COMMON MISTAKES ABOUT 457 WORK VISAS

1. I can only lodge an application for approval as a sponsor and nominator once I have found a visa applicant.

An Australian business does not need to wait until it finds an overseas worker before applying for approval. The business can be approved in advance as a sponsor for up to five years.

Arranging pre-approval of the sponsorship can speed up the processing time, allowing the overseas employee to start work sooner.

2. The Department of Immigration can provide me with all the advice and assistance that I need to apply for a visa.

The department’s staff are not able to provide you with legal advice or assistance concerning visa applications. Legal advice can only be obtained from people that are legally qualified, such as lawyers and registered migration agents.

3. Australian employers only need to sign documents that state that they will give the overseas employee a job.

Wrong. the Australian employer must provide the department with information concerning their business history and financial position, among other things, before they can be considered for approval as an employer of overseas employees. When the Australian employer is approved as a standard business sponsor they are subject to sponsorship obligations. For more details on sponsorship obligations contact Alan Rigas Solicitors on +61 2 9635 5333.

4. Once the visa is approved the non-resident can work wherever they like.

Wrong. The approved visa only allows the main applicant to work for the Australian business who was approved as their employer. If the main applicant decides to change employers, they must be named in an approved nomination granted to the new employer before commencing in the role. They may also need to apply for a new visa.

5. The overseas employee just needs to be sponsored by an Australian business.

The overseas worker’s position must be a position that has been gazetted by the Minister for Immigration for temporary work visas. Among other requirements, their salary must exceed the minimum wage as gazetted by the Minister. They must also demonstrate they have the skills and ability to undertake the work that the position requires.

6. Finding a non-resident employees is difficult.

Australian employers looking for qualified staff often overlook the vast number of foreigners in Australia on a variety of visas, including working holiday visas. Working holiday visa holders are able to work for Australian employers for a set period of time while in Australia. This program can provide Australian businesses a way to trial an overseas worker before deciding to sponsor them on a longer-term work visa. Finding a non-resident employee can be as easy as contacting recruitment agencies or posting a notice on websites targeted to foreigners.

Take care that the non-resident has permission to work.

7. There are too many obligations when employing non residents.

Australian employers have the same legal obligations to overseas employees as they do to Australian employees. An Australian employer does have a number of other obligations to the department concerning overseas workers. These obligations are in place in order to ensure the integrity of the visa system. A number of these obligations relate to protecting the non-resident and repatriation if the relationship ends.

Such matters can be covered in the contract of employment so all parties are aware of their respective obligations. As long as the Australian employer keeps the department informed of the employment arrangements and any changes in circumstances, the employment of an overseas employee can be similar as that of an Australian resident or citizen.

Visa mistakes often lead to visa refusals. If you require a visa review contact Alan Rigas Solicitors on 02 9635 5333.