Genuine Position Grounds: Why more 457 visas are being rejected?


A 457 visa is a great option for people who want to live and work in Australia. One of the key parts of a 457 visa application is providing the position description. A genuine position description fulfills the purpose of the 457 visa, which is to cover a skills gap in the workforce.

Recently, the Department of Immigration and Border Control has become much stricter in its interpretation of genuine position grounds. So what is the Department looking for? What's likely to impress or encourage disapproval?

The Department is trying to make sure that your application is genuine. A genuine position description helps to prove the validity of the application.

Genuine position grounds for a 457 visa

Sponsoring a related person

A related person will encourage extra examination. It's getting harder to sponsor yourself for a 457 visa if you're a business owner or company officer. As well as self-sponsorship, the Department will look into situations where the visa applicant is related or has some kind of personal relationship with someone from the sponsoring business.

The main risk is the Department might think that the role is being created for the express purpose of bringing someone to Australia, rather than filling a skills gap. If you're in this position, make sure you have a lot in the way of extra evidence to prove the gap and validity of the application.

Occupations and the skills gap requirement

Some occupations have been identified by the Department as needing more scrutiny than others. They generally include jobs that are a bit blurry on the skills gap requirement. You need to differentiate the position to make the need for sponsorship genuine.

Common roles which might get some extra attention include:

Cafe or Restaurant Manager

This role needs additional evidence to ensure that duties include more functions, such as menu collaboration with the chef and event or function planning. The venue also needs to be a proper restaurant or cafe, not a takeaway outlet.

Accountants and Marketing Specialists

The Department might target positions labelled as Accountants or Marketing Specialists.

There's not a huge skills shortage in these areas, so a genuine position description needs to reflect a senior executive role with a specific skill set not commonly available.

Program or Project Administrators, Specialist Managers NEC

Generic role titles such as these have been exploited in the past. The Department is now much more strict and applicants are subject to a formal skills assessment (which isn't easy).

Customer Service Manager

Another generic title. The Department is trying to ensure that people entering on a 457 visa aren't just serving on a shop floor. A role with this title needs to include higher level functions, such as hiring team members, setting policies and training.

Applicant nationality and location

Some countries will always draw more attention than others. An applicant from such a country will merit extra investigation, especially if they have no obvious connection to the business or role.

The reason for this is that the Department is questioning how the applicant has been determined to be the best person for the role (i.e. how the employer identified them). The Department is trying to crack down on people paying to be sponsored on a 457 visa.


The salary of the sponsored job needs to match the position description. If the salary only just matches the salary requirement for a 457 visa, the Department will investigate. Similarly, if the role offers a salary just above the English language exemption threshold, the application may be suspected of having an inflated salary to avoid language requirements.

What will make a 457 visa application successful

The best way to successfully apply for a 457 visa is to make sure you have a genuine reason and a genuine role. Always make sure you're specific and have evidence to support the existence of the role.

The application process can get complicated, so don't hesistate to get in touch with an immigration lawyer for a confidential chat.

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