We often get questions from clients around whether they can sponsor their retail store managers for a subclass 457 visa. Under current policy, the short answer is that it is not appropriate to use the 457 programme to sponsor a Retail Manager, as it is not included in the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL). Current policy also dictates that sponsoring store managers using other occupations, such as Customer Service Manager (which is on the CSOL), is not appropriate.
However, the position has been qualified somewhat by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
In a newly released circular relating to sponsoring management positions in the retail sector (particularly in relation to Store Manager positions) the DIBP has advised that they may be flexible with their assessment where the company:
Is setting up a number of stores in Australia for the first time; and,
Wishes to employ an experienced manager from overseas to manage and lead the new stores in Australia.
However, management of a ‘flagship’ store could conceivably take the role beyond that of a typical Store Manager, and into the realm of Specialist Managers (not elsewhere classified). In most cases applicants for this occupation require a positive skills assessment from VETASSESS, which is often difficult to obtain as it requires a formal qualification.
Importantly, there are also limited exceptions to the skill assessment requirement and it is important to get a qualified assessment as to whether your business can access the flexibilities provided for in the current policy framework.
FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide updates on the 457 programme as they become available. If you would like to discuss, please call one of our migration agents on 02 9922 5188.