Employer Sponsored Visa
The key legislative intention with the employer sponsored visas is to address deficiencies in Australia’s labour market. Issuance of these visas are limited to instances where it is proven that an Australian citizen or permanent resident with equivalent credentials is unable to be sourced. In addition, there are certain obligations to be discharged by the employer.
Sponsorship and Nomination
Not every employer may sponsor foreign workers. They need to be approved by the Department as sponsors of appropriate sorts in the context of Subclasses 186, 407, 408 and 482. The approved sponsors may nominate a skilled worker for a relevant visa.
Sponsorship approval are classified into 2 categories:
Standard Business Sponsor
For Subclasses 186, 482, 494
Temporary Activities Sponsor
For Subclass 407 and certain nominations under Subclass 408
Criteria for sponsorship applications vary depending on categories but employers are generally required to prove that they are lawfully operating a business in Australia. Start-ups may qualify although additional requirements may be imposed, especially regarding genuineness and viability of the business. Certain employers are disqualified if they are found to have abused the regime.
Costs to Employers
Employer sponsored visas are intended to assist employers in obtaining necessary skills that are not readily sourced in the Australian labour market. In return, the employer needs to contribute to addressing the labour shortage. This is often referred to as levy to the Skills Australians Fund (SAF).
Furthermore, the employers would have to bear the application costs for sponsorship approval and nomination. Any attempt to pass on these costs to the employee or have the employee reimburse the employer will result in refusal of said visa and may prevent the employer from sponsoring foreign workers in the future.
Applicants who pay their employer in exchange for nomination may find themselves ineligible from applying for future employer sponsored visas of up to 3 years. This practice is strongly condemned.
Limitations on Eligible Occupations
Employer sponsored migration is intended to address domestic labour shortages prevalent in the Australian labour market, which in turn means that not all occupations will qualify. For this end, the Department of Home Affairs devises lists of eligible occupations to reflect the current state of the market. These lists of occupations differ across subclasses and subject to constant amendments.
Subclasses - Employer Sponsored Visas
A number of visas are available for foreign workers to be employed by an Australian business. The process usually involves the Australian business to invite or nominate the worker via necessary steps. Commonly used subclasses in the employer sponsored migration scheme include:
This is a temporary visa used by Australian employers to sponsor foreign skilled workers for up to 4 years per visa. Only particular occupations are eligible to apply, and employers must demonstrate genuine attempts to locate domestic workers for the position unless exemptions apply.
This is a permanent visa for foreign skilled workers who are sponsored and nominated by an eligible Australian employer. The available streams under these visas include labour agreement, direct entry and temporary residence transition or labour agreement.
This is a temporary visa with a stream where employers in regional Australia may utilize to sponsor foreign skilled workers on a temporary basis with an option to apply for permanent residency. Holders of these visas are however required to live, work and study only in a regional area of Australia.
This visa allows foreign workers with specialized skills to undertake employment in Australia for up to 6 months. The requisite work must require individuals with highly specialized skills, attributes, expertise or proprietary knowledge.
This visa allows applicants to undertake a structured work-based training program with an Australian employer. This may be available for the purposes of meeting trade or professional licensing and registration requirements or to enhance an applicant’s skills.
This visa allows foreign skilled workers to undertake specific types of work in Australia on a short-term basis. This visa consists of 10 streams, each facilitating a precise type of work, including sporting, entertainment, research or religious activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you help me find an Australian employer?
We do not assist people in finding an Australian employer who can sponsor. It is not advisable to seek this form of assistance from a registered migration agent. Not only is there likely a conflict of interests, but applicants who are introduced to employers by a migration agent may well be at risk of exploitation, underpayment, extortion and visa refusal.
I own a small business. Can I sponsor my relative?
It is possible for an Australian employer to sponsor a relative, but this fact should be known to the Department who will likely scrutinise the intention of employment to be in place. If your relative lacks the requisite skills or if you do not have a genuine business need to employ your relative, it will not be possible to sponsor your relative.
If I purchase a small business in Australia, can I sponsor myself?
Although not forbidden under law, self-sponsorship is subject to extreme scrutiny. If it is determined that your business was primarily created in order to achieve a migration outcome, it is likely your application will fail. This path is highly inadvisable.
My employer wants me to pay them to nominate me. Is this legal?
It is unlawful for an employer sponsor to accept a benefit from a visa applicant in exchange for sponsorship. Those who engage in this practice will likely be subject to application refusal, visa cancellation and potentially a 3 year ban on employer sponsored visa applications.
My employer wants me to reimburse them for the cost of sponsorship. Is that legal?
Employers are not permitted to pass on the costs of sponsorship approval, nomination or the SAF levy to applicants. If there is evidence that these fees were paid for by the applicant, the application will be refused.