Coming to live in Australia on a 457 visa? Find out what you need to know about 457 visa travel insurance.
Travel insurance is a necessity when you travel, regardless of the reason for your trip or how long you’re travelling.
That’s why, even if you’re coming to Australia on a visa, you should have travel cover, not just while moving here, but for any trips you plan to take while you’re here.
This guide looks at 457 travel insurance in general and work-sponsored 457 insurance in particular and outlines the cover you’ll need to travel, live and work in Australia.
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About 457 travel insurance
Australian insurers offer non-resident travel insurance to the holders of a number of different visas including:
- 457 – Temporary business long stay
- 405 or 410 – Retirement or investor retirement
- 411 – Exchange
- 416 – Special program
- 417 – Working holiday
- 422 – Medical practitioner
Why do I need 457 travel insurance?
Travel is rife with unforeseen risks and 457 travel insurance will cover you against a range circumstances. While the level of cover will depend on your insurer and the policy you choose, 457 travel insurance usually covers:
- Emergency medical assistance. Emergency medical or dental expenses, including ambulance, hospital and emergency evacuation.
- Personal disability. A benefit paid for a disabling injury suffered while travelling.
- Cancellations and lost deposits. Reimbursement for cancellation fees or deposits that cannot be recovered.
- Travel delays. Additional accommodation and meals expenses if your travel arrangements are delayed.
- Luggage delays. A benefit to buy emergency clothing and toiletries if your luggage is misplaced or lost by a travel provider.
- Luggage and personal belongings. Compensation for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage or personal items.
- Rental vehicle excess. Covers the excess payable if your rental car is stolen or damaged.
- Personal liability. Covers your liability for third party injury or property damage.
- Travel documents. Covers the cost of replacing lost or stolen travel documents.
Important conditions for 457 travel insurance
To qualify for 457 travel insurance, you will need to satisfy eligibility requirements. These include:
- While you are free to travel overseas while you are here, you must be planning to spend the majority of your trip within Australia
- You must have an adequate level of health insurance for the entire period of your stay, either private health insurance or Medicare-equivalent cover under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA)
- You must not be above a specified age (age limit differs with insurers)
About the 457 visa
The 457 visa allows skilled workers to travel to Australia to work for an approved sponsor in a nominated occupation for up to four years. To be eligible for this visa, the following criteria must be met:
- You must have sponsorship by an approved business
- You must have the necessary skills to fill the position nominated by your sponsor
- A business can only sponsor you if they are unable to find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position
- The position must be an approved occupation on the Skilled Occupation Lists
- You must be able to meet all registration and licensing requirements to work in your nominated occupation
- You must be able to speak vocational English (in most cases)
- You may be required to do a skills assessment
- You and any dependent family members may be required to undergo a health exam, depending on your length of stay, country of citizenship, time spent in other countries and intended activities in Australia
- You and your family members must have adequate private health insurance, unless you are covered by the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement
- You must be able to provide a police certificate to meet character requirements
- You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government
- Your sponsor must also include your family members as secondary sponsored persons
What happens to my super when I leave Australia?
If you have been living and working in Australia on a 457 visa, in accordance with Australian law, your employer will have been making compulsory superannuation contributions on your behalf. When your 457 visa expires or is cancelled and you return to your country of origin, you will still be able to claim the money in your Australian superannuation account.
You can do this by applying for what is known as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) from the Australian Taxation Office. If you didn’t claim your super from your fund at least six months before departing Australia, the money would have been sent to the ATO as unclaimed super and upon request, it will be paid to you, minus any taxes owing. The taxed element of the taxable component of a DASP is taxed at rate of 35%, while the untaxed element is taxed at 45%.
You can apply for your DASP online on the ATO website. After verifying your identity and eligibility, the system will search for your unclaimed super, which will be held either with a super fund or with the ATO. Once found and approved, you will usually receive a cheque in the mail within 28 days of your application.
Do I need health insurance if travelling to Australia on the 457 visa?
All non-residents visiting Australia on a visa must have adequate health cover, either through a private health insurer or under the RHCA. This is an agreement Australia has with a number of countries including New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Malta, Slovenia and Norway. It gives people from these countries access to our public health care services under Medicare including:
- Free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital
- Medicare benefits for visits to a GP
- Access to subsidised medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
As Medicare only covers treatments medically necessary, many 457 visa holders opt to fill in the gaps by taking out private health insurance as well. Typical 457 health insurance will give you extra benefits such as:
- The option to choose your own hospital and doctor
- A private room (either in a public or private hospital)
- Minimum waiting periods
- Ambulance cover
- Gap cover (covers the amount between what is charged and what you get back)
- Medical repatriation to your country of origin if required
- Ancillary benefits including optical, dental and physiotherapy
Compare policies for 457 visa holders
If you are planning to live and work in Australia on a 457 visa, 457 travel insurance is a must and, because it is a requirement by insurers, adequate health insurance as well. Luckily, there are plenty of 457 travel insurance options out there. Shop around and find the cover you need at a price you can afford.
Picture: Nicole Hanusek, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (image cropped)