Employer Sponsored 457 Visas – For How Long is the Business Sponsorship and the Visa Valid?

Under Australia’s subclass 457 visa program a business that is approved as a Business Sponsor may nominate overseas workers within the approval period without having to lodge a new Business Sponsor application, so long as the number of permitted nominations agreed to by the Department of Immigration in the Business Sponsor application have not been exhausted.

Once the approval period has expired, the business must make a new Business Sponsor application before nominating any further overseas workers for a 457 visa.

In other words, the approval period for a business as a 457 Business Sponsor will vary according to the business: the approval is valid until the earlier of:

• The number of nominations requested in the Business Sponsor application has been used up, OR
• The business sponsor time period ends,

whichever is the earlier.

Overseas and Australian businesses that are more than 12 months old will usually be granted an approval period of up to 3 years.

Those with an “Accredited Sponsor” status will be approved for 6 years.

Newly established business (those less than 12 months old) will be granted an approval period of 12 months. Note: This reduced approval period for new businesses took effect on the 1st of July 2013.

The validity period for the nominee’s 457 visa is also affected by the same amendment: while it is possible to request a validity period of between 3 months and 4 years in any 457 visa application a nominee sponsored by a new business (ie one that is less than 12 months old) will be granted a 457 visa that is valid for 12 months.

If a new business wishes to retain the nominee for more than 12 months, it will therefore be necessary to lodge a new Business Sponsor, Nomination and Visa Application before the 12 month period ends.

Note: A risk issue for a Business Sponsor between the date of approval and renewing the 457 Business Sponsor status will be ensuring the businesses has adhered to the contents of the training plan that was submitted with the Business Sponsor application. Compliance with the training plan submitted with the initial Business Sponsor application will be checked when the renewal application is being processed by the Department of Immigration.