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Open Q&A on the 457 program

We’re always trying new ways of communicating with the public about our migration programs. So this week our 457 policy team is opening up the migration blog to any questions you have about the 457 visa and temporary skilled migration to Australia.

While we can’t provide advice about individual cases, any other questions about the program no matter how specific or broad are welcome.

Here are some examples to stimulate ideas:

  • Why do we have temporary migration to Australia?
  • How do market rates work?
  • What happens if I get fired while on a 457 visa?
  • Why do I need to get health insurance while on a 457 visa?

We are looking forward to your questions.


Comments (28)

Hi Tom
Can onshore students apply for the 457 visas without skill assessments?

Hi Dong
Thanks for your question. Whether or not you are required to do a skills assessment depends on the occupation you are nominated in, and what country you are from.
There is a list of the countries and occupations that require a skills assessment on the Trades Recognition Australia website.
For your convenience here is the link: Trades Recognition Australia 457 Skills Assessment Guidelines.
If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed, and applying to work in one of the specified occupations then you may be required to do a skills assessment.
However, as you have an Australian qualification you may be exempt from this requirement. A case officer will let you know whether you are required to do a skills assessment when you lodge your application.



Can a holder of 457 visa apply for onshore permanent residency? If so which onshore pr visa is it?

Hi Roz

Thanks for your question. A 457 visa holder can apply for permanent residency on-shore. There are a number of different permanent migration options. A large number of 457 visa holders migrate to Australia permanently by having their employer sponsor them through our Employer Nomination Scheme and Regional Sponsored Migration Schemes.

A great way to explore your options is through our 'Visa Wizard'. The Visa Wizard can help you find the visa most likely to meet your specific circumstances.



Hi Tom
With the new reforms being introduced for the employer nominated scheme, can graduate onshore students apply for the scheme through the direct entry stream without obtaining 457 visa.

Thanks for your comment Mike.

From 1 July 2012, employers will be able to sponsor skilled workers who are applying from outside of Australia or in Australia on a temporary visa and do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream for ENS or RSMS under a Direct Entry stream.

As a student visa holder you may be able apply for ENS or RSMS under the Direct Entry stream if you have an employer who is willing to employ you full time for a period of at least two years that wish to nominate you for permanent residence in an eligible occupation.

For your visa to be approved you will have to meet the relevant skill, English language and age requirements.

For further information on the reforms on permanent-employer sponsored program visit the department’s website http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/permanent-employer-sponso...

Hi there !

I have completed masters of professional Accounting & my degree already assessed by CPA Australia. I have few quiries as below :

1. I'm currently working as an accounts payable officer in a Sydney based meat processing company ( small entreprise), if my company want to sponsor me , will they able to do or what sort of companies can to do sponsorship ?

2. if any one from onshore apply 457 visa & working with that company couple of months , can they apply for direct PR thru 457 visa ?

Hi Shibli,

1) Yes, the company can sponsor you providing you are nominated as an accountant. However, first they will have to become a standard business sponsor. Further information is available in Booklet 9 Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) Visa. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/books9.htm

2) One option for you to apply for permanent residency from a 457 visa is the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS). To be eligible for ENS you must have worked for at least the 2 years immediately prior to the lodgement of your visa application on a 457, and you must have spent at least the last 12 months employed with your ENS sponsor. Further information is available in Booklet 5, page 17, Employer Sponsored Migration. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/books5.htm

I hope this was of some assistance to you.

Hi there,

I am a skilled IT professional on my second 457 visa. I was on a 457 with my first Australian employer for roughly 11 months and have been now with my new employer for 6 months. I am aware that I can apply for PR via two different paths: (a) wait for the two years period with the same employer OR (b) have my skills assessed by ACS.

With all those changes that will take effect on 1st July 2012, my questions are:

Do I still have to have my skills assessed by ACS if I don’t wait to wait for the two years period? If I don’t, should I just lodge an ENS application after the 1st July 2012?

Hello Andre, thanks for your comment.

Yes, you will still need to get your skills assessed if you do not want to wait the two year period.

If you lodged an ENS application after 1 July 2012, you will still need two years’ experience with your current employer to qualify under the Temporary Residence Transition stream. The other option is under the Direct Entry stream. You will need a skills assessment for this stream unless you are paid over $250,000, employed by a higher education employer (such as a University) or are a Minister of Religion.



With new reforms being introduced to Sponsored Permanent visa to 457 visa holders from 1st July 2012,Do I must need to completed 2 years with the employer who is sponsoring Permanent Visa under ENS-Temporary Residene Transition Stream?In my case i have completed 2 years overall in Australia on the same profession with two different employers(19 and 8 months).I was expecting would be able to eligible for ENS visa once i finish off 1 year with my current employer?How does these reforms would affect my case?

Thanks for your comment Shawn.

To be eligible under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream, you must have worked for the sponsoring employer for the past two years. Unfortunately you will not be eligible after only one year with your current employer. You will still be able to apply under the Direct Entry stream however the criteria for this stream include a positive skills assessment and a higher English level (IELTS 6 instead of IELTS 5).

For more information on the changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme, see this website (http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/permanent-employer-sponso...)



Hi Tom.,I am currently holding a 457 Visa and working as a slaughterperson for 6 years.,the Company is willing to naminate us for PR but the problem is I could'nt pass the required IELTS band score.What do you think is the other option to be qualified on PR, aside from taking the IELTS test?


Hi John

Thanks for your question.

It is important that permanent residents have good English skills so that they can be competitive in applying for jobs in the future. If you are on a 457 visa under a meat industry labour agreement there may be special provisions relating to English that you should discuss with your employer.
See the Department's website for more information on meat industry labour agreements.




I am currently on 457 and working for my employer since the last 4 years. If my employer does not wish to sponsor my PR via ENS what other options do I have in order to be eligible for apply and remain in Australia on PR.


Hi Neil

Thanks for your question.
There are a number of options for you to apply for permanent residency, including our independent General Skilled Migration program. I recommend that you have a look at our ‘Visa Wizard’. The Visa Wizard can help you find the visa most likely to meet your specific circumstances.



Hi, I would like to know if an employer sponsors you for PR on the ENS programme, is it mandatory to remain employed with the same employer for atleast 3 years after your application has been lodged and you have been granted PR or can one change jobs once PR is granted?

Hi Anirudh – there is no legal requirement to continue working with the employer that sponsored you for permanent residency under ENS.



I've read in recent news..
A shortage in hospitality staff has prompted the government to loosen some of the restrictions on 457 visas.
The planned changes to the 457 visa requirements are intended to encourage workers such as waiters, bartenders and hotel managers to the country to fill these much needed vacancies.

When will these changes take place? and Where can I follow its progress?


Hi Nikita

Thanks for your question.

The government recognises that there are skills and labour shortages in different industries and parts of regional Australia. There is no plan to 'loosen' 457 visa requirements in the standard program, however the government is currently looking into a proposed template labour agreement for the hospitality industry. This would allow certain employers to sponsor workers in semi-skilled occupations that are not currently available under the standard 457 program. There is no set date for the implementation of this proposal: the Department is currently considering submissions from the public consultation before making any recommendations to government. Any outcomes will be announced via the DIAC website.

The other program that is relevant to the hospitality industry is the new Regional Migration Agreement program. Under the program regions will be able to sponsor overseas workers in semi-skilled occupations if they can prove a need. This may enable hospitality staff that have, in the past, not been eligible under the standard 457 program. The department will be accepting submissions from prospective regions in the coming months.

For further information on the Regional Migration Agreement program see our website for further information: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/regional-migration-agreements.htm



Hi I'm working as F&B attendant in a regional area and my employer is willing to sponsor me but my salary isn't equivalent to the minimum salary required for 457, what are the other options? Can my employer sponsor me for RSMS as I do have Australian equivalent Diploma, please suggest.

Thanks for your comment Jon. Unfortunately Food and Beveridge Attendents are not eligible for sponsorship under RSMS currently, or for the changes from 1 July 2012.

Under the current RSMS, the nominated occupation must require a person who holds an Australian diploma or higher qualification, or be exceptional.

We use the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) to understand the qualification requirements of specific occupations.

According to ANZSCO food and beverage attendants and waiters/waitresses are classified as skill level 4 occupations. That is, an occupation that requires a person to hold a Certificate II or III. These positions would not be considered eligible under RSMS.

From 1 July 2012 to be eligible to access RSMS, you must be nominated in an occupation that is classified as ANZSCO skill level 1-3. Again, because the ANZSCO classifies food and beverage attendants and waiters/waitresses are classified as skill level 4 occupations they are not occupations that would be considered eligible under the RSMS.

Hi Tom, I have been working as an assistant manager for the past 2.5 years in a cafe, I have recently had a promotion to be made manager of the cafe at a different location. My boss wants to sponsor me on the 457 to stay permanently. I do not have any qualifications in the industry just 5 years hospitality experience and 2.5 years of being the assistant manager. Am I eligible for this visa with just my experience?


Hi Sophie

Thanks for your question. Each visa processing officer must be satisfied that the visa applicant has the skills to do the job that they are nominated in.

The Department uses the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) definitions as a guide for the skills and experience that are required for a particular job.

You can see the ANZSCO entry for Café and Restaurant Manager here:

This should give you a guide of the level of experience you will need.




I have a 457 visa. I was fired from my job in January and immediately started looking for another job. I will be receiving an offer from a very large corporation this week. I just found out I only had 28 days to stay until I received a new offer. What are my options? Can I receive some kind of extention or bridging Visa until my offer arrives and application is lodged? Or am I stuck.

Hi Slavco, thanks for your question.

You must hold a valid visa to stay in Australia lawfully. The most important thing for you to do at this stage is to go to a DIAC office as soon as possible. There are DIAC offices in all state and territory capital cities and you can find the addresses on our website.
See: http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/australia/
If you are unable to get to an office you will need to call the department on 131 881.


Hi Thomas ,

Another question for ya if you dont mind ? I am on a 457 visa , sponsored here in Melbourne as an electrician. I have 1.5 years done with this guy but I have enough due to poor money an better opportunities looming . So I finished up yesterday handed in my notice . Exactly how long do I have to find another similar position . I have heard 28 days Or is it 3 months ? And is there any pitfalls to watch out for ?

Hi Kenneth

Thanks for your question. You have 28 days to find a new sponsor, otherwise you will have to depart the country.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department on 131 881.


Good Morning,

I just have a question regarding the requirements for the 457 visa. Does it absolutely require you to have 3 years of work experience on the nominated occupation? I am fairly new to the industry.

What if I found an Aussie employer already and am working in their office based in Asia? Assuming they are really interested to get me to work in Australia, do I still need to accumulate 3 years of work experience? Thank you in advance for the advice!

Hi Bert

Thanks for your question. Each visa processing officer must be satisfied that the visa applicant has the skills to do the job that they are nominated in.

The Department uses the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) definitions as a guide for the skills and experience that are required for a particular job.

You can search ANZSCO for your particular occupation and that will give you an idea of what the particular qualification and experience requirements are.