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Employment Visas

Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa - Subclass 457

The 457 visa is the most common work visa program that employers use to sponsor and recruit overseas skilled workers on a temporary basis for a period between 3 months to 4 years.

The 457 visa is primarily intended to provide streamlined temporary entry arrangements for Australian and Overseas businesses to fill skill shortages that cannot be met from the local labour market. The 457 visa is valid for up to 4 years and work experience gained in Australia on this visa may lead to permanent residency, usually after 2 years if the visa holder continues to be sponsored by the same employer.

Basic Requirements

To qualify for a 457 visa, the applicant must have an employer who is willing to sponsor them. There are three steps involved in the application process:

Step 1: Business sponsorship

An employer must lodge an application to become a business sponsor. Once approved , the sponsorship is usually valid for 3 years. Among other things, an employer must:

  • Demonstrate that It is a lawfully operating business
  • Agree to the number of 457 overseas workers to be nominated within 3 years
  • Satisfy the training benchmark by demonstrating recent expenditure (equivalent to 1% of the annual payroll) allocated to training Australian employees
  • Overseas businesses are not required to meet training benchmark but must seek to employ overseas worker to establish a business operation in Australia and/or will fulfil obligations for a contract in Australia.

Step 2: Nomination 

The employer must then:

  • Nominate an eligible skilled occupation on the 457 occupation list
  • Provide evidence that  labour market testing has been undertaken  (if applicable)
  • Demonstrate that the nominated employee will be paid a minimum salary of $53,900 per annum, and at a level consistent with the market rate salary applicable to an Australian employee within the Australian labour market

Step 3: Visa application

The individual must then apply for a visa application inside or outside Australia, and demonstrate that they have:

  • The requisite skills, qualifications, experience and employment background to match the nominated position
  • (Certain trade occupations may require a formal skills assessment) 
  • Vocational English language ability (exemption available for certain passport holders)
  • Any relevant licenses or registration required for the nominated position (if applicable)
  • An adequate level of health insurance in Australia
  • Satisfied certain health and character requirements

Employer Nomination Scheme - Subclass 186

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) enables Australian employers to sponsor highly skilled workers to live and work permanently in Australia.

Employers can employ skilled workers from overseas or temporary residents who are already here visiting or working in Australia.

ENS visa has 3 streams:

  • Temporary Residence Transition Stream – Choose this stream if you hold a 457 visa and has worked for your employer for 2 years in the nominated occupation and your employer wants to offer you a permanent position in that occupation.
  • Direct Entry Stream – Choose this stream if you have never, or only briefly, worked in the Australian labour market, or have not held a subclass 457 visa for the last two years with your nominating employer, or if you are applying directly from outside Australia.
  • Agreement Stream – Choose this stream if you are being sponsored by an employer through a tailored and negotiated labour agreement or regional migration agreement.

To apply for this visa, you should: 

  • be nominated by an approved employer
  • be younger than 50 years of age
  • meet the English language requirements
  • meet the skills, experience and qualifications requirements

There are exemptions relating to age, skills and English language ability. These depend on your nominated occupation, salary and past work experience.

The benefit of this visa is that it will allow you and any dependent family members’ permanent residency in Australia. 

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) helps Australian businesses in regional area of Australia to sponsor overseas skilled workers to live and work permanently in regional areas of Australia.

RSMS visa enjoys great concession than ENS visa however the RSMS visa is subject to cancellation if the employee does not remain in the regional area or working for the employer for a minimum of 2 year.

RSMS visa has 2 streams:

The Employer

  • must be actively operating in Regional Australia located outside the major metropolitan centres of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Melbourne. However ALL of Western Australia, South Australia, ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania are considered regional.
  • provide a job offer for at least 2 years
  • the position is being remunerated at a market rate level with the legal award as minimum
  • arranges certification by the relevant Regional Certifying Body

The Regional Certifying Bodies

  • must certify that the position is in high demand in the regional area, each RCB has their own rules and charges for processing this part of the application which usually take 1 to 2 months

The Employee:

  • has an occupation listed in ANZSCO 1-3 major groups
  • be younger than 50 years of age
  • has Competent English language ability
  • has comparable Australian qualification and/or experience 
  • undergo formal skills assessment for certain trade occupations

Temporary Residence Transition Stream

If you hold a 457 visa and has worked for your employer for 2 years in the nominated occupation, then:

  • your skills do not need to be assessed 
  • no regional certification required
  • has Vocational English language ability

The benefit of this visa is that it will allow you and any dependent family members’ permanent residency in Australia. 

Training and Research Visa – Subclass 402

The Training and Research visa is for people who want to come to Australia on a temporary basis to undertake occupational training, conduct or observe research as a visiting academic or participate in a professional development program.

The Occupational Trainee stream is for people who require structured training to either enhance their skills in their current occupation, area of tertiary study or field of expertise. 

A detailed structured training plan for each individual trainee must be developed.

There is no skill assessment required and though not mandatory, clients should have sufficient English level (4.5 IELTS).

The duration of 402 visa is usually 1 year and up to maximum of 2 years.

The training can be paid or unpaid. If it is paid, it should be at Award rate. If it is unpaid, the maximum duration from 3 to 6 months.

This visa is beneficial to employer who cannot satisfy 457 visa salary requirement or the employee who cannot meet the 457 skills level. 

Alternatively, this is beneficial for people who need Australian work experience in GSM if they are short of 5 points and just need 1 year Australian work experience.


This visa allows you to:

  • take part in structured workplace-based training to enhance your skills in your current occupation, area of tertiary study, or field of expertise (Occupational Trainee stream)
  • participate in a professional development training program in Australia after being invited to do so Professional Development stream
  • observe or participate in an Australian research project after being invited to do so (Research stream).


You might be able to get this visa if you are one of the following:

  • an occupational trainee (Occupational Trainee stream)
  • a professional, manager or government official (Professional Development stream)
  • a professional academic (Research stream)

You must meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply.