The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) is a popular visa category for applicants who are sponsored by an approved Australian company. What most applicants are unaware of is that this visa can also be used by overseas businesses wishing to expand into Australia and employ foreign citizens.
A prospective overseas business must demonstrate that they are lawfully operating outside of Australia and that the business has a legitimate need to establish an Australian operation.
In order to prove that the company has a legitimate need to operate in Australia, the owners must produce a detailed business plan explaining the expansion strategy.
This legitimate need will further be established where the owners can produce evidence of either:
- Contractual agreements for the supply of goods and services to Australian-based businesses, indicating that local businesses would benefit from a local operation being established, or
- An agreement to enter into a joint venture between the overseas business and an Australian-based entity
Once the overseas business has been classified as a sponsor, it may then nominate positions for which foreign citizens may apply. The nomination application must demonstrate that the position requires suitable skills and complies with local labour market conditions, such as salary and working conditions.
There are no age restrictions for this visa and the English language requirements are greatly reduced in comparison to other visa categories. However, applicants must still demonstrate that they have the suitable skills, qualifications and experience the position requires.
The 457 visa is a temporary visa, which allows successful applicants to live and work in Australia for four years. After this time, the holder can apply for an extension.
If the employee has lived and worked in Australia for two years and meets all of the relevant criteria, they may apply for permanent residence.