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7 Things Every Employer Should Know about 457 Visa Conditions

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Do you have your eye on the ball when it comes to your 457 nominee’s visa and its conditions?

Our research shows that busy business owners and harried HR Managers have every intention to manage their 457 sponsorship well, but have little time to do so.
So let’s save you time and hassle and identify the 7 Things Every Employer Should Know about 457 Visa Conditions so you can manage your sponsorship obligations and avoid the risk of losing your 457 workers.

1. Occupation

Your 457 nominee was approved to work in a specific occupation. Changes to the employee’s duties may lead to a change in occupation.

457 nominees are expected to undertake the majority of tasks listed for their ANZSCO occupation for the majority of the time. Slight divergences or temporary tasks that are outside that scope are acceptable but should take up no more than 5% of the 457 visa holder’s time.

Any major change in duties should be aligned with an occupation on the 457 occupations list and a new nomination lodged with the Department of Immigration.

Often 457 visa holders are keen to obtain permanent residence down the track. Working two years in the one position is one of the main eligibility criteria. When considering giving a promotion to a 457 visa holder, consider the implications, discuss the immediate and long term effect of the change and ensure that you and your 457 nominee agree about the pathway forward.

TIP: Even if permanent residence is not on the agenda, undertake an annual check on your 457 nominee’s position to ensure compliance with the nominated occupation.

2. Location

457 nominations specify where a 457 visa holder is to work.

Being nominated for a particular location does not restrict an employer from moving the employee about the business’ operations Australia-wide, however it is a requirement to notify the Department of Immigration of any location change.

And remember, a change in location may mean a change in the market salary rate. The 457 nominee must still be employed on terms and conditions that are equivalent to those applicable to an existing or hypothetical Australian employee in that same role.

So when any long term move takes place, re-assess the terms and conditions of employment, adjust the salary accordingly and notify the Department of Immigration of the change of location.

3. Employer

457 visa holders are limited to working only for the sponsoring employer or a related entity. The 457 nominee cannot be on-hired to another business (unless the employer is party to an On-Hire Labour Agreement).

Businesses are related if they fall within the ambit of section 50AAA of the Corporations Act. For example, a wholly owned subsidiary would be a related entity to the parent company and a 457 nominee could then work for either enterprise. Seek advice from the business’ lawyer or accountant if you are unsure whether entities are related.

If there is a change of employer that is not a related entity– for example when there is a take-over or restructure (one clue is a new ABN) – the new employer must lodge a nomination application and have it approved so that the 457 visa holder can be ‘transferred’ to work for the new entity. The 457 visa holder would not be permitted to work for the new employer until the new nomination is approved.

Whenever there is a change of employer in the pipeline, act early and seek a new nomination approval so that the nominee can maintain his / her work with minimum disruption.

4. Health Insurance

457 visa holders must have adequate health insurance. Health insurance may be paid for by either the nominee or by the employer. Health insurance should include hospital cover plus any relevant ancillary cover for known conditions or needs.

Health insurance should cover all 457 visa holding family unit members.

TIP: As part of your annual review process, ask your 457 nominee to provide evidence of ongoing health cover.

5. Family Unit Members

Visa holders may bring their family unit members to Australia on their 457 visa. The sponsoring employer must ratify and extend sponsorship to the family unit members for them to have their visas approved. Sponsorship obligations will then extend to all sponsored family members.

The principal visa holder’s partner will have a 457 visa permitting unlimited work and study.

Children of school age are required to attend school and will be enrolled as international students; this may mean higher school fees.

There is no requirement that the family unit members remain in Australia for the duration of the 457 visa. Spouses, for example, often wish to keep up their overseas employment. Because it has a multiple entry facility, family unit members may travel in and out of Australia at will.

When faced with an applicant with family unit members, weigh up the costs to the nominee and to the business and discuss with your nominee the best way forward to meet all needs.

6. Visa Validity

Every visa has an expiry date. A 457 visa is usually available for up to 4 years.

Where a sponsor had been a new (less than 12 months old) business at the time of sponsorship approval, 18-month sponsorships and visas are issued. This period can pass very quickly. Diarise well in advance of the expiry dates so that you can prepare and lodge the new sponsorship and visa applications within time, in order to keep the employee with the business.

Visa holders who are not being re-sponsored must either apply for another visa or depart Australia within the visa validity period.

TIP: As soon as you have a 457 worker on board, diarise the visa expiry date and a reminder six months prior so that you can be ready to take action in plenty of time.

7. Return travel

457 visa holders are entitled to ask their employer for a return air fare to their country of passport once during the period of their visa. For the sponsor to be liable, the request must be made in writing and the employer must make payment within 28 days.

Employers may reimburse the 457 visa holder in cash – direct deposit to bank account – or, preferably, you purchase the economy ticket for the sponsored worker and his / her family members. You will then have a record of the payment – obligation met!

Whether or not you inform your 457 nominee of their entitlement is a matter for you. As soon as a request is made, however, action it immediately. And, especially where there are family members involved, ensure you have an estimate of this expenditure in your cash flow planning.

Any breach of the above conditions will have repercussions for not only the 457 visa holder but also the business. From a warning to pecuniary fine to sponsorship-bar, the outcomes can be serious for a sponsoring employer.

Keep these 7 visa conditions in mind, and keep your 457 sponsorship squeaky clean!

If you are finding it hard to manage your sponsorship compliance alone, Don’t Panic!

Aspire Australia’s Sponsorship Compliance Service offers affordable support, access to our professional team whenever you have questions and an annual programme of services that allow you to tick the box on all your compliance obligations.

Read more here: http://aspireaustralia.com.au/employers/

Contact us by email at visas@aspireaustralia.com.au or call us on 02 9956 6011

RESOURCES

http://aspireaustralia.com.au/employers/

http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/457-

http://www.border.gov.au/Busi/visas-and-migration/employing-and-sponsoring-workers/employer-hub

http://www.fairwork.gov.au/

Our research shows that busy business owners and harried HR Managers have every intention to manage their 457 sponsorship well, but have little time to do so.

So let’s save you time and hassle and identify the 7 Things Every Employer Should Know about 457 Visa Conditions so you can manage your sponsorship obligations and avoid the risk of losing your 457 workers.

are-you-fit-to-migrate-to-australia

Are you fit to migrate?

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Health checks are an essential step in the visa process if you are looking to migrate permanently to Australia but do you understand the importance of passing the medical test? And are you aware of the ‘one fail all fail’ system – whether a member of your direct family unit is migrating with you or not, they must undergo a medical screening and, if they do not pass the health test, your application can be refused.

So while you may get a clean bill of health, an ‘unhealthy’ family unit member may jeopardize the success of your visa application.

Australia screens closely for TB, Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS as well as other diseases and conditions that could affect the health of Australians, or that require medical services in short supply here. For more details download a fact sheet.

Many permanent and temporary visa applications have been refused for medical reasons – including diabetes, obesity, kidney  and heart conditions and most cancers.

 

As part of your visa application process you should know that:

1) You will be required to attend an Australian Government approved panel doctor to have the required medical examinations as part of the visa application process. And remember, that goes for your direct family unit members as well.

2) If you know that either you or a family member has a health issue, then you can have your health status analysed at the beginning of your migration process. It is possible to get a medical opinion on the likelihood of passing the medical screening from an Australian consulting medical practitioner familiar with the Australian visa medical requirements.

Instead of waiting until the end of the process – after all the time and money has been spent –get the advice at the beginning, saving expense and heartache.

In some cases, your health and the health of your family can be improved with a change in diet and correct exercise – helping your chances of a successful migration.

3) Depending on the visa category in which you intend to apply, a health ‘waiver’ may be available, making it possible to obtain a visa despite having a listed disease or condition.

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Aspire Australia can help you plan your visa application process – including helping with obtaining a medical opinion – so that you have the best chance of successfully fulfilling the requirements and being able to start a new life in Australia. Call us now for expert advice.

regional-migration-opportunities

5 great reasons to migrate to regional Australia

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A great way to move to Australia and enjoy everything this land has to offer is to consider moving to a country or regional area. Regional Migration visas can be granted to overseas workers who are willing to come to Australia and live in a regional area to start a new life and bring valuable skills and trades that are needed in these districts.

 

5 reasons to consider moving to a regional area:

  1. Regional NSW has a wide range of employment opportunities from farming, industrial mining and tourism, to essential services such as the health and education
  2. Far from being isolated, most regional areas have well established and welcoming communities of migrants
  3. Compared to the main cities, regional areas have lower housing costs and a higher standard of living for the average wage earner
  4. Public schools, secondary and primary, are generally smaller and well funded so children can get a great education
  5. Regional NSW is becoming more popular with Australians who want to get out of the city, bringing more business and helping to grow the economy of the area.

 

Key regional services are often run by franchise businesses – service stations, convenience store and fast food outlets are found in small towns and regional centres across NSW. Frequently these business owners have migrated to the area themselves understand the challenges faced by individuals and families migrating to a regional area in a new country.

 

Migrating to a regional area is becoming a popular choice – in 2014, there were 16 538 visas granted in the RSMS category (representing 12.8% of the skilled visas granted that year and 8.7% of the total migration programme) and 29 756 in the state sponsored categories (which includes some metropolitan areas).  Together these categories represent a significant proportion of Australia’s overall migration programme.

 

You can apply to move to a regional area of Australia through the General Skilled Migration – Regional Sponsored programme or through the Regional Sponsored Migration employment visa programme. Both mean that you will move to a regional area (places outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and Newcastle).

 

For more information on in-demand industry sectors and required skill-sets for regional areas, see SkillSelect

Aspire Australia can help you find the right regional visa for your skill-set. Contact Aspire Australia to discover your potential opportunities.

skilled-migration-opportunities-in-it

It’s not all about coding: the other IT jobs that can help you move to Australia

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The Australian IT industry is booming and while there is demand for specialist computer programmers, employment opportunities are not limited to coders. There are job vacancies across all IT industry skill sets. If you are looking to migrate to Australia as a skilled worker, , it is not necessarily your coding language you may need to brush up on – improving your English language skills may serve you better.

 

3 IT industry jobs that don’t require programming expertise:

 

IT Project Managers

Good project managers have a mix of specialist technical knowledge, great planning skills, communication skills to a range of people, leadership skills and the ability to motivate. You will need to be able to oversee a project from conception through planning, budgeting, to build, testing and delivery, as well as managing ongoing support and maintenance. Communication skills are key in this role as you will be excepted to speak to clients, managers as well as your technical team – it is your job to make sure each of these understands the details of the project.

 

Account Managers

Account Managers are part diplomat and part therapist. This is a ‘client facing’ role and your communications skills need to be very good as your role is to make sure the client is happy with the service, comfortable with the process and confident that their project is in the best possible hands. You also need to make sure the project manager fully understands the clients’ expectations and that any project constraints are clearly defined and communicated. Budgeting skills are also very useful in this role.

 

 

Sales Reps

Again, communication skills are key in the performance of this role. You need to fully understand the ICT product or service you are selling and be able to clearly communicate the features and benefits to potential buyers. Many sales positions require that you build a relationship with potential buyers and can mean that you are not only at a desk making calls but going out to meet business prospects to understand their needs. Language skills and personal presentation are an important part of this job.

 

Whether you are out there selling or managing complex ICT projects, there are opportunities for you to migrate to Australia and claim an IT industry job. Independent Skilled Migration and Employer Sponsored visa programmes are available to ICT professionals who have the right mix of technology know-how and communication skills.

 

If you are an ICT professional who does not want to be stuck behind a monitor then Call or email us here at Aspire Australia today to find a pathway for your move to Australia to work in the IT industry.

employer-obligations

You have found the perfect candidate for your business’ vacancy and they are on board on a 457 visa. But do you know what happens next?

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This is a question that most approved business sponsors fail to ask themselves. Naturally, the employer focuses on having the new employee inducted and starting work in their skilled position as quickly as possible. And then they let things tick along.

But employer sponsors have ongoing obligations under the Migration Act and Regulations and the Fair Work Act- and there can be severe repercussions if those obligations are not complied with.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website is littered with examples of Australian employers who have – whether intentionally or not – failed to adhere to their obligations, not just as sponsors, but as employers. For example, by not having a clear understanding of the current minimum wage rates as they apply to your employees, you are not only liable to pay any back-pay to the employee, you may also be handed heavy fines. This was the case for a Bendigo restaurateur who refused to pay $5000 in outstanding pay to an employee, and ended up with a $15,000 fine as well as the $5000 back-pay!

It pays to know your rights and responsibilities before you start. Here are a few key obligations under the 457 Employer Sponsorship programme:

  • ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment – you must provide fair and equitable pay and working conditions for all workers
  • keep records – you must keep a record of your obligation compliance for all foreign workers under the scheme
  • notifying when certain events occur – eg change of address, change of duties, termination of employment.
  • not recover from, transfer or charge certain costs to another person – all costs pertaining to sponsorship and recruitment remain with the sponsor and cannot be passed onto the employee or their families/relatives.
  • pay travel costs to enable sponsored people to leave Australia –
  • contribute to training of Australians via one of two schemes.

For full details on employer obligations click here.

Failure to comply with your employer obligations can be costly– not only in financial terms but the business may also lose its sponsorship status and its skilled foreign workers.


Aspire Australia’s migration experts are ready to help you and your business to obtain a working visa for your nominee and ensure that you keep can keep them. Talk to us today about a solution for your business.


 

food-industry-jobs-in-australia

Hospitality Industry Opportunities for Hungry Workers

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Do you work in the food or food service industry? If so, have you considered migrating to Australia? The door is open for skilled and employment visas.

Australia has one of the most diverse food palates in the world. As a nation we have been built upon the cultures of many other nations – starting with the British (who admittedly didn’t contribute much in the culinary stakes!) to the Afghans who helped access the vast interior, the Chinese, Italians and Germans who came for the Gold Rush and subsequent national infrastructure projects such as the Snowy Mountains Scheme to the more recent Asian migrants. In Australia today, food has become even more diverse, and restaurants, eateries, food trucks and cafes are continuously opening.  Fresh, raw, local, organic, fusion and everything in-between – the food industry is thriving across Australia.

While New South Wales offers the greatest number of opportunities both in the major cities and regional areas, the food revolution is booming right across the country. Many smaller regional areas are becoming known for specialist culinary outlets that showcase local farmers and suppliers. And many of these food businesses – restaurants, hotels, function centres – need to supplement their workforce with specialist chefs and hospitality professionals.

Chefs & Cooks

There are several options to apply to live and work as a chef or cook in Australia. An experienced and/or qualified chef can access employer sponsored visas (the 457, ENS or RSMS), a great option if your prospective employer is willing and able to sponsor you. The employer could be a small restaurant with specialized cuisine, a large hotel, an events centre or catering company. You would be employed according to Australian standards and workplace legislation, including wages and working conditions. You would need vocational English. General skilled migration is also available to chefs and cooks, who would need to first obtain a skills assessment.

Restaurant Managers & Hotel Managers

If hospitality is your life, and you have qualifications for management positions, there are opportunities to apply under the employment (457, ENS, RSMS) and GSM programmes.

English language proficiency is a requirement – the better your proficiency the bigger the advantage – and your skills may need to be formally assessed. Click here for more Skills Recognition Information.

Look for job openings in regional areas if you wish to apply for a Regional Skilled Migration Scheme visa (RSMS). Regional Australia covers all of Australia except Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong in NSW, Brisbane metro and Gold Coast areas in Queensland and the Melbourne metro area of Victoria. Consider stand alone restaurants, restaurants in hotels, hotels either small or large or resorts.

Discover more about the various employer sponsored categories and compare the criteria by clicking here.