Australia – Changes to eligibility criteria and benefits for accredited sponsorship

These changes will come into force on 1 July, 2016.

Accredited Sponsorship for high-volume companies in good standing

First introduced in November 2011, Accredited Sponsorship is a program that provides certain benefits to Australian employers that have long-term and exceptionally positive relationships with the DIBP. Those companies holding Accredited Sponsorship are provided with immigration benefits including, but not limited to, priority processing for Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (Subclass 457) applications and a longer business sponsorship validity period of six years (rather than the standard three-year validity).

New eligibility criteria for companies to qualify

Beginning on 1 July, companies must meet all of the following amended minimum requirements to gain Accredited Sponsorship status[i]. Thus, the company must:

  • 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
  • Be an active 457 sponsor for at least three years (with no more than a six-month break in the past 36 months), and with no adverse information (based on monitoring, formal warnings, and sanctions)
  • Have sponsored at least ten primary 457 visa holders in the 24 months prior to the application for accreditation. This is a significant reduction from the previous requirement of sponsoring at least 30 primary 457 visa holders in the previous 12 months