If you have applied for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) and have been granted a Bridging Visa A, C or E that has Condition 8101 applied, which means that you are unable to work whilst in Australia, you may be able to apply for permission to work based on compelling need to work. Generally, compelling need to work requires demonstrating financial hardship. However in the case of applicants for the 457 visa application, permission to work may be granted without the applicant being in financial distress.

Read: No Work Rights? You Can Change That If You Have Compelling Reason To Work

Unlike in other situations where a Bridging Visa is affected by Condition 8101, your compelling need to work criteria can also be satisfied if you:

  • Have made a valid 457 visa application, and
  • Have an approved nomination application made by a standard business sponsor, former standard business sponsor or party to a labour agreement
  • Appear to, based on the information provided in the application, satisfy the criteria for the grant of the 457 visa

This means that you may apply for work rights after your 457 nomination application is approved, even if the visa decision has not been made. What does ‘appear to satisfy criteria’ mean? Simply that the Department will take your 457 visa application at face value; health and character declarations for example, are taken to be true, even if the health assessment has not been taken and police clearance has not been submitted.

You will need to apply for a new Bridging Visa in replacement of your current Bridging Visa with Condition 8101. You will also not be required to start with with your sponsor. You may work for any employer and in any occupation whilst you wait for your 457 visa application to be finalised.

If you are in dire need to work and cannot wait for your nomination approval, then you may apply under financial hardship as explained in the article linked above.