au/visawizard.

hi there,I would like to know about 457 visa For Health sector.I am working as a Personal Care Assistance in aged care after finished my certificate 3 in aged care .Now I am in student 572 visa ,my employer want to sponsor me as a PCA ..is it possible to go for 457 visa .
please help me out .
thanks santosh

Hi there. I Would like to know About 457 Visa i 'm working in fruit and vegetable wholesale market and my employer want to sponser me as customer service manager . Is that eligible and can I apply for P R after it. Currently I'm student on 573 visa class and finished my business management .. Plz help me out.. Thanks

Please see responses below regarding 457 eligible occupations and the pathway to permanent residency.


I have been on a 457 visa for more than two years, and we were about to apply for permanent residency through the ENS now.
I'm still waiting for my Australian police clearance to arrive, but my employer has nominated me, I've done the IELTS test and have all the other documents at hand as well.

We've been told that there is currently a 5-8 months waiting period if we apply through the "old system" and that there is a transitional period that allows us to apply for permanent residency (ENS) as per the "old rules" even after the 1st July, should we choose to wait for the police clearance to arrive.

My questions are:
- Can we expect a shorter decision period within SkillSelect and should we hold off with the application until the new system is introduced?

- Is there really a transitional period for ENS PR applications that would allow us to apply under the "old rules" next week, so we could attach the police clearance as well with the application?

Your answer is much appreciated. I'd like to tell you that I found this blog the most valuable resource available, as we've been receiving contradicting information in our case so far.

Thanks again,

Employer nominations are valid for six months. After the reforms have been implemented, an ‘old’ nomination will continue to be valid. Any visa application lodged after the reforms which is associated with an old nomination will be considered against the new ENS or RSMS Direct Entry stream requirements.

For further information please refer to our communication products (Factsheet, FAQs, diagrams etc) on our website regarding the reforms:

I am reading all about 457 visa. Regarding the training benchmark, since we do not have one in place we are looking into donating to an accredited institution (2% of our payroll).

My questions is do we need to do this contribution yearly?


A business looking to become a 457 visa sponsor needs to show that training has been or will be provided to employees who are Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents.

You are right, Training Benchmark A states that the 2% payroll contribution to an industry training fund must be made each financial year. For more details, please see the Specification of Training Benchmarks (www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2009L03512).

Important facts to know about a 457 visa before making the decision to emigrate:

On a 457 visa in NSW you have to pay $4,500 - $5,500 per year per child to send them to state school. In ACT it's even more than that.

And you do not have equal rights to a place at school if your local school is over-subscribed.

You don't get any rebate for childcare (Australians get $7,500 per year).

You also have to pay far more health insurance.

You do not get full medicare.

And now you won't get LAFHA.

I second what Tom Smiths already wrote. In addition:

If you have kids and consider to send them to day care, expect to pay 70-90 AUD per day (Sydney).

Add another 400-500 AUD monthly for private health insurance.

If you won't apply for PR and will return to home country at the end of your contract, your Super (pension) contribution will be taxed at almost 45%.

For training benchmarks B to be met, it says It must be relevant to the applicant’s business activities. Would for example a non-profit community centre fulfil that by providing for their staff training which will assist in dealing with stress and other such training. In other words how does one define the applicant's business activities for a cultural community centre?



Under Training Benchmark B, the business is required to show that the training provided to employees is related to the purpose of the business. The ‘business’ in this case can be a not-for-profit organisation. The training must relate to the purpose of the not-for-profit organisation.

We can’t provide individual guidance on the blog, however when applying for a 457 sponsorship, the case officer allocated to assessing the application will go through the specifics for your organisation. They will assess what kind of training can be considered relevant for the business.

So if I understand this correctly, the 457 visa holders get the same effective salary now as Australian citizens and permanent residents, but have none of the rights eg tax deductable child care, access to medicare, etc. This is fair how?

Australia’s temporary skilled migration is designed to meet Australia’s economic needs. The 457 program has very fast processing times, guarantees equivalent wages for overseas workers and allows applicants a streamlined pathway to permanent residency.

However, the reality of Australia’s temporary skilled migration program is that the visa holders do not have the same benefits, rights and responsibilities as those who have permanent residency or Australian citizenship.

On company's side in order for them to nominate an employee they must be providing equivalent terms and conditions of employment with their current employees.

Does it mean that if you have an existing cook and you wanted to sponsor another cook they must be receiving the same minimum amount of pay which is $49,330 today?

So that an existing salary of a minimum cook cannot be lower as to what a nominee will receive, i.e. $49,330?


The market salary rate is determined by the equivalent Australian employees’ wages. So, if the Australian’s wage is below the TSMIT, the position will not be eligible for the 457 program. For more detailed information, please see Booklet 9: www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/books9.pdf.

I have been on a 457 visa for one year, and 11 months on a labour agreement. I have been advised the following:

Before 1/7/2012, people sponsored for a 457 under a labour agreement are able to apply for an ENS or RSMS visa in the same way as any other 457 visa holder.

However, under the new system, such applicants will not be able to apply under the concessional Temporary Residence Transition stream like other 457 holders.

Since my two years on the 457 does not occur until the beginning of August I am very concerned

Can you possibly tell me whether this change will happen?


How can you expect skilled individuals to come to Aus on a 457 visa, when the financial reality is that as a 457 holder you are liable to the same income tax as a PR or Citizen, but are denied the same basic benefits (discriminated against), such as the child care allowance, full medicare rights, having to pay for your children to attend state school, more costly health insurance. All this on top of the fact that cost of living is high and you even struggle to get access to a full range of bank services as you are temporary ! Please Explain.....

The 457 program is working effectively to meet Australian skill needs. There are currently over 90,000 skilled overseas workers on a 457 visa. In fact, this is the highest number ever since the program was introduced.

It is a matter for individuals to decide whether migrating to Australia is suitable for them.

However, the aim of the program is to meet Australia’s economic needs and we believe it is doing so effectively.

Basically, From the 1st July, there is no point in getting the 457 visa. There is absolutely no incentrive!

My advice would be to negotiate with your employer for a PR visa. At least that way you will have the same rights as a OZ citizen.

For the occupations in the Skill level 3, does the applicant have to prove that they have 2 years experience and Certificate III. Is the 2 years experience must be full-time work experience. Thanks

What about Tafe graduated students with Certificate III and diploma, still need 2 years experience?