Employers often find themselves scratching their heads when it
comes to making a 457 visa holder's position redundant, or
terminating their employment. Below is a quick refresher of the
rights and obligations for employers (sponsors) when ending a 457
visa holder's employment.
Firstly, if the position held by the 457 visa holder is required
elsewhere in the sponsor's business, the 457 visa holder can
work in an associated entity of the sponsor - if the sponsoring
business was a lawfully operating business in Australia at the time
it was approved as a standard business sponsor. Under this
arrangement, the sponsor retains ultimate responsibility for the
457 visa holder, including all sponsorship obligations, not the
associated entity. Note that the 457 visa holder cannot be on-hired
by the sponsor or associated entity to any other non-associated
If redeployment isn't an option, and the 457 visa holder is
either made redundant or has their employment terminated, the 457
visa holder should be treated in the same way that Australian
citizens or permanent residents are treated under Australian
workplace and industrial laws. Sponsors aren't required by the
Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) to
help 457 visa holders find alternative employment, although they
can if they want to.
Notifying the Department of a redundancy or
An employer is obligated to inform the Department within 10 days
of ending a 457 visa holder's employment that the 457 visa
holder's employment has ceased.
The same notification requirements apply if the 457 visa holder
decides to change his/her place of employment, and it would be the
visa holder's responsibility to arrange sponsorship with the
Return travel costs
If a 457 visa holder can't find a new employer willing to
sponsor them in Australia, or wishes to return home following the
end of their employment with their existing sponsor, the sponsor is
obliged to pay the return travel costs for them and any sponsored
family members to their country of intended travel. The 457 visa
holder must ask the sponsor in writing to pay the costs, or the
Department can make a written request on their behalf. Travel costs
must be paid by the sponsor within 30 days of receiving a request,
and the sponsor must notify the Department of any payment for
travel being made within 10 working days.
Sponsors/employers must meet their sponsorship obligations to
avoid exposing themselves to the risk of sanctions being applied by
the Department. More information about these obligations can be
found on the Department's
What does all this mean for 457 visa
If a 457 via holder stops working for their sponsor, he/she must
do one of the following within 90 days of their resignation,
redundancy or termination:
Find another employer willing to sponsor them.
The new employer will first need to be, or become, an approved
business sponsor and then have their nomination for the proposed
457 visa holder approved
Apply for a different visa
Make arrangements to leave Australia.
The 457 visa holder is responsible for looking after their own
welfare arrangements during this time and for finding other
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Recent amendments to the Migration Act and regulations, along with the imminent commencement of the new federal safety net under the Fair Work Act, highlight a number of issues for consideration by employers in documenting terms and conditions of employment for foreign nationals engaged to work in Australia under Subclass 457- Business (Long Stay) visas.
If you employ 457 visa holders in your business, you should ensure that you are meeting your sponsorship requirements.
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