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Become a Sponsor | Start-Ups and Established Businesses

18 December, 2015

Question: What are the main requirements to Sponsor international employees?

This is one of the most popular questions I receive from employers.

Most employers, during the initial stages of enquiring about how to sponsor employees, seem to THINK that profitability and business size are requirements in the 457 Sponsorship process. Whilst these are normally important measures in determining business health and growth, they are actually NOT important when it comes to meeting the 457 Sponsorship requirements to be eligible to become an approved sponsor.

To be clear the 457 program was designed to ENABLE genuine and actively operating businesses of any size and stage of their business maturity (ie. new/start-up or established businesses) to sponsor international staff if they are having difficulties in hiring locally for specific reasons.

The most common reasons that businesses recruit international talent include:

  • Short supply of skilled people in their area
  • Short supply of people (or no people) with specific/unique skills, qualifications or experience in a particular occupation (needed in their business)
  • Short supply of good employee characteristics such as a person’s ability to be hard working, loyal, etc.

Businesses usually access international talent from either offshore or from the local pool of talent available already within Australia. This includes businesses of all different sizes, such as sole proprietors, small businesses, medium business, and large enterprises (both private and government).


What are the main requirements? 

The critical things you need to show in order to sponsor international talent are:

  • Training expenditure - For this requirement, you are required to show that the business spends at least 1% equivalent of its gross payroll towards training Australian staff within the business OR that your business makes a 2% donation towards an industry training fund. If your business has been operating less than 12 months, then you must show an Auditable Training Plan instead to prove that your business will commit to spend towards either the 1% or 2% training options above.
  • Financial capacity - In other words, does the business have enough capital or cash flow to be able to commit towards a fixed salary for your new international talent? (Remember, it is not about profits, turnover, or the size of your business)
  • Genuine need - Can you clearly explain why you need international talent in your business? For this requirement, employers must justify why they are recruiting international talent, and how it meets their business objectives.

If you require professional help to satisfy the above requirements and go through the formal process of becoming an Approved 457 Sponsor, speak to one of our professionals today at and save time.

From the desk of Yuri Marshall | Changing Lives Everyday


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5 comments on “Become a Sponsor | Start-Ups and Established Businesses”

  1. Hi there,

    I wonder whether you could answer my question.
    We currently waiting for 457 to be processed and would like to come to Australia before its granted on 3 month tourist visa to visit friends and travel around. We currently backpacking and would be nice to come to Australia then head to New Zealand and hopefully by then we get the visa granted?
    Many thanks





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