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457 Visa - I want to quit my job and go Defacto - issues?

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I am a Brit living in Oz and have been working on my 457 Visa for the past two years, with another two years remaining on my Visa.  I am very unhappy in my current job and I really want to leave, and it has got to the point where I am willing to consider leaving without another role to go to.   I am in the process of applying for a Defacto Visa with my girlfriend (we have been together for a year) but I am well aware that the time it takes to get this issued far exceeds both my current situation and my remaining 457 Visa time.

If I choose to quit my job without another work sponsor to vouch for me, will I be able to stay and work in Australia after I have lodged my application for Defacto?   Or can I only stay and work after being issued the initial part of my Defacto Visa?  Also, would I only be able to legally work if a new employer sponsored me (if I can find one)?  Would I be able to fly to and from the country whilst my application was pending (I had intended to go back to the UK for Christmas and already booked flights)? 

Any feedback would be gratefully received.  Thanks.

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If you apply for the de facto visa, you'd be issued a bridging visa A which will remain in the background as long as your 457 is still valid.  But if you quit your job, your 457 would eventually be cancelled taking the bridging visa with it.  You could immediately apply for a bridging visa E but it comes with no work rights (you can apply for these if you can prove financial hardship) but it also comes with no travel rights which you can't apply for.  So for most people, a BVE is a situation to avoid.

As long as you hold the 457, you cannot work for any employer other than one who sponsors you for the 457.  If your 457 is cancelled while you're outside Australia, you'd likely need to apply for another visa (e.g. visitor) while to re-enter and whether you can apply to get the BVA reinstated is something you'd need to ask a migration agent.

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Maggie May is giving the right advice. My daughter and partner lodged a partner visa before she then left her 457 job which had several years still to run, and unless things have changed to the best of my limited knowledge, you can canx the 457 but it doesn't cease until the original end date.

her bridging visa A did not come into effect and she went on bridging visa E until her 820? was issued.

It was a bit of a nightmare, no work rights and you leave the country you can't get back in for I think several years.

They pleaded and proved financial hardship and she did have the work rights reinstated but it took several months.

The good news is they are still together 5 years later.

Good luck, but be careful, and might be worth asking a migration agent for advice.

ps Also I think the clock starts again as per your time spent in Oz if you go on BVE

Edited by ramot

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Thank you both for your comments. How difficult was proving the financial hardship? I assume the Government need to see bank records, but do they take your partner's income into account?

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If you are seriously considering a partner visa and live in a state where you can register your relationship that will be a good easy first step to take. You cannot cancel your 457 visa unless you are seeking to withdraw super and are leaving the country (via the DASP process).

I would suggest you see if you can find another employer to nominate you under the 457 assuming your occupation is still listed. And contact an agent for advice. You will have a limited time window not to cause yourself a serious headache. Ask yourself if leaving your employer is worth the hassle, or at least search for a new one to nominate you and take over. 

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