457 Skilled Visa Program

The changes that the federal Government has announced to reduce torts and abuses in the 457 Skilled Visa Program


The Federal government indicated that it will reduce regulation and at the same time strengthen the visa.

Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash last December released the government's response to a review into allegation of rorts (a fraudulent or dishonest act or practice) and abuse.  Fifty one recommendations will be adopted by the government.

There will be an increased focus on sponsors of 457 visas and also more resource will be made available to monitor the sponsors.

The Assistant Immigration Minister said: "“We're also looking at the introduction of a new penalty making it unlawful for sponsors to be paid for a migration outcome, greater transparency around the department's sanction processes, increased information sharing among key government agencies, in particular the Australian Taxation Office".

The review did not support the allegation that there was wide spread abuse and dishonest practice, however scrutiny is being tightened to ensure that abuse does not take place.

All the recommendations made in the review have not been adopted, for example the review asked for the abolition of labour market testing, labour market testing requires employers to test the local market to see if suitable candidates are available to fill a job before a job is offered to a foreign worker. This practice is to continue to ensure jobs are first filled by suitably qualified Australian citizens.

The government is also reducing the English standard required when testing, Trade Union have raised health and safety concerns which may endanger people in the workplace if a suitable standard of English is not maintained.

In general the business community has responded favourably to the review however there is a view that the regulations could have been softened further.  These changes are to be put into place by the end of this year, there is however a call from Trade Unions for a broader inquiry into Australian temporary work visas.

Trade Unions are concerned that regulations are being relaxed at a time of high unemployment in general and more specifically in the youth sector.


The 457 Long Stay Work Visa is a temporary employment visa that allows skilled employees to stay in Australia for up to 4 years while working for a sponsor employer.


To be eligible to apply for this visa you must:

  • Be nominated by an approved sponsor employer to fill a skilled position
  • Have the qualifications, experience and employment background that matches the requirements for the position
  • Show proficiency in English Language.
  • Be eligible for any relevant licenses or registration required for the nominated position

Holders of this visa are allowed to:

  • Work in Australia for up to 4 years
  • Bring their families with them
  • Travel in and out of Australia any number of times within that period

The 457 Long Stay Work Visa is a sponsored visa, so you must have an employer that has obtained a Sponsorship agreement with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

To become a 457 Sponsor Business you have to meet the training requirements and accept the obligations of the 457 Sponsor Program.

While an employee is a holder of the 457 Long Stay Work Visa, they must work only for the sponsoring employee, or the visa will be revoked. The employer can only be changed if other eligible business is willing to sponsor you for the same 457 Long Stay Work Visa.