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Transition from the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) Visa to the Sponsored 457 Work Visa

Written By Will Aldous
Tue, May 20, 2014
Will Aldous

Many people enter Australia to both tour and work in our country. A number of these people are skilled young professionals, who, having secured short term work with an Australian employer, are often considered by Australian employers to be valuable assets to that employer’s business.

However, the WHM visa carries with it a strict work limitation condition. That condition compels the visa holder to not work for any single Australian Employer for more than 6 months duration, within the 12 month validity period of the visa. A WHM Visa holder may extend their stay in Australia for a further year, if they undertake qualifying work, within rural Australia. As a result, many Australian Employers seek to secure the tenure of the WHM visa holder they employ, by transitioning to the Long Stay (Temporary) 457 visa. The 457 visa permits the holder to work for their sponsoring employer for periods beyond 3 months, up to 4 years.

It should be noted that until the 457 visa application is finalized and the 457 visa granted, the WHM visa holder is still subject to the 6 months work limitation condition. However, this may change in cases where the WHM visa expires, before the 457 visa application has been finalized. In such cases, the applicant will revert to a Bridging Visa, which, when in affect, re-sets the 6 month clock, therefore allowing the applicant to continue working for the sponsoring employer.

Note, regardless of what visa a person may hold, it is a legal obligation for any Australian employer to ensure the person does have a legal right to work in Australia A failure to do so could incur penalties enforceable under Australian Law.

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