Contracting in Australia using an ABN on a 457 Visa

Whilst it is possible to contract in Australia on a 457 visa, it's not possible to do this using an ABN (Australian Business Number). 457 visas can only be issued by an Australian company which is an Approved Sponsor with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). This license entitles them to sponsor foreign workers for a defined list of job titles provided they are paid market rate or higher. The 457 visa holder must become the employee of the sponsoring company. They must also be paid PAYG (Pay As You Go). This prevents the person from utilising an ABN or Self-Employed status to try to offset their taxable income with expenses.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has even changed the rules on LAFHA to prevent it being used by visa holders. You can explore the tax rules for 457 Visa holders more here. The only way for foreign workers to contract in Australia using an ABN is on a different visa type that isn't tied to an employer like a 175 Visa. This is a much longer and slower process than 457 sponsorship.