'Grace period' amendment for cessation of work under 457 visas

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'Grace period' amendment for cessation of work under 457 visas

Upcoming changes will affect employers who recruit workers under the 457 and Work and Holiday visa programs.

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For 457 visas granted on or after 19 November 2016 the time period that the 457 visa holder can remain in Australia after ceasing employment with their sponsor will be reduced from 90 days to 60 days. 

This will have a practical effect that if a 457 visa holder has not found a new sponsor within 60 days of ceasing employment with their current sponsor, they will be in breach of their visa condition and their visa may be cancelled.

Sponsors should be aware that in future the date of grant of a 457 visa will dictate the “period of grace” to be applied to a sponsored employee.

There is no change to the obligation of a sponsor to notify Immigration within 28 days of the last day of employment.

There is also no change to the obligation to pay for the cost of return travel upon receipt of a written request from an ex-employee who wishes to depart Australia.

More flexibility for Work and Holiday 462 visa holders


For 462 visa applications submitted on or after 19 November 2016 holders (or former holders) of the 462 (Work and Holiday) visas will be allowed to apply for a second 462 visa, if they have carried out work in areas of Australia and of a kind specified by the Minister, for at least three months as the holder of the first Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa.

In line with the government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, the specified work is intended to be work undertaken in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism and hospitality industries in the Northern Territory and northern parts of Western Australia and Queensland. 

What employers should do

  1. Conduct a brief compliance check of all 457 visa employees to ensure all relevant information is captured including details of the date of grant of all 457 visas and details of all members of sponsored employee’s family unit.
  2. Note that notifying Immigration of the cessation of employment will trigger the start of the “period of grace” within which a 457 visa holder must make alternative visa arrangements or depart Australia. 
Phillip Yip is an accredited specialist in immigration law. 
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