Requirements for Employers to Sponsor 457 Visa Applicant

The Employer Nominated 457 visa is one of the most common work visas in Australia. In order to do apply for a 457 visa, you are required to have an employer that will “sponsor your visa”. The term “sponsoring your visa” refers to an employer applying to become a standard business sponsor and nominating you for the position. If you do not already have an employer that is willing to sponsor you, have a read through this article for tips on how to find an employer.

It is very common for an employer to agree to sponsor  457 visa holder without fully understanding the requirements, only to back out of the sponsorship when they are fully informed about what is required. This article was written so that potential 457 visa applicants can explain to their employer what is required of them to sponsor you visa.

 There are four important questions to consider before applying for a 457 visa:

  • Will my employer go through the trouble of sponsoring my visa? If your employer is not willing to sponsor your visa, then it is not worth thinking about the 457 visa as an option. Some employers will simply not want to go through the hassle of becoming a standard business sponsor and nominating you for the position. They will also not to pay the required fees for this.
  • Is the job on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List – STSOL list? Not all jobs allow you to apply for the 457 visa, even if your employer is willing to sponsor you. The Australian Government only allows those who are in a job that is in demand to apply for a 457 visa. These jobs are listed on the STSOL list and are updated regularly by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to meet skilled shortages in Australia.
  • Will my employer pay me at least the Australian market rate salary? You must be paid a minimum of $53 900 per year or at least the Australian market salary for someone in your field. Please note that $53 900 per annum is the absolute minimum that the employer can pay you. If you are in a position that demands a higher wage then you will need to be paid more. This is to ensure that employers are not choosing to underpay foreign employees over Australian employees.

If you answered no to any of the above questions, then you should talk to a Registered Migration Agent or consider other options to remain in Australia.

If you have answered yes to all of the above questions, then it is important that you explain the requirements and costs to your employer. If you explain the process clearly, your employer will be more be more inclined to sponsor you. Employers may hesitate to offer to sponsor your visa if they believe that it will take up their time with paper work and cost too much money.

The 457 Employer Sponsored Visa is obtained in 3 steps:

  1. The company that you work for must apply to become a standard business sponsor by submitting a sponsorship application (If your employer is already a standard business sponsor, then they may not be required to go through the first step)
  2. The company must then submit a nomination application for you to fill the position
  3. You will then apply to the Department of Home Affairs for the 457 Visa

These three steps can all be submitted at the same time.

It is in this first step and second steps (applying for standard business sponsorship and nomindation) where the most work is required from your employer:

To be successful in applying to become a standard business sponsor, the employer must demonstrate that:

  • The business is operating in a lawful manner
  • The business can meet its financial obligations and sponsorship obligations
  • The business is devoted to training their staff and meets the required training benchmarks

Common Documents that your employer may be required to provide:

  • Completed Immigration form 1196
  • ABN Certificate
  • Registered Business Name Certificate
  • Documents relating to the set up of the business (company, partnership, joint venture etc)
  • Financial Reports such as profit or loss statement or annual report for last financial year
  • BAS statements or tax returns
  • Receipts for training expenses
  • Payroll Receipts
  • Evidence the business meets the training benchmark requirements

+ Other Required documents

Training Benchmark Requirement

To be eligible to become a standard business sponsor, your employer must demonstrate that they meet training benchmark requirements. Your employer must prove that they meet either Training Benchmark A or B:

  • Training benchmark A: recent expenditure in the last 12 months to the equivalent of at least 2 % of the payroll of the business, in payments allocated to an industry training fund that operates in the same industry as the business
  • Training benchmark B: recent expenditure to the equivalent of at least 1% of the payroll of the business, in the provision of training to employees of the business who are Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

Common examples of ways your employer can meet the training benchmarks

  • Paying the course fees for an Australian to study a course useful to the business
  • Funding a scholarship
  • Employing Apprenticeships or Graduates
  • Employing someone to train Australian employees
  • Specified on-the-job training
  • Attending training conferences

The second step (nominating the employee) also requires a lot of participation from the employer:

To be successful in nominating an employee the employer must demonstrate that there is a genuine need to hire a foreign employer. They will need to demonstrate that they cannot find a suitable:

•   The position that the sponsored employee must fill is on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List

•   The employee must show the need to hire a foreign worker

•   The employee must be paid a wage of at least $53 900 (*As of Dec 2014) or above the market salary for the position

•   The foreign employee is receiving employment remuneration equal to or above that of an Australian citizen.

You may be required to provide the following:

  • An employment contract including a description of the specific position
  • Evaluation that the foreign employee is being paid the market salary
  • Labour market testing

Minimum Salary Requirements

The wage you are being offered must be at least $53,900, however if the market salary is above this, then you will need to be paid this market salary.

Labour Market Testing

You  will need to also prove that there are no Australians that are eligible for the position.


  • Standard Business Sponsorship Application Fee: $420

  • Nomination Fee: $330

  • Visa Application Charge: $1060

Other costs include:

  • IELTS test (if required)
  • Medical examination (if required)
  • Skills Assessment (if required)
  • Migration Service Fees (if required)


Obligations of the Sponsor

  • Your employer must meet the training requirements
  • Your employer must cooperate with inspectors from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection if they request any documents from the business.
  • Your employer must ensure that your condition of employment is no less favourable than Australian employees
  • Your employer is required to pay return travel cost for 457 visa holders
  • Your employer must pay the cost to locate and remove any foreign employees they sponsor if they become illegal in Australia
  • Your employer must maintain records for at least 5 years after the 457 visa holder leaves Australia
  • Your employer is required to notify the Department of Home Affairs of any changes in the circumstances of employment. Similarly your employer is required to respond to all notifications from the Department of Home Affairs
  • Your employer must not seek to recover any sponsorship or recruitment costs from the employee.

+ Other Possibly obligations

When you are discussing the possibility of your employer sponsoring your visa it is essential that you be as clear and upfront as possible. If you have any questions feel free to contact Pathway to Aus: E: P: +61 (07) 55 265 900 Or Enquire online or comment below