Significant changes to sponsored visa conditions

2 minute read  21.06.2024 Megan Arends, Taya Hunt

Changes to temporary sponsored visa conditions and what this means for employers of these visa holders.


Key takeouts


  • TSS, 457 and 494 visa holders will have more time and flexibility to work for other employers after ceasing employment with their sponsoring employer.
  • Given the increased flexibility, visa holders will need to carefully monitor their compliance with these conditions.
  • Employers will also need to carefully monitor compliance with these conditions to ensure no breaches of the employer sanctions provisions.

Changes to work rights of temporary sponsored work visa holders after ceasing employment

From 1 July 2024, holders of the following sponsored temporary work visas who cease work for their sponsoring employer will have more time to find a new sponsor, apply for a different visa or depart Australia:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) (TSS)
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 494)
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

Under their visa conditions 8107, 8607 and 8608, these visa holders will have up to:

  • 180 days at a time; or
  • a maximum of 365 days in total across the entire visa grant period.

This time period has been increased from 60 days.

Work for other employers and in other occupations

During this time, sponsored temporary work visa holders will also be able to work for other employers and in occupations other than their nominated occupations.

This change marks a significant departure from the longstanding requirement that visa holders can only work for their sponsoring employer and in their nominated occupation, even after ceasing employment with their sponsor.

Impact on visa holders and employers

From 1 July 2024, holders of sponsored temporary work visas who cease employment with their sponsoring employer will have up to 180 days at a time, or a maximum of 365 days in total across their visa period, to find a new sponsor, apply for a different visa, or leave Australia. This extends the previous 60-day period.

The changes will provide more flexibility for employers, allowing them to lawfully employ a visa holder for a limited period before sponsoring them.

However, employers will need to carefully monitor their employment of visa holders to avoid breaching the Employer Sanctions Provisions of the Migration Act. These provisions prevent employers from allowing someone to work without the right to do so. To avoid breaching these provisions, employers must ensure they do not employ these visa holders beyond the 180 day or 365 day periods allowed under the visa conditions from 1 July.

Visa holders will also need to carefully monitor their compliance with the increased flexibility. Unless exempt, they cannot work for another employer unless they have ceased working with their sponsoring employer and must remain in their nominated occupation during employment with their sponsor. Additionally, visa holders must refrain from undertaking any work that conflicts with the specific licencing or registration requirements for their nominated occupation.

These changes will apply to all existing and new visa holders on and after 1 July 2024.


We're here to help navigate the how these changes impact your organisation and in particular, how you can make use of the flexibility these changes offer, while maintaining compliance with Employer Sanctions and sponsorship requirements under the Migration Act.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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https://www.minterellison.com/articles/significant-changes-to-sponsored-visa-conditions