+61 2 9894 2515

visa-featWe know how important it is to have your people on the ground as soon as possible. We are registered Migration Agents with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (‘DIAC’). Our immigration lawyers and consultants specialise in employer sponsored and business visas, assistance with skills assessment and handle one-off or high volume cases for companies.

Visa options for foreign companies sending employees to Australia or Australian companies hiring non residents would typically be the

  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) – subclass 400 visa, for short-term highly specialised, non-ongoing work, generally up to 6 weeks
  • Visitor visa –subclass 600 for people who want to travel for business
  • Temporary Business (Long Stay) – subclass 457 visa, this is the appropriate visa for longer term assignments and for staff to work and live in Australia.

We will work with you to determine what options you have available, which one best suits you and apply for the visas. There are separate implications and on-going requirements for a Branch and a Subsidiary. It is important to get it right the first time.

Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) - Subclass 400 Visa

This is a special visa category for short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work. Stay is generally permitted for up to six weeks and, in some circumstances, three months. The applicant must be outside Australia when an application is made for the visa and when the visa is decided. The visa comprises three streams, the most relevant of which is the Highly Specialised Work Stream.  This enables holders to perform short-term, non-ongoing, highly specialised work where the skills required are not otherwise readily available in Australia.  Holders of this visa are not allowed to participate in work other than that outlined in their visa application.

Visitor Visa – Subclass 600 Visa

This visa is for business people travelling to Australia for a short business visit. This includes making a general business or employment enquiry, negotiations or participating in a conference. Visa holders are not allowed to work or provide services in Australia.

Temporary Business (Long Stay) – Subclass 457 Visa

The Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) visa is the visa program most commonly used by businesses to sponsor employees wishing to work in Australia on a temporary basis.

Some of the key requirements are:

  • Minimum salary threshold

    Employers are required to pay the higher of $53,900 (or the market salary for an Australian equivalent worker.

  • English Language Ability

    From 1 July 2013, all principal applicants for a 457 visa must satisfy the English language requirement unless they will be paid a base salary of $96,400 per annum or higher.

    Applicants may be exempt if they:

    • hold a passport from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand or the United States;
    • completed at least 5 consecutive years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where instruction was in English;
    • are nominated in an occupation where mandatory registration/licensing/membership is required, and that registration body does not require English language competency to approve applications;
    • have undertaken an IELTS examination in the last 3 years and achieved a Vocational English score.

DIAC specifies various other obligations that an employer must meet on an on-going basis, including training benchmarks which requires an employer to spend a percentage of the total payroll costs on training local employees.

The Government has recently proposed changes to the Subclass 457 Visa Program to introduce Labour Market Testing for certain occupations and has announced greater scrutiny and monitoring.