I’m currently on a SC457 visa is there an opportunity to change employers?

We’re often approached by current SC457 visa holders because they want to leave their current employer and work for a third party. Their reasoning includes: they may be unhappy with their employer, want to change positions, or they have simply received a better offer, more money etc.
The good news is that it is possible to change employers, but there are rules and regulations, which must be followed. This is because your current 457 visa has a condition attached to it (“8107”), which means that you must work only for the employer who (most recently) nominated you. Should you start working with another employer while your current employer’s nomination is in place you will be breaching your visa conditions and risk having your visa cancelled and/or future visa applications refused because you haven’t substantially complied with your visa conditions.

Additionally, the new employer risks fines and sanctions if it employs a visa holder in breach of his/her work conditions.

If and when you find a new employer, one willing to employ (and nominate) you, the business must be (or must become) an approved Business Sponsor and then “nominate” you for the position they have for you. They must also be able to show that their business genuinely needs you and produce evidence of Labour Market Testing with respect to the position.

A request can be made for the new nomination to be linked to your current 457 visa and you may move to the (desired) new employer once the new nomination has been approved, however you cannot move prior to that time.

I have three passports can I travel on two of them to be able to get more than 2 working holiday visas (SC417)?

There are no provisions for someone to use a dual passport and seek a further Working Holiday Visa, after 2 prior visas. The regulations allow for an individual who meets all the other visa requirements to be granted 2 separate working holiday (SC417) visas – if the appropriate regional work (e.g. fruit picking) is completed during the first SC417 visa period. The Department views breaches of the legislation very seriously and the Department won’t hesitate to impose a three year ban on a person who makes a fraudulent application, even if they are using a second (different) passport. In a worst case scenario, it’s even possible that the DIBP may regard such action as constituting identity fraud and ban you, as the applicant from applying for any other visa type for a period of 10 years.

How long does it take to become an Approved Sponsor?

Once all the appropriate documents are properly lodged, it can take as long as 8 weeks (especially where the company is a new company setup), but often the processing time is much shorter than this, at around 4 weeks.

We are an Approved Sponsor and have a current SBS in place – how long do we have to notify the Department of changes in key conditions?

Approved sponsors have 28 days to notify the Department on the relevant Form, which is a significantly less onerous requirement than it used to be. Prior to 2015 that time limit was 10 days. The notification covers material matters like changes to business detail/s, changes in sponsored employees work duties; termination of employment and others.

Can I get an extension for my SC457 visa beyond 4-years?

Visas expire after the validity date has been reached, and cannot be extended by any means, as there is no provision in the law to do so – you will thus have to apply for a new visa.

Once your current SC457 visa has expired you will need to have a new visa in place or leave the country (you have 28 days to leave once the visa expires). It’s best to start considering applying for a new visa least 6 months prior to your current visa expiring. This will allow you adequate time if you require a skills assessment etc (i.e. if you want to apply for PR).

You must also apply for your new visa before your old one expires, by doing this you will be granted a bridging visa with the same work conditions as your SC457 visa, and that will allow you to stay onshore whilst your new visa application is being processed.

I have received a visa cancellation notification, what are my options as it has given me 28 days to depart Australia?

If you want to stay in Australia you must appeal against the Department’s decision within 21 days. There are few, if any, grounds for an extension of the 21-day period so you must start preparing for that merits review immediately. Given the intricacies of the appeal process it is important to contact a immigration lawyer or registered migration agent to assist you with the merits review as the process is complex and there may only be one opportunity to plead that successfully.

We really like Australia, can I transfer from a tourist visa to a SC457 visa?

Yes, but only provided your tourist visa doesn’t have a condition 8503 (“No further stay”) attached to it. A condition “8503” means you are not permitted to apply for any other visa whilst you are onshore in Australia.

If you do apply for a 457 visa whilst on a tourist visa, the bridging visa associated with your application will have a no work condition attached to it, and you won’t be able to work until your 457 visa is granted – unless you apply for a specific bridging visa with no restrictive conditions – citing your compelling need to work or by citing financial difficulties, which once granted will mean you can work.

Which occupations specifically listed on the CSOL (Consolidated Sponsored Occupation list) can I apply for?

All occupations on the CSOL are potentially available to SC457 visa applicants.

Is it still possible to seek and get a sponsorship, using an Recognition of Prior Learning qualification

Many Registered Training Organisations RTO’s) in Australia offer Australian qualifications via recognition of prior learning. These qualifications provide visa applicants with a fantastic opportunity to meet the “skilled level” required for a 457 visa, which is a temporary sponsored work Australian Visa.

My SC457 is expiring, can I travel home with my family because of a family tragedy?

Yes you can, although there a number of conditions to that which you will need to make sure of prior to travelling – if you need assistance please call us?

Can my partner work when we’re in Australia?

Every 457 visa has a primary applicant, in this instance – you, and where the primary applicant’s partner makes a joint application for a 457 visa or makes a subsequent application to be joined to the primary applicant’s 457 visa, that secondary applicant will be granted a 457 visa with no work restrictions.

I have just been retrenched. I am on a SC457 visa and luckily an old mate’s company has offered to help and provide me with employment. Will that work?

If you leave your current employment, you have 90 days to find a new sponsor. Unfortunately though, taking part in a remunerated trial period of employment will result in a breach of the conditions on your current visa – which are that you must only work for the current sponsor.

Worst case, is that If you do take part in a “trial” period of remunerated employment, your current visa may be cancelled. It’s a difficult problem for employment seekers on 457 visas once they have left their sponsored employment to work out how to demonstrate their skills to a potential new employer. A possible solution to this issue may be to enter into a written agreement with a potential employer that spells out that you are not employed, are not being remunerated and are simply present on the employer’s premises to demonstrate your skills and undergo an interview.

If that new employer then offers you a position, ensure that the employer becomes an approved sponsor (if not one already) and nominates you immediately for the position so that you can move into paid employment again as soon as possible. Remember that you cannot work for the new employer until the Department approves the new nomination.

When and how do I apply for PR, after I get a SC457 visa?

The following visas provide the most common pathway for 457 visa holders (DIBP figures) to reach PR:

  • SC 186 – Employer Nominated Scheme
  • SC 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
  • SC189 – Skilled Independent
  • SC 190 – Skilled Nominated

SC186 and SC187 visas can be accessed via Direct Entry or via a Temporary Residence Transition stream (TRT) where the SC457-visa holder has been on the SC457 visa and has worked for the same employer for at least two years.

A Direct Entry application may be lodged anytime before your two years is up but you will require a skills assessment for the SC186 option and may require one for the SC187 option depending on your occupation and qualifications.

There is no skills assessment requirement for the TRT.

SC189 and SC190 visas require skills assessments, EOI’s and an invitation to apply. The advantages of these visas though is that no evidence of licensing is required if you work in a licensed trade such as Carpenter, RACE engineer, fitter, plumber etc, and you’re also not reliant on an employer nomination as you are with the SC186 and SC187 options.

Independent Skilled Visas

Partner & Spouse Visas

Working Holiday Visas

General Questions