Self Sponsor 457

If you do not want to be sponsored by another company or if you cannot find an employer to sponsor your visa, then the self sponsored 457 visa could be an option for you. This allows you to basically create a business and have the business sponsor you for your own 457 visa. If you are looking for an employer to sponsor you, have a read through this article which explains the obligations and requirements to sponsor a 457 visa applicant.

There are obviously a lot of rules and regulations that must be met, but broadly:

  • It must be a Genuine Business

The company that you set up must be in operation. You could not just set up a shell company and have no work flow through the business. The Department of Immigration will look into if the company is actually trading in Australia.

  • The company must be an entity (it cannot be a sole trader)

You can’t just open an ABN as a sole trader and sponsor yourself.

  • Skilled Employment

The Job being filled must be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List  or Short-term Skilled Occupation List

  • Labour Market Testing

You must demonstrate that an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident cannot fill the role you are nominating.

  • You must be qualified to work in the position

To nominate yourself for the position, you must have the educational qualifications and work experience to fill the role. For example if you are nominating yourself to work as a carpenter, but do not have any actual work experience or qualifications, you will most likely not be approved to fill the role.

This can be a very complex and difficult process. As you will not only be required to set up a company that meets the sponsorship requirements, but you will also be required to provide the documents to apply for the visa from both the employer and applicant.

Important to note:

Please note that you cannot just create a company and apply for the visa and not actually work for the company. If you do use the self sponsor pathway and do not actually operate a business, then you will most likely have your sponsorship cancelled or refused. You will then have 90 days to find another sponsor. Once you have your approved business sponsorship cancelled it makes it very difficult for you to create another company that is allowed to sponsor foreign employees.

Duration of visa:

The Immigration Department will initially grant your initial visa for 18 months, to give you the option to develop the business. If your business is in operation and trading strongly after 18 months, you can apply again and your visa will be issued for an additional 4 years.

Pathway to Permanent Residency:

The 457 visa can place you on a pathway to PR.  After 2 years on the 457 visa you may be eligible to switch to the permanent employer nominated 186 visa.

Standard Requirements

If you choose to go down the 457 self sponsor path, then you are still required to meet the same requirements of the normal 457 visa process. There are generally three steps to applying for a 457 visa. However if you are sponsoring yourself, then you must first create a company.

  1. Create a Company

  2. The Standard Business Sponsorship

  3. Nomination

  4. Visa Application

The company must first be approved as a standard business sponsor to be able to nominate or “sponsor” an international worker, and apply for the visa, however all of these steps can be lodged at the same time.

Step 1: Creating a company

When creating a company it is important to note that it cannot be a sole trader. It is possible that you would need to register an Australian Proprietary Limited Company (Pty Ltd). The company is completely separate from the individual, which allows it to meet the Department of Immigrations sponsorship requirements. It may be of benefit to consult professionals to assist in setting up your own incorporated company in a way so that you meet all of the Immigration Department requirements.

There are many documents that you may need to obtain include:

  • Registration of a company name
  • Certificate of registration of a company
  • Company Constitution
  • Consent to Act as a Director and Secretary
  • Share Certificates
  • Bank Account Documents
  • Australian Business Number
  • Tax File Number
  • Australian Company Number
  • GST

+ others

Step 2: The company must apply to become a standard business sponsor

To be an approved standard business sponsor, the company must demonstrate that is operating lawfully in Australia. The company cannot just be created as a shell company and not actually do business. It must operate.

To be successful the employer must show:

•   The business is operating in a lawful manner

•   The business can meet its financial obligations

•   The business is devoted to training their staff

If the company has been operating for less than a year, the company will only be able to obtain 18 month sponsorship approval. The company will then need to apply for additional 4 year standard business sponsor in the future.

The current visa application charge to apply to become a standard business sponsor is $420 (*as of June 2015)

Some documents that the company may be required to provide:

  • Business address and local phone number
  • Business Name Cert and ABN Cert
  • Documents relating to the set up of the business (company, partnership, joint venture etc)
  • Business Cards
  • Australian Web page
  • Business plan
  • Cash flow projections
  • Organisational chart and employment plan
  • Audible training plan
  • Bank Statements from business accountant
  • Business activity statement (if required)

 Step 3: Nominating yourself as an employee

Once successful in receiving approval as a business sponsor, the company can then nominate a foreign employee (in this case yourself) to fill a specific role. The Department of Home Affairs will decide if the employer fulfills the nomination requirements.

To be successful in nominating an employee the employer must demonstrate that:

•   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)

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

The current nomination application charge payable to Department of Home Affairs is $330 (*as of June 2015)

You may be required to provide the following:

  • An employment contract including a description of the specific position
  • Evaluation of market salary rates
  • Labour market testing


Minimum Wage Requirement

The wage you are being offered is at least equal to or better the prevailing wage and at least $53 900.

Labour Market Testing

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

Step 4: Applying for the visa

After the employee has been nominated to fill a position, they may then apply for a 457 employer sponsored visa.

To be successfully granted the visa the employee must demonstrate that they:

•   Possess the required skills, education and qualification to fill the position

•   Meet the required English language proficiency requirement

•   Are of good character and health

•   Have health insurance required for the duration of the visa  

The current visa application charge payable to Department of Home Affairs is $1060 (*as of June 2015)

Visa Processing Times:

The processing times can vary, but the current processing time as listed on Department of Home Affairs website is around 2 – 3 months. If you apply for this visa within Australia, you would be granted a bridging visa until a decision has been made on your application, that would allow you to remain in Australia.

If you are interested in finding our more information on the self sponsor 457 visa or any other migration pathways, please feel free to contact Pathway to Aus on:


W: Apply or Enquire Online

P: +61 7 55 265 900