457 Sponsor Obligations

457 Sponsor Obligations


If you’re an employer sponsoring someone on a 457 visa, there’s a few things you need to be aware of, and a number of obligations you must meet. Read on to make sure you know what your obligations are and are taking steps to satisfy them.

What Are Your Obligations?

As a sponsor, you must:

  • Cooperate with inspectors
  • Ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment
  • Keep records
  • Provide records and information to the Minister
  • Tell the Department when certain events occur
  • Ensure that the visa holder participates in the nominated occupation, program or activity
  • Not recover from, transfer or charge certain costs to another person
  • Pay travel costs to enable sponsored people to leave Australia
  • Pay costs to remove unlawful citizens
  • Provide training to Australians and permanent residents
  • Not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices

But what do some of these obligations actually involve? Here’s a breakdown of some of the trickier ones.

Cooperating With Inspectors

You would be in breach of this if you:

  • Concealed the location of persons and/or documents
  • Obstructed inspectors or prevented a person from assisting
  • Assaulted, intimidated or threatened inspectors

The obligation commences on the date the sponsorship is approved, and ceases 5 years after you stop being a sponsor.

Equivalent Terms and Conditions

This obligation requires that conditions for 457 visa holders must be “no less favourable” than the conditions for Australian permanent residents and citizens.

The obligation commences on the date of approval (or nomination, if the 457 visa is already held) and ceases upon the end of employment or the grant of a further visa.

Maintaining Records

You must keep certain records, such as:

  • Requests for travel costs
  • Details of payment of travel costs
  • Notifications to the Department
  • Tasks undertaken by the 457 employee
  • Training provided to Australian employees

This obligation commences on the date sponsorship is approved and ceases 2 years after you stop being a sponsor and there are no primary or secondary 457 visa holders.

Notifying The Department Of Certain Events

Events which you must notify the Department of within 28 days include:

  • Cessation or expected cessation of employment
  • Changes to training which may affect sponsorship approval
  • Changes to your legal structure
  • Payment of return travel for the visa holder
  • Insolvency, bankruptcy or administration

Costs of Sponsorship Approval and Recruitment

You must not seek to recover or have another person pay the cost of obtaining sponsorship approval or recruiting the primary sponsored person.

Travel Costs

You must pay for the cost of return travel for 457 visa holders if it’s properly requested. The request must:

  • Be made by the Department of Immigration, the primary 457 holder (sponsored employee) or a secondary 457 holder (a family member of the sponsored employee)
  • Specify the persons covered
  • Specify the country of passport they wish to travel to
  • Be made whilst the person is covered by a 457

You have to only pay for “reasonable and necessary” costs. This would usually include travel costs for both primary and secondary visa holders, travel to the point of departure within Australia and the cost of returning to the country of passport (economy class).

These costs must be paid within 30 days of the request being made.

Costs of Removing Unlawful Citizens

If the sponsored employee overstayed their visa and the Commonwealth had to detect and remove this employee, you would be liable for the cost of returning the employee. A limit of $10,000 applys.

This obligation commences the date the person becomes illegal and finishes 5 years after the person leaves Australia.

How Do I Ensure I’m Upholding My Obligations?

It’s important you’re clear on the expectations the Department and the 457 employee place on you, as the sponsoring employer. If you’re unsure about anything, or you want to commence the process of applying to be a 457 sponsor, get in touch today. We know our stuff.

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PocketLegal is available to assist with all aspects of the Australian immigration process from beginning to end. If you need help with visa applications, sponsoring staff members, AAT Appeals, Federal Circuit Court hearings, or any other migration related issue then contact our friendly team via the form on this page or by calling 1300 921 114.

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