407 Training Visa

Subclass 407 Training Visa permits foreign nationals to participate in workplace training programs with Australian employers who intend to satisfy registration requirements, enhance skills and build occupational capacity.

As an employer sponsored visa, application for a Subclass 407 visa is comprised of 3 main stages:

  1. Approval as a Temporary Activity Sponsor
  2. Employer Nomination
  3. Visa Application

The most critical of these applications is the nomination application, which will be required to substantiate the structured workplace-based training the applicant will undergo. 

It is critical to understand that the purpose of the 407 visa is not to address domestic labour market shortages, but rather to permit foreign nationals to undergo a limited period of workplace training. Attempts to abuse the Subclass 407 visa as a means of circumventing the costs and requirements of temporary skills visas will result in application refusal, as such applications will be heavily scrutinised.  

Approval as a Temporary Activity Sponsor

Any employer planning to nominate a prospective worker on a Subclass 407 visa must first apply to obtain approval as a “temporary activity sponsor”. Once the sponsorship application is lodged, the employer can nominate a worker who can then lodge a visa application.

To be an approved sponsor, an organisation must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Lawfully operating in Australia;
  • No adverse information is known to the Department against your organisation, or if so there is a reason for the information to be disregarded;
  • Demonstrate capacity to comply with the sponsorship obligations imposed.

Once approved, an employer’s status as a temporary activity sponsor remains valid for up to 5 years. During this time, the sponsor may nominate any number of workers for Subclass 407 as well as Subclasses 403 and 408.

Sponsorship Obligations

As an approved sponsor, the major obligations include:

  • Cooperating with any inspector appointed under the Migration Act 1958;
  • Ensuring the employment terms and conditions to the visa holders are equivalent to those which are offered or would be offered to Australian workers;
  • Complying with the mandatory reporting and information-provision obligations to the Department;
  • Not engaging in actions that would effectively pass on the employer’s financial obligations to the visa applicants.

The Department would refuse an application for a temporary activity sponsor when it is not satisfied that the employer is capable of complying with all the obligations as the sponsor. The applications would likely be subject to heavier scrutiny if the sponsoring employer:

  • Is a start-up business;
  • Is a first-time sponsor;
  • Is not financially stable;
  • Employs fewer than 20 workers;
  • Has been trading for less than 12 months.

Employer Nomination Approval

Once an application for the sponsorship has been submitted, the employer will usually be required to nominate the prospective trainee for a specific occupational training program for a specific duration. The program may fall into one of the 3 variants:

  • Type 1: Occupational training required for registration
  • Type 2: Occupational training to enhance skills
  • Type 3: Occupational training for capacity building overseas

Depending on the type of nomination, the requirements will vary. For example, in practice, nominations lodged for the purposes of training to enhance skills will generally be more closely scrutinised than other forms of nomination.

Refusal of the nomination will result in the corresponding visa application failing. It is thus critical that employers understand the nomination requirements in detail prior to proceeding with their application.   

Nomination – General Requirements

Irrespective of the “nomination type,” all nominations must meet the following criteria:

  • The nominating entity is an approved temporary activity sponsor;
  • The prospective trainee will participate in a nominated program;
  • All dependent 407 applicants are included in the nomination;
  • There is no adverse information known to the Department about the nominator;
  • The nominator will directly provide the occupational training to the prospective trainee;
  • The nominated program will not prejudice local training or employment opportunities;
  • The prospective trainee can evidence “functional English;”
  • The nomination meets the requirements for one of the three nomination types;
  • The training program is genuine; and
  • The training program is workplace-based.

Nominated Training Program

One of the most common causes of Subclass 407 refusal are those relating to the nominated training program. A range of criteria under the general nomination requirements pertain to the nature and genuineness of the training program offered to the prospective visa applicant.

The first of these criteria concerns whether the training program will be directly administered by the nominating employer. It is not appropriate to pursue the Subclass 407 visa for an employee who is to undergo training with a third party. Secondly, the training must be predominantly workplace-based, as opposed to classroom-based.

Most crucially, is the need to demonstrate that the nominated program is genuine. This criterion most commonly becomes an issue where the purpose of the Subclass 407 application is to facilitate a work arrangement. It cannot be overstated that the purpose of the nomination must be to effect a training program, and not merely to permit a visa applicant to work for the nominator. 

Required Details

In almost all cases, the training plan outlining the nominated program must outline the following:

  • Learning objectives;
  • Components of the program;
  • A mechanism for assessment of the nominee’s current skills and training needs;
  • Identification of any supervisors, trainers and assessors;
  • Credentials of the identified trainers, supervisors and assessors;
  • Defined learning outcomes; and
  • Mechanisms for monitoring and assessment of the nominee’s progress.

Additional requirements may be applicable, depending on the nomination type and the specific occupation. 

Workplace-based

The nominated program must involve workplace-based training. Under policy, a program will be deemed “workplace-based” where it consists of a minimum of 30 hours of training per week, of which no less than 70% is undertaken in the workplace.

Multiple Training Providers

Training arrangements with multiple providers will generally only be possible for “type 1” nominations, government endorsed programs, or in relation to nominators engaged in the health, science, social assistance or religions fields. Certain institutions of higher education may also be covered by these exemptions.  

In all other circumstances, consecutive training programs involving multiple providers must be facilitated through multiple Subclass 407 visas. Concurrent training from multiple providers will generally not be feasible under this subclass.

Training programs involving related corporate entities of the nominator, such as subsidiaries, may be permissible, provided the nominator has sufficient control over said entities to ensure compliance with its sponsorship obligations.  

Adverse Training and Employment Consequences

Nominations may be refused where concerns arise regarding potential prejudice to the training and employment opportunities available to Australian citizens or permanent residents.

In particular, nominations will be regarded as failing this criterion where either:

  • The nominated program will result in the displacement of a citizen or permanent resident by the prospective visa applicant; or
  • Such opportunities, as relates to the nomination, are not offered to citizens or permanent residents.

English Language Requirements 

All nominees must evidence a minimum level of English language proficiency. The requisite language proficiency of “functional English” can be substantiated in the following ways:

  • Holding an Irish, US, UK, NZ or Canadian passport, as a citizens;
  • IELTS test score of 4.5 in each band, or equivalent score in another approved test;
  • Completion of primary school and three (3) years of secondary school conducted in English;
  • Completion of five (5) years of secondary school conducted in English; or
  • Completion of tertiary education at diploma level or higher, conducted in English.

Where not otherwise capable of being substantiated, the Department may assess the applicant’s language proficiency through a prescribed English language course provider or, in exceptional circumstances, through an interview with the nominated prospective trainee.

Remuneration

Unlike most other employer sponsored visas, the Subclass 407 visa imposes no minimum salary requirement. As such, it may be possible to facilitate an unpaid training program in limited circumstances.

The issue of remuneration is ultimately an issue of employment law. Nominating employers will only be permitted to provide unpaid workplace training in circumstances where it is permitted under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Note that an unpaid “Volunteer position,” where permitted under Australian law, will generally enliven a sponsorship obligation to provide accommodation for an unpaid subclass 407 visa holders.   

Nomination – Type 1 – Occupational Training for Registration

This type is ideal for applicants in professions where professional registration or licencing is contingent on a period of practical work experience under a regulatory regime, whether in Australia or the nominee’s home country. Nominations in this stream permit the qualified nominees to undertake the work experience in Australia. This is for the purpose of satisfying their mandated practical work experience. Nominees are required to substantiate that the training period sought is for the purpose of professional licencing or registration.

The specific criteria include:

  • That the occupational training be necessary for the nominee to obtain registration, membership or license;
  • Such registration, membership or license is required for the nominee to be employed in the nominated occupation;
  • The duration of the proposed occupational training is consistent with the requirements for the registration, membership or licensing; or
  • The nominee has the appropriate qualifications or experience to undertake the workplace-based occupational training.

It is important to emphasise that the licencing or registration must be of a kind which is mandatory for the applicant to work in his or her nominated occupation, either in Australia or the visa applicant’s home country. Schemes such as CPA accreditation will not be permissible under this stream, as CPA accreditation is not a legal requirement for practice as an accountant.  

In case of health practitioners, the nominees must first secure conditional registration with the appropriate professional body, namely the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. It is mandatory that they be legally qualified and able to treat patients in order to participate in the occupational training.

Nomination – Type 2 – Occupational Training to Enhance Skills

This type provides foreign nationals an opportunity to undertake workplace training in Australia for the purpose of enhancing their skills. Whilst it is wide-ranging in its scope, nominations of this type are heavily scrutinised. 

Criteria that are specifically applicable to this type include:

  • The nominee’s occupation must be an eligible occupation;
  • The training plan is individually tailored to the nominee;
  • Within the last 24 months, the nominee has a minimum of 12 months experience or education in relation to the nominated occupation. 

Eligible Occupations

The list of eligible occupations under this nomination type is extremely broad. Any occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List, Short-term Skilled occupation List or Regional Occupation List will generally be eligible.  

Training Plan

It is necessary for nominations of this type to be accompanied by a detailed training plan. This is amongst the most crucial components of the application and requires particular attention. Please see our in-depth coverage of training plan requirements further below on this page.

Requisite Experience

Applicants must demonstrate at least 12 months of experience or education relating to the nominated occupation. This 12-month requirement must have been met within the last 2 years. For the purposes of this requirement, formal education will be considered work experience. Nominees with no prior exposure to the nominated occupation will not meet the requirements of this nomination type. 

Nomination – Type 3 – Training for Capacity Building Overseas

This type is intended for employees of an overseas business looking to undertake occupational training with a related Australian business. The Australian business could train foreign workers at their Australian premises building their capacity. In turn they could subsequently build the capacity of the overseas business. Nominations of this type must be accompanied by a comprehensive training plan prepared by the nominating employer. It may sub-categorised into:

  • Overseas Qualification;

This subcategory is intended for students of international institutions who are required to undertake a period of training as part of their degree. It allows such students the opportunity to complete the occupational training in Australia over a period of no more than 6 months. In summary, the requirements under this subcategory are as follows:

  • The qualification requires practical experience, research or observation of no more than 6 months;
  • The occupational training is structured, workplace-based, and tailored to the needs of the nominee;
  • A letter that shows support should be obtained from the foreign education provider regarding the training requirement;
  • If the training is not a mandatory requirement for the nominee’s degree, the nomination should be directed to the purpose of enhancing skills.
  • Government Support;

Occupational training programs may be supported by the Government of Australia or the nominee’s home country, whether federal, national, state, territory or provincial level. 

  • Professional Development

This subcategory is only available for training programs relating to those in professional or managerial occupations at foreign organisations. It is intended to permit Australian organisations to offer professional development programs to overseas businesses. The nominee is required to:

  • Have an overseas employer;
  • Hold a managerial or professional position with their overseas employer;
  • Participate in occupational training that is consistent with the development of the nominee’s managerial or professional skills;
  • Participate in occupational training that enhance skills which are consistent with the business background of the nominee and their employer;
  • The primary mode of delivery for the training is face-to-face teaching in a classroom or like setting.

407 Training Plan

Many nominations, particularly those of the “training to enhance skills” type, must be accompanied by a comprehensive training plan, which should be individually tailored to the applicant and adequately structured. Generic training plans are highly likely to result in nomination refusal, as these will not support the genuineness of the proposed training program. 

Due to the high level of scrutiny exercised by the Department, careful preparation of the training plan is of paramount importance. Expert advice is pivotal to ensure your training plan conforms with statutory requirements and the Department’s guidelines. Under policy, the basic requirements of a training plan is expressed as follows:

“the occupational training is a structured workplace-based training program, specifically tailored and timed to the training needs of the nominee, and is of a duration that meets the specific needs of the nominees” 

Policy further expounds on the above to set out a range of factors by which a training plan will be assessed. 

Training Plan Duration

A training program must entail at least 30 hours of training a week. 70% of the training must be conducted in the workplace, rather than a classroom or other setting. 

There are no hard and fast rules regarding the duration of the training program, beyond that its length is consistent with the training needs of the applicant. Egregious or unjustifiably long periods of training will likely result in an adverse decision. 

Note that the absolute maximum duration of a Subclass 407 visa is two (2) years, although few applications will justify a grant of such a duration. 

Structure and Tailored to the Applicant

It is crucial that a training plan be comprehensively structured and specifically tailored to the needs of the applicant. Under policy, any ostensibly generic training plan will be deemed indicative of an attempt to circumvent Australia’s temporary skills shortage scheme. 

Aspects which are expected of a training plan include the following:

  • Differentiation between periods of practical work experience and periods of instruction or observation;
  • Clearly stated objectives, tasks and timeframes;
  • Mechanisms for the assessment of the nominee’s skill level at the commencement of the training;
  • Outcomes of the occupational training program, including skills the trainee is expected to develop;
  • Series of tasks that increase in difficulty and complexity over the progress of the program;
  • Evaluation and monitoring mechanisms for the progress of the nominee over time;
  • Consistency between the tasks and learning outcomes. 
  • A structure that is in alignment with the objectives of the program.

As can be seen from the above, much thought must be placed on preparing a training plan, as the level of detail required is very significant.

Supervisory Requirements

It is expected that the training program will be administered by a competent and senior staff member. The identity of said supervisor must be disclosed in the nomination application and it is best to incorporate this information into the documents outlining the training plan. Providers of any “off-the-job” training ought also be disclosed. 

If you plan to sponsor multiple 407 visa holders, or already provide training to one or more such persons, consideration will be given to the supervisor-trainee ratio within your organisation. This is to ensure that the training plan is individualised to the nominee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can training visas be used as a substitute for employer sponsored visas?

The Subclass 407 training visa is not intended to remedy short-term skill shortages, nor does it provide any permanent residency pathway for applicants. This visa may be issued for a maximum duration of 2 years in extreme cases. The duration sought must be consistent with the length of training to be undertaken. Durations of over 6 months may be more closely scrutinised by the Department.

The purpose of the training visa is to permit applicants to undertake workplace training. This is not intended to allow employers to access foreign labour at a reduced cost. 

Any indication that an employer is abusing the Subclass 407 training visa scheme will likely result in nomination refusal. 

Can experienced applicants qualify for a training visa?

In addition to the minimum experience requirement, the length of an applicant’s prior work experience will be taken into consideration when determining the appropriateness of the training program. 

In short, if you are sufficiently experienced already, a lengthy training program will likely be rejected by the Department without considerable justification. In other cases, the duration of your visa may be reduced, depending on your existing level of work experience.  

How long will my Subclass 407 visa be issued for?

The duration of a training visa will be in line with the duration of the relevant training program. Any sought duration in excess of six (6) months will draw additional scrutiny. It is extremely rare for applicants to be given the maximum of 2 years, particularly for Type 2 nominations. 

Under policy, prior workplace experience will be factored into this assessment. For example, an applicant with substantive work experience may be issued a Subclass 407 visa for a duration that is considerably shorter than the duration anticipated by the training plan. 

In some cases, training visas will be issued for 2 months beyond the training program end date where appropriate. This is generally only to allow for finalisation of professional registration in Australia. 

Can my migration solicitor create my training plan for me?

It is generally not possible, nor advisable, for a migration agent or solicitor to unilaterally produce a compliant program without significant input from the employer. This is because a training plan will often include technical specifics relating to the occupation for which the applicant is to be trained. 

For further information on training plans, please see our discussion on the topic further below. 

Can I change my training provider or program?

In all instances, it is advised that a change in training provider or training program be preceded with a fresh Subclass 407 application. This course of action is anticipated under Department policy, as doing otherwise may result in an inadvertent breach of one’s visa conditions. 

Further, where the sponsoring organisation is sold but the original training program is to continue, the Department may deem it unnecessary to apply for a fresh Subclass 407 visa, but would likely still require lodging a fresh nomination. 

Visa Application

For a Subclass 407 visa to be granted, the applicant must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be over 18 years old, unless exceptional circumstances exist;
  • Possess functional English, as discussed above;
  • Be nominated by an approved sponsor;
  • Have appropriate qualifications or experience for the training, as discussed above;
  • Maintain health insurance;
  • Be a “genuine temporary entrant;” and
  • Have the funds to financially support themselves in Australia.

Genuine temporary Entrant

As with most temporary visas, applicants must establish that they will not remain in Australia beyond the duration of the sought visa. For detailed information regarding this requirement, please refer to our Subclass 600 visa application page.

Application Charges

All below-listed costs are subject to change. It is important to confirm the current costs associated with your application prior to proceeding. 

Employer Costs

  • Approval as a Temporary Activity Sponsor: $420
  • Nomination: $170

It should be noted that all employer costs stated above should be borne by the sponsoring employer and any attempt to pass the costs on to the applicant may constitute a ground for visa refusal and impede the sponsor from nominating foreign workers in the future.

Applicant Costs

  • Base application charge: $310
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $310
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $80

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