Perth receives sponsorship classification

Date: Sep 14, 2011

Perth has recently been included in the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), receiving a regional classification that affects a number of visa classes.

The RSMS will allow business owners in the area to hire foreign workers that possess relevant skills to fill a nominated position.

Special provisions are made by the scheme to allow employers in Perth and surrounding regions to access international labour - recognising the difficulties faced by businesses operating in remote and regional localities.

One of the main obstacles identified is the trouble associated with attracting staff in possession of certain skill sets - namely automotive, engineering, electrical, medical, design and construction.

Because of the remoteness of these enterprises, managers and owners frequently find that the local population does not have the required training or experience to perform certain tasks for their firms.

In these cases, employers are able to sponsor migrant workers on a number of visas to live and work in Australia for a certain period of time.

It is also possible for newly employed international employees to bring their families under certain conditions.

Previously, employers in Perth were able to sponsor overseas workers under the 457 visa, which provides businesses with access to skilled labour from other countries for approved occupations for up to four years.

The inclusion of Western Australia's capital as a regional area in the RSMS became effective on September 12 after it was first announced back in July.

Minister for immigration and citizenship Chris Bowen then said that the scheme would help reduce the frictions experience by employers and skilled workers in attempting to obtain permanent residency.

Talking about the RSMS, Bowen said: "This will provide employers with another, easier avenue to recruit the skilled workers they need from overseas."

Business owners seeking more information on the requirements of skilled migration visas could do well to speak with a migration lawyer who can assess the company's case before an application is made to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Approximately 16,000 places have been allocated to the RSMS for the next financial year - the largest amount of sponsorships ever specifically assigned to the scheme.

This could be a reflection of the increasing demand for sponsorship arrangements in WA - which already accounts for nearly 20 per cent of all 457 visa applications in the country over the last year.

Lawyers for immigration can ease the process by providing valuable advice on the requirements of the application process - potentially minimising the chances of an application being turned down.