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457 Business Sponsorship Program Changes 2015


457 Business Sponsorship Program Changes To Be More User Friendly

Changes for 457 Business Sponsorship of workers under 457 programs will be implemented by the end of 2015 -2016 program year.  

The Australian Government has decided to reduce some of the red tape associated with the 457 program and has accepted almost all of the recommendations that were submitted in the report.

Changes to the 457 Business Sponsorship Program will include:

Training Benchmarks:

Simpler training requirements will be implemented to replace the current training benchmarks which will mean a change to the existing training requirement of a percentage of payroll being used to train Australian Permanent residents or Citizens.

  • A training levy to be introduced which will depend on size of the company and how the company uses the 457 Program.

  • This will see paperwork significantly reduced as the changes to the employers training records which involves a great amount of evidence will come into effect in 2016.

English Requirements:

  • Changes to 457 Visa English requirements will see the current IELTS score of 5 in each band lowered to an average band score of 5, the applicant must have at least 4.5 in each band.

  • Alternative Tests for English as used for other skilled visas will likely be accepted.

  • Changes to the current exemptions for IELTS testing if applicants have studied for 5 years continuously in English medium will now only require a cumulative period of 5 years of study.

  • This change will help applicants who find the English language requirement difficult.

Business Sponsorship:

Before employees can be sponsored under the 457 Business sponsorship program the business must be approved as a business sponsor.

Currently majority of employers are given an approval to sponsor staff under 457 visas for a period of 3 years.

Businesses that have only been operating for less than 12 months will only get sponsorship approval for 12 months.

The changes to Business Sponsorship will see this increased from 3 years to 5 years and from 12 months to 18 months.

This will likely be implemented within the next 6 months and be a greater benefit to employers as they will not have to renew sponsorships as often.


There will also be changes to the salary levels for the 457 visa:

  • The (TSMIT) minimum salary of $53,900 currently in place will still be applicable for the next few years.

  • A lower salary for regional positions may be accepted under the review of the TSMIT but may vary by locality.

  • Currently the market rate salary minimum is $250,000 but maybe reduced to $180,000.

Although the Government will have to satisfy the Senate before it can implement the changes to the salary level.

ENS & RSMS Permanent Residency:

The 457 workers who have been sponsored through their employers for the last 2 years may be eligible for Permanent Residence through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visas.

The proposed changes will see employees who have held a 457 visa for the last 2 years only having to work for their employer for the last 12 months.

The age limit for ENS and RSMS visa is likely to be changed, currently when you apply you have to be under the age of 50, there is no age restrictions for 457 visas.

But because they are not under the age of 50 they cannot apply for PR through the ENS and RSMS visas even if employed with the same employer for the last 2 years.

The changes will hopefully see the age requirement for the ENS and RSMS changed if the applicant already holds a 457 visa.

Employer Compliance Strengthened:

New regulations will be implemented to strengthen compliance of employer sponsorship monitoring, also stamping out visa applicants who pay their employers to gain a 457 Business Sponsorship.

The Government will be working with other agencies to eradicate employers who are not complying with sponsorship requirements and regulations.

Our registered migration expert, Mrs. Indah Melindasari have extensive experience dealing with complex visa case from client around the world.

By booking an appointment, it opens many possibilities which could help you getting your 457 visa. 

To find further information on 457 Business Sponsorship and your eligibility and obligation as a company and employee, please contact our office on: (+61) 08 94775831 or email: [email protected]

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