Standard Business Sponsorship | Skilled Worker Visa 457

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Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS)

Whether you are an International or Australian business, an established company or a start-up - you need the right people working towards your business success..

About Standard Business Sponsorship:

If you wish to sponsor an employee from overseas for a Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa, subclass 457, you will need to lodge a nomination with the Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP).  This is where DIBP assesses the position to be filled by the temporary business entrant, including whether the nominated role is a genuine position within the organisation.  We are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of nominations that are being refused or significantly delayed where a case officer at DIBP is not satisfied that position meet the “genuine position” criteria.  

Whilst any one of the scenarios below may not necessarily result in your application being targeted or refused, it is important you understand why the provision of additional documents may be recommended to satisfy DIBP that your nominated position is genuine.  We have extensive experience in this area, and can help you get the best possible outcome – contact us for more information.  

Q. What type of position can the company nominate?

There are three main criteria to be met, when your company is nominating a position. It must be consistent with the nature of your business. The duties must be consistent with the skill level and the tasks of the nominated occupation; and the position must not have been created just to help your nominee get a subclass 457 visa.

Q. Are there occupations that may be more challenging to nominate?

Yes! Certain occupations attract a higher level of attention from DIBP, and hence may require more detailed supporting evidence. These occupations include the following:

Cafe and Restaurant Managers – DIBP policy is that duties should include the planning of menus as well as the planning events or functions.  DIBP will also want evidence that the business is operating as a cafe or restaurant and not as a takeaway or fast-food outlet.

Program or Project Administrators, or Specialist Managers NEC – these occupations have commonly been used as a "catch all" options for positions which did not clearly fit in a specific occupation.

Customer Service Manager – DIBP’s position is that this occupation requires the sponsored person to be responsible for managing a team of customer service staff. If your nominee is the sole customer service representative in the business, the nomination may be refused.  

Q. Does the nationality of the employee matter?

Nationality of applicant - applicants from certain countries may merit closer examination by DIBP, particularly if they have no prior connection to the business. Case officers may ask how the applicant was identified and why they are the best person for the role. DIBP may suspect that the 457 applicant has paid for the position to be offered to them, or that they are a relative.

Q. Can an overseas company apply as a Sponsor?

Businesses without a formal operating base or representation in Australia may apply to bring employees to Australia to establish a business operation in Australia or to fulfill obligations for a contract or other business activity in Australia.

Q. How can our company demonstrate there is a genuine need for the nominated position?

The indicators that there is a genuine need for a nominated position might include:

  • evidence that the position previously existed in the business;
  • evidence that the position is consistent with the nature of the business;
  • increased business activity such as an increase in revenue;
  • evidence of increased reliance on overtime for existing employees;
  • a new contractual obligation or project secured by the business;
  • business plans indicating an expansion of business activities.

Q. Can I start a new business and sponsor myself?

Self-sponsorship or sponsorship of a relative of the business owner – in these cases, DIBP may suspect the nominated position is being created purely for the purpose of securing entry for the owner or family member, and will seek further evidence to prove that the position is genuine.

Q. What salary  should be paid to the employee?

A low salary level - whilst 457 applicants must currently be paid a base salary that is over $53,900, DIBP may be suspicious if the base rate is exactly this amount or is very close to it.  Unless you can prove that the market rate for a similar position is exactly $53,900, there may be a concern that the position offered is not genuine.

A high salary to obtain an English language exemption – If you offer a high salary (currently over $96,400), DIBP may suspect that it has been inflated simply to avoid meeting the English language requirement so that your nominee can secure a 457 visa. 

Q. Does the nationality of the employee matter?

To be approved as a sponsor, the employer must demonstrate that the business: 

  • Is a lawfully and actively operating business
  • Will be the direct employer of the temporary business entrant, as evidenced by an employment contract.
  • Businesses that operate in Australia must meet benchmarks relating to the training of Australian citizens and permanent residents. 
  • Employers must attest that they have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment towards employing local labour and non-discriminatory employment practices.
  • Nothing adverse must be known about the business.
  • Employers must agree to abide by the sponsorship obligations. Read more about Sponsorship Obligations under the section "Compliance and Cessations".

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