Visa Options for Employers

A number of visas options are available to Australian employers who want to sponsor overseas workers to fill vacancies which they are unable to fill from within Australia.

You can offer prospective employees PERMANENT employer-nominated migration through either the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS). You can offer them TEMPORARY employer-nominated migration through the 457 Temporary Long Stay visa.

If you intend to sponsor a significant number of overseas workers to come and work for you or companies associated with yours, you should consider entering into a Labour Agreement A Labour Agreement has a number of advantages, but negotiating it successfully is complex, takes time and requires a good deal of effort and expense: click for details. with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations: the Labour Agreement program is designed to address genuine labour market needs rather then to accommodate an employer’s preference to employ a particular overseas worker.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)

Under the Employer Nomination Scheme any employer can sponsor a highly skilled worker for a permanent visa to work in Australia. The sponsored worker can be recruited from overseas or they can already be in Australia as a temporary residents, on a 457 visa for example.

As an employer you must:

  1. be actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia,
  2. be able to demonstrate a genuine need for a paid employee,
  3. have a satisfactory record of compliance with Australian industrial relations and immigration laws,
  4. be able to demonstrate that youmh ave adequate training strategies for existing Australian employees,

Your nominee (the visa applicant you are sponsoring) must:

  1. be under 45 years of age,
  2. have the skills, qualifications and/or experience required for the position,
  3. meet mandatory licensing, registration or any professional membership requirements.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)

Under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme employers in Regional AustraliaRegional Australia covers the whole of Australia except Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. who are unable to find suitably qualified workers locally can sponsor an overseas employee to fill the position. An important requirement is, however, that your nomination must first be certified by a Regional Certifying Body.

As an employer you must:

  1. have a business in Regional Australia and have a need for the nominee to work there,
  2. be actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia,
  3. have a satisfactory record of compliance with Australian industrial relations and immigration laws.

Your nominee (the visa applicant you are sponsoring) must:

  1. be under 45 years of age,
  2. have at least a diploma or higher qualification,
  3. meet mandatory licensing, registration or any professional membership requirements.

Temporary Business Long Stay Visa (457)

The 457 visa is used extensively by Australian businesses who wish to employ overseas workers on a temporary basis, from 3 months up to 4 years. The most popularly used is the visa based on a sponsorship by a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS).

As an employer you must:

  1. be actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia,
  2. have a satisfactory record of compliance with Australian industrial relations and immigration laws,
  3. be approved as an SBS,
  4. agree to stringent sponsorship obligations and a monitoring program by the Department of Immigration.

Your nominee you must:

  1. have the skills and qualifications required for the position,
  2. have the required level of English language competency,
  3. comply with the visa condition that they will not change their occupation or employer whilst they are in Australia on the 457 visa.

This is just a broad overview of the three main options available to you if you want to sponsor someone to come and work for you. For each of these options there are a number of other criteria that need to be met. If you are an employer looking to nominate a highly skilled worker from overseas, AMES can assist you with the entire application process.