Moving to Australia with work visa 457

By Gwendolyn Me - June 10, 2018

Finding a job these days isn't easy. (Any job is easy, but a job that suits you, and would be happy to stay and in a great company isn't)
Finding a job in a different country doesn't make it any easier.
Finding a company to sponsor your work visa and offer you a job isn't anywhere close to easy.

When I decided to move to Australia, it took a lot of consideration and thinking. I've been through a lot in the past 12 months, and that is why I am sharing my story.

When I first graduated, I searched for jobs in Singapore for nine months, and many times I was rejected because I needed a working visa/permit or I wasn't physically in the country for an interview. Hence, when I decided to move to Australia, I knew it wasn't easy.

I started sending my resume in October 2016, decided to quit my job back in Malaysia in December 2016 and moved to Sydney in January 2017, and that's when the serious hunt starts.

Looking for a job is full time - bear in mind. Updating your resume/CV and revising it a million times, cover letter, emails and applications. Every day, I searched for jobs for over 6 hours and applied for over 30 jobs. #lifeishard (Some applications even require you to sign up to their system and do an online test which takes more time)

I was lucky to be able to schedule in three interviews at least every week, and I took my interview sessions as a practice and consistently improving on how I would present myself the next time.  After two months of applying and interviews, I finally got an offer. (with the help of a very excellent recruiter)

With the process of applying for the visa and waiting which took four months, I received my visa grant and I've been working for two months.
Time flies.. ...

With this, many people have asked me how the process was and what are the steps needed for the visa.

  1. You need a job offer, without the job offer you are not eligible to apply for a working visa.
  2. The company that offered you a job has to apply for a nomination to sponsor and pay for your visa. (but that doesn't mean you don't pay anything, I will come to it later)
  3. The agent (usually appointed from the company) will then collect your documents and lodge your application. 
  4. You then wait till the nomination approval - (A nomination approval means the company is allowed to sponsor an employee but does not mean your visa will be grated, you will then have to wait for the second approval)  
  5. The visa is approved and granted, and you may start work anytime.

Fees and Cost 

If you ask around, different agents will tell you a different cost of the visa, it various between $8k to $20k (depending on what the agent fee is and all that document cost and jazz) but that is up to the company to agree to pay for it.

A company can't randomly say they want to sponsor even if they are willing to fork up the money because the company needs to be in the list or to be "nominated" - this means, they are allowed to hire overseas and sponsor their visa. Hence during the Visa application, there is two part of the application.
  1. Visa Employer Nomination
  2. Visa Employee Application
Visa Employer Nomination is applied from the HR of the company, and Visa Employer Application is applied by you (employee). That means with every document and application, there is a fee. Something that I didn't know and nobody informed me before this.

Visa Employee Application Fee various from agent and time (thanks to the government) but what I had to pay and fork up;
  • Application form $1,750
  • Agent Fee $1,650
  • IELTS test $330
  • Health Check $323
That comes up to a total of $4,053 (rough estimate of RM15,000) that has to be paid for the visa before the agent starts any work what more the application. This fee doesn't include your flights here, accommodation, transport, food and allowance and anything else that you would need BEFORE you start working to earn any income here. So this is something that you would need to keep in mind, and to some people, it may be mentally stressful.

* In additional to everything * 

Eight days after we lodged our application, the Australia Prime Minister announced that the Working Visa 457 would be abolished and everyone freaked out.

The same morning, I emailed and contacted both my recruiter and the agent to ask if I would be affected and what would this mean.

New Rules: 

  • Instead of Work Visa 457, it is now called Short-Term Work Visa or Medium-Term Work Visa depending on skills (Confusing, I know) 
  • Instead of four years visa granted, the new visa would only be a two years grant. 
  • Previous 457 visa allows unlimited renewal each time visa expires, new visa (Short Term Work Visa) only allows one renewal with no approval guarantee ( I was told there would be a review )
  • Previous 457 visas can be applied with no working experience, and new Short Term Work Visa would require a minimum of 3-5 years working experience (depending on skillset and industry, I fall in Marketing Manager position which required five years).

Some people applied offshore and they are lucky enough to be able to stay in their home country while applying for jobs overseas, waiting for visa and all that jazz before coming over here hence they reduce waiting time and during the waiting time, you will not be allowed to work unless if you obtain a working holiday visa or any visa that permits you to work.

Many people told me they envy my non-working days, but I can honestly say I did not enjoy it at all. I couldn't do anything to have income, not even part-time of freelance (legally). That was my most significant obstacles, but after torturous four months of waiting, I finally started work, and I did not regret anything at all even if I had to be jobless for 9 months.

P/s. Everything is based on my personal experience.

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