Are You A Start-up? The 457 Visa Changes Affect You

As of 1 July 2016, 457 visa guidelines were implemented, providing advice on visa criteria. This is especially helpful for start ups, considering emerging companies are often most impacted by the tricky ‘genuineness’ requirement in a 457 application.

The aim? Increased clarity, consistency and transparency.

But what do the documents actually advise on?


The documents clarify the policy framework around the ‘genuineness’ requirement of the nominated position.

What does this mean? Basically, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has targeted particular occupations and industries, requiring a higher level of documentation than in other cases. This includes start-ups.

Start-ups will usually have to provide information as to the business operations, and prove that the position is genuine. 457 visa approvals for start-ups will generally be for 12 months rather than the usual 4 years.

The new guidelines clarify this ‘genuineness’ requirement. The position does not have to be ‘needed,’ it just has to be genuine.

In this sense, start-ups will have to satisfy the DIBP that the position exists and will be filled by the nominee.

It’s important to note that doubt can arise if the position doesn’t appear to be consistent with the nature of the business. Other grounds for doubt exist, but this is the cause of most concern.

The DIBP will release further information about what should be considered by decision-makers when assessing this.

It’s also expected that additional guidance will be provided by the DIBP in situations where the position appears inconsistent with the nature of the business.


The DIBP reviewed cases refused on this ground, and found that in most cases the decision made was appropriate. However, it was found that in some cases, while the refusal was likely lawful, the 457 should have arguably been granted.

This is why it’s so important to a migration agent with the experience and skill to navigate these tricky requirements.

PocketLegal is experienced in working with start-ups to satisfy the ‘genuineness’ requirement. We provide expert advice on which supporting documentation is particularly useful, in order to have a visa application approved, and approved as quickly as possible.


We know which evidence the DIBP values most, and why.

For example, if your business is expanding and this is why you’re hiring additional staff, you should provide evidence of this: copies of new contracts, a lease for new premises, receipts for new equipment purchased.

For more information on how these changes may impact you, click the link below to book a consultation with PocketLegal today. We’re experts in 457 visas. Let us help you with your application.

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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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