There is a lot of confusion surrounding the rules of the 457 visa, as a holder of an on-hire labour agreement, Pendragon get a lot of enquiries regarding its limitations. One thing we’re asked on several occasions is, “can I work for whoever I want?”…
In theory, yes, the 457 visa can allow you to work wherever you like, you are free to apply and work for any Australian company that is willing to become your sponsor, you can even change jobs just like any Australian Permanent resident or citizen.
In fact, the Human Resource (HR) law of Australia is applicable to 457 visa holders, therefore you must be treated in accordance with the Australian HR laws, but also abide by the immigration rules set around 457 employment.
Basically, there are two parts to the sponsorship, one is the entity that wants to sponsor you – it has to get an agreement with the Department of Immigration and can apply to sponsor you. The sponsoring entity does not hold your 457 visa, you hold your 457 visa approval, and you can have that approval moved to another sponsor at any time without the permission of your existing sponsor.
The entity sponsoring you for your 457 visa cannot hold you back to stay with them, nor can they threaten you with being kicked out of the country, they can however cancel their sponsorship. In which case you will have 90 days to find a new company to sponsor and employ you. You are free to move to another employer as long as you acquire another sponsor for your 457 and do not work outside the skill set you have been/can be sponsored under.
The Immigration Department wants this visa to allow skilled individuals to be able to stay and move around if they can find further work; they want to keep the skill in Australia. That’s why they allow 90 days for you to find further work if your current employment ceases or if you are not happy working where you are, you have 90 days to find another sponsor.
In some cases, you can work through an approved 457 on-hire company; this automatically allows you more free movement around jobs, as well as allowing you to change on-hire companies.
For more information regarding the rules and regulations of the 457 visa contact us at [email protected]. In the meantime, enjoy working in Australia.