Immigration is one of the primary concerns for any contractor hoping to start working in Australia. Permanent employees will find it easy to get their Australian work permit because they’ll receive “sponsorship” for their entire stay from their prospective employer.
The Australian work permit, known more commonly as the 457 work visa, is dependent on this sponsorship because it confirms that you’ll be earning money during your stay in the country. Contracting in Australia is more difficult because the work permit is tied to one employer, so you have to change it to suit each new contract. Thankfully, umbrella companies provide a convenient and effective solution to this issue.
As your permanent employer, umbrella companies are able to sponsor you for your Australian work permit provided they’re on the register of approved sponsors. Many different companies offer this service, because it makes contracting in Australia infinitely simpler and saves you the hassle of continuous paperwork. Instead of changing your work permit every time you get a new contract, you can just work how you ordinarily would under the same permit. They protect you from the bureaucratic “rain” of legal compliance with the Australian immigration authorities. They can even deal with the Australian Embassy directly.
Through their service you may be able to use a business visa to get started quickly and then transition to a work visa in Australia. It depends on your specific visa requirements. Be aware you may have to register for a residence permit in Australia.
Approximately 4 weeks
The visa that the employee is currently on would determine if they will get a bridging visa to remain in country. If the applicant is in Australia and holding a valid visa when the 457 visa application is lodged, they will automatically be granted a bridging visa that will allow them to remain in Australia until their 457 visa is finalised. Once approved, they would NOT need to depart Australia and re-enter on the 457 visa.
If the applicant is outside Australia when the application is lodged, they would need to remain outside Australia until the visa is approved.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) application fees are as follows:
- Nomination Application: $330
- Base Visa Application: $1080
- Additional Applicant (18 and over): $1080
- Additional Applicant (under 18): $270
*Please note: the DIBP application fees increased slightly as of 1 July 2017. The above reflects the current application fees.
The lodgement of this application also incurs a credit card surcharge of 1.4% (this is imposed by the DIBP and it is mandatory to lodge the application using a credit card).
The process for obtaining the 457 visa is as follows:
Employer applies to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to become an approved standard business sponsor. This application is valid for 5 years unless the business has been trading within Australia for less than 12 months (in which case it lasts 18 months). Businesses operating within Australia will have to lodge an attestation confirming a strong record of employing local labour. This sponsorship application costs $420.
Possible documentation required (Employer):
- attestation affirming a strong record of or commitment to the employment of local labour
- a detailed business plan
- contract of sale relating to the purchase of the business
- lease agreement relating to business premises
- contracts to provide services
- evidence of employment of staff
- Business Activity Statements (BAS) for each complete quarter from commencement of operations to date of lodgement
- business bank statements covering the period of operation
Once a business is an approved (or in the process of becoming approved) sponsor they can nominate a position to be filled by an overseas skilled worker. An employer will be required to certify in writing things such as the tasks for the position, that the qualifications and experience of the nominee are commensurate with ANZSCO specifications. Nomination for this visa costs $330.
Possible documentation required (Employer):
- Identity of the person who will work in the nominated occupation
- ANZSCO code for the nominated occupation
- Location or locations where the nominated occupation is to be carried out
- Relevant certification
(3) Visa Application
Once the application is supported by an approved sponsor and an approved nomination, the visa application can be made. This application costs $1060.
Documentation required (Employee):
- certified copy of your passport biodata page, passport size photograph
- certified copy of your birth certificate
- certified copy of your family register document if applicable
- certified copy of your identity card if applicable
- certified copy of any official document which details any name change (for example, a marriage certificate) if applicable
- details of your residential address
- filled out 1066 internet form (attached in the dropbox)
- employment references
- curriculum vitae
- proof of English language proficiency (unless exempted)
- Address in Australia
- All applicants over the age of 18 must obtain a police clearance for each country they have lived in for more than 12 months in the last 10 years.
- Translation of Qualification
Documentation required (Employer):
Evidence that the business is (or is in the process of becoming) a standard business sponsor