What is the change? The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has removed the nomination ceiling on subclass 457 visas for standard business sponsorship applications approved after 14 February 2014.

What does the change mean? This means that companies will not be limited to the number of nominations stipulated on their sponsorship application.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Subclass 457 visas.
  • Who is affected: Standard business sponsors.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: The removal of the ceiling will benefit businesses by allowing them to meet an unexpected need for more 457 nominations than originally planned.
  • Next steps: Companies whose applications are approved after 14 February 2014 can lodge further 457 nomination applications after the number of nominations stated on their applications are reached.

Background: The government made this sudden change in policy on 14 February when it removed language in Reg 2.63(2) that said a standard business sponsorship expired when the number of approved nominations (the nomination ceiling) is reached. The regulation now says only that a sponsorship expires on the end date of sponsorship approval.

Businesses whose standard business sponsorship applications are approved after 14 February 2014 can exceed the number of nominations stipulated on their application form, up until the expiry date of the sponsorship status (three years from the date of approval).

Sponsorship applications that were approved prior to 14 February 2014 and are subject to a nomination ceiling will continue to expire when that nomination ceiling has been reached.

BAL Analysis: Businesses will welcome this change, as it allows them greater flexibility should they find an unexpected need for more subclass 457 visas which they may not have anticipated when they initially applied for sponsorship status.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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