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Image by David Watkis
  • Writer's pictureElite Woodhams Relocation

Signing a Property Lease Before the Visa Comes Through

A case study

Picture the scene: Geoff and Sally are on a “look-see” visit to Melbourne ahead of their planned relocation. Geoff’s new job is due to start in six weeks. They decide they like Australia and Melbourne, and fall in love with a family home costing $1,500 per week. However they aren’t the only ones interested, and the agent informs them if they can sign a lease next week the property is their


There is just one little administrative issue of concern …. Geoff’s visa approval has not yet come through. [Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) or Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa]

Weighing it up they decide to go ahead with a 12-month lease commencing in a month.

What are the risks?

Well, if Geoff’s 457 visa doesn’t come through in time they have a cost of $1,500 per week. With processing times considerably longer than previously this is a significant risk.

Indeed it is possible Geoff’s visa will be refused. In this case they (and presumably the employer) have a liability of up to $78,000 ($1,500 for 52 weeks). Of course they will instruct the real estate agent to try to re-lease the property, however until that is successful it remains their cost.

This is a true story.


Under no circumstances should employers allow potential transferees to sign a property lease unless and until their visa approval has been received.


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