Since the abolishment of the 457, there continues to be confusion about 457 transfers. Find out below if you can still transfer your 457 visa.
On the 18th of March 2018 the 457 program was abolished and replaced with the TSS 482 program. This resulted in mass confusion on employer sponsored work visas for both employers and applicants alike.
For some time, employers thought they could no longer sponsor foreign workers, and existing 457 visa holders were doubtful of their future employment plans in Australia.
Today, there are still tens of thousands of people who hold a valid 457 visa with the ability to continue working until the expiration date of their 457 visa. Under the old 457 program, transferring employers was common place but there now seems to be confusion on how to transfer old 457 visas under the new TSS 482 program.
Is it even possible?
Step 1: The first thing to check when considering a 457 transfer is to investigate if your occupation is still on the current list of occupations for the purposes for a TSS 482 visa. This can be the same occupation that you are currently nominated for your 457 visa, or an occupation which you are qualified for (ie. have relevant qualifications plus 2 years of experience).
If your occupation is still on the current lists, then you can transfer your 457 visa to a new employer. If your occupation is no longer listed, then unfortunately you cannot transfer your 457 visa.
Step 2: The next thing to check is if your new employer already has an existing Sponsorship Approval (under either the old 457 program or the new TSS 482 program). If they have a valid Sponsorship Approval, then they can go ahead and proceed with step 3 below.
Now, if your new employer does not yet have a Sponsorship Approval, then they must apply to become one under the new TSS 482 program. Then once approved, they can proceed to step 3 below also (which is a TSS 482 Nomination) to execute a transfer for their work visa candidate.
Step 3: The next step is the preparation of a TSS 482 Nomination which will cover transfers of both the old 457 visa and the new TSS 482 visa. There is no need to re-apply for a new TSS 482 visa if your old 457 or current 482 is still valid for a lengthy time.
Old 457 sponsors and 457 visa holders may recall the old 457 Nomination process as a simple process, but don’t be fooled. The new TSS 482 Nomination process has strict legislative requirements that have been re-designed and written with much more specificity than before. It is very easy to make minor mistakes, or unintentionally forget to provide evidence to substantiate your claims, which may lead to a refusal.
So be careful. Things to take into careful consideration include occupation caveats, market rate determination, labour market testing timelines, and the genuine of the position.
Step 4: The final step is the lodgement of the TSS 482 Nomination application. This step is particularly important because there is a significantly diﬀerent item required at this point, and it is the new Training Levy. To find out about the costs of the new Training Levy, have a read of our Training Levy article here.
The relevant Training Levy fee is payable at the time of lodgement of the Nomination application, and you have to multiply the relevant Training Levy fee by the number of years (including partial years) remaining on your candidate’s 457 visa or 482 visa. For example if there is one and a half years remaining on your candidate’s 457 visa, then you will be required to pay 2 times the Training Levy fee amount relevant to your business turnover.
After your Nomination application has been successfully lodged, you must then liaise with Immigration during the processing period to massage the application towards a successful outcome.
Immigration case officers will liaise with you and potentially have questions about your evidence so they can be satisfied that they understand every aspect of your application in detail. They also have the discretion to request for any additional information or evidence to help them reach a decision for your application. So this is where you can practice your art of liaison.
Please note that you should submit “all” your evidence and documentation at the time of lodgement, because Immigration do have a knack for occasionally refusing an application outright if they feel as though there is insuﬃcient information to even consider your application against the legislative criteria.
So the bottom line is be diligent, be accurate, be co-operative and be careful.