Employer Sponsored Visas

Employer Sponsored Visas (Temporary and Permanent) (Subclass 457, 186 and 187)

If you are looking to sponsor an overseas worker on either a short or long term basis to fill a position in your business, our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration agents can assist you.

We can assess the eligibility of your business, provide strategic advice, facilitate the application and increase the chances of a favourable decision.

Several visa options are available to employers wanting to obtain a visa for a prospective employee:

  1. Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457);
  2. Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400);
  3. Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa (subclass 401);
  4. Training and Research visa (Subclass 402);
  5. Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) Permanent Skilled Visa;
  6. Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) Permanent Visa;

There are several factors to consider when deciding the most suitable visa category to sponsor an overseas worker, including:

  • the size, structure and nature of your business or company
  • the urgency in filling the position in your business
  • the nature of the position to be filled by the overseas worker
  • the skill level, including qualifications and experience of the overseas worker
  • the region where the overseas worker will be employed.

Here is some information about some of these visas:

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

This visa category involves three stages, Sponsorship, Nomination and the Visa application.

Sponsorship

The sponsoring company must first apply and be approved as a “Standard Business Sponsor”. To qualify as a standard business sponsor, the business will need to satisfy certain requirements prescribed by the Migration Act including that the business:

  • is actively and lawfully operating (whether in or outside of Australia)
  • meets training benchmark requirements
  • has no relevant adverse information against the business
  • will not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices
  • agrees to comply with sponsorship obligations throughout the life of the sponsorship agreement with the Department of Immigration.

A Sponsorship agreement with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is generally valid for five years.

Start-up businesses will only be approved for 18 months and will need to renew their agreement prior to the expiration of their agreement if they wish to continue sponsoring an overseas worker.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and other criteria may apply.  Please consult us for more details.

Nomination

The Sponsor must then nominate the available position in an occupation selected from the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List.

The Nomination application must satisfy prescribed criteria, including that:

  • there is a genuine need for the position to be filled within the business
  • the position offered is full-time and the terms of employment are no less favourable than those that would apply to an equivalent Australian worker
  • the salary offered is not less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) and is made with consideration to internal or external market rate
  • if the occupation is not exempt, the sponsor must demonstrate that they have undertaken labour market testing for the nominated position.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and other criteria may apply.

Visa Application

This is a temporary work visa valid for up to four years.

The 457 visa allows you to:

  • work in Australia for up to four years
  • bring their family to work or study in Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia.

Visa applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy prescribed criteria, including that they:

  • possess the necessary skill level to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the nominated position
  • meet English language requirements, unless they meet certain exemptions
  • in certain occupations possess a positive skills assessment conducted by an appointed body, unless exempt
  • hold, or will be able to meet, the registration or licensing requirements to work in their  nominated occupation (if registration and licensing is required for them to work in their position in Australia)
  • meet health and character requirements.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. Other criteria may apply. Please consult us for more details.

Employer Nomination Scheme (‘ENS’) (Subclass 186) visa

This visa category involves two stages:

This is a permanent visa for applicants who wish to move to Australia permanently and have been offered a permanent role in a business in Australia.

What the visa lets you do:

It lets you and any family members who have also been granted this visa to:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted; after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia.

There are three streams for this visa:

  • Temporary Residence Transition Stream - for applicants who have been employed in Australia with the sponsoring company as the holder of a 457 visa for two years and have been offered a permanent contract for two years or more in their nominated occupation with the sponsoring company.
  • Direct Entry Stream - for applicants who are untested in the Australian labour market and have not held a subclass 457 visa for at least the last 2 years or who are applying directly from outside Australia, and who can demonstrate that they satisfy the requisite Skill and English level for grant of the visa.
  • The Agreement stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.

Visa Applicants in all streams must demonstrate that they satisfy prescribed criteria, including that they:

  • possess the necessary skill level to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the nominated position
  • meet age requirements, unless they meet exemption criteria
  • meet English language requirements, unless they qualify for certain exemptions
  • in some circumstances, such as applying via the Direct Entry Stream, meet skill requirements, unless exempt
  • hold registration or relevant licenses to work in their nominated occupation (if registration and licensing is required for them to work in their position in Australia)
  • meet health and character requirements.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. Again, other criteria may apply. Please contact us for a consultation for more details.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (“RSMS”) (Subclass 187) visa

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) encourages migration to areas outside the metropolitan centres. It allows Australian employers in regional, remote or low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor foreign skilled workers for permanent residence to fill skilled vacancies in their business.

The employer’s business, as well as the nominated position, must be located in a regional area. The RSMS covers all of Australia except Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Melbourne.

If you are interested in applying under RSMS, please call us to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents.

Other visa subclasses and Categories

There are a number of other visas available to sponsors and migrants. Contact us to discuss your options.  

This page provides a summary of employer sponsored visas as at 26 September 2016. The Australian immigration law is complex, and changes frequently. Please Contact us to confirm your rights and schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers and registered migration agents.

SkillSelect and Expressions of Interest – visa applications based on employment or business skills
Date: Aug 21, 2014

If you want to migrate to Australia based on your employment or business skills, SkillSelect is an on-line system that assists with the process.

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