Subclass 457 update

The Subclass 457 visa is arguably one of the most utilised of the visa subclasses within Australia. Figures released by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in July 2015 stated that the number of Subclass 457 visa applications lodged between June 2014 and March 2015 rose by 15%, from 35,440 applications to 40,870.
Employers who wish to sponsor employees under the 457 visa subclass should be aware that it is not only the visa holders that are subject to strict conditions upon approval of the applications. Under the 457 visa scheme, approved business sponsors are required to meet certain obligations in order to maintain their sponsorship. These include ensuring equivalent terms of employment between their Australian workers and their sponsored workers, ensuring proper records are kept, ensuring proper salaries are paid, meeting the training benchmark, and ensuring that employees are undertaking the roles for which they have been sponsored. A full list and explanation of the responsibilities is available at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
Employers need to be aware that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection can, and do, regularly conduct audits of business sponsors to ensure that these obligations are being met. The Department officers have authority to attend workplaces without any prior warning to the employer, and request documents and information to ensure that the employer is meeting their obligation. Occasionally inspectors will request the information immediately, but generally will provide some time for the employer to provide the requested documents. If the information provided shows that the employer has not been meeting their obligations, the business can find itself sanctioned from sponsor further employees, or worse, have their sponsorship cancelled altogether. This in turn negatively impacts on the visa status of the sponsored employee.
At Migration Guru we regularly help employer’s to not only better understand their sponsorship obligations, but can also assist with the sometimes complicated issues that arise when a business has been audited. Our team of experienced Migration Agents can assist an employer to understand exactly what is required to be provided to the Department, as well as working with the employer to prepare submissions to address any shortcomings uncovered by a business audit. We can further provide training to employers to ensure they meet all their obligations in the future to ensure any further monitoring from the Department is a stress free experience for both employers and visa holders.

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