On 1 July 2016, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will implement changes to the requirements for businesses wishing to become Accredited Business Sponsors.

Businesses that meet the new criteria and have a history of ‘good dealings’ with DIBP are able to gain this status and have their sponsorships approved for six years (as opposed to 5), and benefit from priority processing and ‘streamlined’ processing of 457 nomination applications.

The sponsor must meet all the requirements for Standard Business Sponsorship, in addition to the following special criteria:

  • Be a government agency, a publicly-listed company or a private company with at least AUD four million annual turnover for the last three years;
  • Have been an active 457 sponsor for at least three years (with no more than a six month break in the past 36 months), with no adverse information (based on monitoring, including formal warnings and sanctions);
  • Have sponsored at least ten (previously 30) primary 457 visa holders in the 24 months (previously 12) prior to the application for accreditation;
  • Have lodged an agreed level of decision-ready applications over the previous two years;
  • Have a refusal rate of less than 3% for the previous three years;
  • Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia;
  • Engage all 457 holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement);
  • Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business;
  • Have provided details of all business activities undertaken by their business to the department; and,
  • Have provided details of all Principals / Directors of their business to the department.