Can I get another job when I’m on a 457 visa?

We get this question a lot from our readers and clients:

Can I do freelance work on a 457 visa?

Can I do a side gig or another job when I'm on a 457 to make some extra money? 

Maybe you've been approached with this great opportunity or you've had a genius idea of building your own start up. But you're on a 457 visa, what can you do?


Do you:

a) take the job on as a part-time role and do it after hours or

b) refuse the extra cash or

c) put your great start up idea on the backburner?


Whilst the 457 visa is the visa that gives you the broadest work rights in Australia, the very important condition of visa grant is that you work only for the employer sponsoring you and only in the role that you were nominated for.

Therefore there is no possibility of another job, side job or freelance gig in order to earn extra money while you are 457 visa holder.

Another job when on 457 visa scenarios:

Let's say a new company comes along and offers you another job - better job with better incentives. If you want to take up this great new opportunity then the first thing you need to sort out is if this new company is willing to take over your sponsorship.

What about if you've been promoted or reassigned within your own company? If you wish to work in a different position then you need to ask yourself if your position duties have changed substantially from the roles and responsibilities of the nominated occupation.

If you wish to change jobs then you are by all means free to change employers and jobs - you are not legally obligated to stay with your employer no matter what they say. Your visa status does not give them the special right to compel you to stay and work for them. Of course there are other considerations for leaving your sponsored employer but these are things you should also think about.

light at the end of the tunnel


So bottom line, you cannot work for anyone else and not as anything else other than for your sponsoring employer and in your nominated occupation.

This is condition of your visa grant (condition 8107) and a breach of this condition may result in visa cancellation.

Breach of visa conditions is serious stuff and carries severe penalties so don't think the Department is not aware of it, just check out their scary blog on 'visa scams' and 'are you working legally' case studies.


start up idea yes


But wait! What about that start up idea that you have? Well there's hope for you. As long as you're not generating income for it then you can still work on that little project in your spare time.

'Work' meaning that you can develop the idea however you want but not in the 'full time work week and getting a salary for it' kind of work. But the moment you want to monetise your start up idea, that's entering the realm of 'freelancing' and 'another job' .

When you're ready to take your start up idea to the next level, there are possibilities of being your own boss and sponsoring yourself for a 457 visa. This way you can continue to stay and legally work in Australia on your start up idea. Ask us how or have a look at our start up package for more information.

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