You’ve breathed a sigh of relief at having submitted your company’s application for 457 Sponsorship approval – and maybe you have already obtained the approval letter from the Department of Immigration. Great!

Now, however, to have that key skilled worker start or stay in your business, it is time to lodge the nomination application. Without a nomination approval, your proposed guest worker will be ineligible for the 457 visa. To meet your business’ need for the position to be filled, the starting point is to have a nomination prepared and lodged in a (positive) decision ready status.

Looking at the Department of Immigration’s nomination form, it looks simple, right? Wrong! The form is merely the tip of the iceberg and the remaining nine tenths of the criteria  are buried in the migration legislation, all of which you – if acting without the guidance of a migration agent – may not have ready access to.

Based on our over 20 years’ worth of experience, here are our 5 Sure-Fire Tips on how to get a 457 nomination approved:

1. Align the position to the CSOL

You have a position available to be filled in your company – have you already written down a position description? This is a good place to start. What are the required skills or qualifications for the role and what are the activities that you want the guest worker to undertake.

Armed with your needs, now you need to check if the position is one that the Australian Government has decided is suitable for an international guest worker? Only those occupations on the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL) are available for 457 sponsorship.

Is there a job title which seems to match your idea of the role? There could be more than one that sounds suitable.

Now check the ‘official’ description of that occupation  in the ‘ANZSCO Dictionary’  – is it a match? If so, you can move forward, if not then consider alternatives. And keep in mind that not all occupations are available.

2. Verify the nominee’s qualifications, experience and skills

With your internal job description in one hand and the official job description in the other, check that your proposed employee has the skills for the position – from a migration perspective. Do they have the base level qualification or work experience?

In some cases, the Department of Immigration will require the applicant to undertake a skills assessment – for example trades people from a number of countries and Project Administrator’s. With this in mind, check if your candidate would meet those criteria. If not, is there an alternative occupation that might be suitable?

3. Check the salary against market rates

Not only must the base salary for the position be at least the TSMIT – currently $53 900 – but it must also align with what would be offered to an Australian permanent resident or citizen to do that same job. Is there already an Aussie filling a similar role? Is he / she being paid at least $53 900? If not, then the nomination may not be successful. If there is not an Aussie in a similar position already then what would be paid? Check government and commercial salary review sites and current recruitment ads.

4.Ensure the sponsorship is valid

For a 457 visa to be approved, the company’s sponsorship must still be valid. If it is due to expire soon, then consider whether there is sufficient time to have the nomination and visa applications lodged and decided before the sponsorship expiry. Check the Department of Immigration’s service standards . If the timing is close, consider lodging a new sponsorship application to avoid a disappointing refusal.

5. Provide support for the claim that the nomination is a Genuine position.

This criterion appears not only in the nomination but also in the visa application. It is essential to ensure that you can justify that the proposed position is genuinely available within your business. Has it been filled previously? If a new position, can you explain why / how it arose? How does it fit into the current operations? Where does it fit on the organisation chart? Substantially addressing this criterion at the time of application will help avoid an RFI from the Department.

Attention to these 5 Sure-Fire Tips will stand your 457 nomination application in good stead. Good luck!

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