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Employer - Sponsored Visas

Use the tabs below to find out more information about permanent and temporary employer-sponsored visa options.


Temporary Employer-Sponsored Visas

Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclasses 482) & Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (subclass 494) visas.

The temporary employer sponsored visas are for employers seeking to fill skilled staff shortages where local employees are unavailable. Three step process:

Australian work visas, employer-sponsored, temporary and permanent, subclasses 482-494-186.
Australian Standard Business Sponsorship approval. Small to corporate businesses. Full representation services.

Standard Business Sponsorship Approval

To sponsor a temporary visa holder, a sponsoring business must:

Be actively and lawfully operating in Australia
Not have any adverse information about the business or anyone associated with the business
Have a commitment to employing local Australian employees, and not engage in discriminatory hiring activities

Sponsorship approval lasts for 5 years and costs $420 to apply. The business may consider Accredited status*, which gives certain benefits such as priority processing of visas.

Obligations of Standard Business Sponsors

Notify the Department when certain events occur, such as change in company office holders, cessation of employment of nominated employee, etc.
Make sure the sponsored temporary visa holder only works in the nominated occupation, within the sponsoring business (or associated entity)
Keep suitable records
Not engage in discriminatory work place recruitment practices
Pay costs for becoming a sponsor and nomination applications
Pay travel costs for sponsored employees wishing to return to their country of origin
Potentially pay costs to locate and remove a sponsored employee who has become an unlawful non-citizen
Cooperate with inspectors

Nomination of position

The nomination process is the identification of a suitable occupation in relation to the position to be filled in a sponsoring business. The main requirements are:

Occupation needs to be on a skilled occupation list, specific to the visa subclass
Proposed salary for the position needs to meet specified minimums and be no less favourable than that of an equivalent Australian employee
Sponsoring business needs to have carried out suitable labour market testing
The position needs to be genuine, taking into consideration the nature and scope of the sponsoring business
Application cost is $330
Payment of a Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, which is:
  • $1,200 per nominated year, for businesses with an annual turnover (most recent full financial year) of less than $10 million; OR
  • $1,800 per nominated year, for businesses with an annual turnover of more than $10 million

In addition to the nomination requirements above, sponsors seeking to nominate a subclass 494 visa holder need to:

Be operating the business is a ‘designated regional area’; and
Apply for assessment with a Regional Certifying Body (RCB). An RCB will assess whether the proposed salary meets the annual market salary rate.
Australian temporary and permanent skilled employer sponsored visas. Metropolitan and regional options.
Australian temporary skill shortage visas. Employer sponsored, regional and metropolitan options.

Visa Application

A subclass 482 or 494 visa applicant must meet the following requirements for grant of a visa:

Have the requisite employment experience in the nominated occupation – 2 years for subclass 482 applicants and 3 years for subclass 494 applicants
Possess the skills, qualifications and employment background to carry out work in the nominated occupation
Have a suitable skills assessment – applicable to the specific requirements within each visa subclass
Meet specified English language proficiency
Have complied with the conditions on previous Australian visas
Hold suitable health insurance or have access to reciprocal healthcare arrangements

A subclass 482 or 494 visa holder:

May travel outside Australia as often as required, within the validity of the visa. The visa is valid for 2 to 5 years, depending on the circumstances.
Must only work for the sponsoring employer (or associated entity), otherwise will need to lodge a new nomination application with a different sponsor should they wish to change sponsors.

The visa application charges vary depending on stream/visa. Cost begins at $1,330.

Case Study

Overcoming the chaos - Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 application

The visa applicant approached us just as a Case Officer had informed him that she was moving to refuse his application unless his employer provided specific supporting documentation. The client’s sponsoring employer had already clashed with the Case Officer. The result was an extremely flustered Case Officer and a very distressed client.

After the client engaged us to act, we contacted the Case Officer by phone. I managed to de-escalate the tense situation and calmed the Case Officer enough to seek clarity on what she needed. We worked together to set a manageable timeframe for response. We then spoke with the sponsoring employer to understand what was frustrating him. Essentially, the whole situation boiled down to a misunderstanding. We could then clearly explain the reasoning behind the Case Officer’s request.

The employer provided the required documents quickly, and the visa was granted – much to the relief of everyone concerned. Often, it’s not the complexity of an application that can result in refusal. It is miscommunication and frustration that can get in the way of a smooth process.

In this case, clear communication with the stakeholders resulted in success.


Permanent Employer-Sponsored Visa

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa

This permanent employer-sponsored visa allows visa holders to live and work permanently in Australia. There are two streams available, Direct Entry (DE) and Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS). Two step process:

Australian employer sponsored permanent and temporary visas. Metro and regional Australia options.

Nomination of Position

A nominating business for a permanent employer-sponsored visa applicant must:

Be actively and lawfully operating in Australia
Not have any adverse information about the business or anyone associated with the business
Nominate an occupation listed on an eligible skilled occupation list
Have a genuine need for a paid employee, in the nominated occupation, under the direct employment of the nominator, fitting in with the nature and scope of the business
Have complied with Australian workplace and immigration laws

The nominating business will then:

Offer the visa applicant a full-time position within the business, for a minimum period of 2 years, without restriction on renewal
Pay a Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, which is $3,000 (businesses with turnover < $10million, OR $5,000 (businesses with a turnover > $10million

Nomination application charge is $540 (or nil for nominating businesses located in a designated regional area)

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Visa Application

A subclass 186 visa holder must meet the following requirements for grant of a visa:

Have the requisite employment experience in the nominated occupation – 3 years work experience total (Direct Entry) or 3 years with the nominating employer as a holder of a subclass 482 visa (Temporary Residence Transition Stream)
Have any required licensing, registration or membership to carry out work in the nominated occupation
Be under 45 years of age, unless certain circumstances apply
Meet the English language requirement
Meet the health requirement and pass the character test
Repay (or arrange to repay) any out standing debts to the Commonwealth of Australia

This visa allows the holder to live and work permanently in Australia. It has a 5-year travel facility, which means the holder will have unlimited travel in and out of Australia. After this period, the visa holder may consider a Resident Return Visa (RRV) to main travel permission.

Visa application charge is $4,240 for the primary applicant.

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Temporary Employer Sponsored Visas. Nomination of position.

Case Study

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa during the pandemic

Strategy and timing are important in providing the best migration assistance, but clear communication and negotiation are the ultimate. Over the years, I assisted a fruit farm business in Tasmania regarding several Chefs in their onsite boutique restaurant. One of their Chefs was ready to transition from a subclass 482 visa to an Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia in early 2020. Realising that the financial capacity of the business was essential to the success of the ENS nomination application, the applicant was faced with a huge dilemma.

His current subclass 482 visa was due to expire within a couple of months, so we needed to decide whether to renew his temporary visa or go forward as planned with the ENS. Of course, the cost of the application was a significant factor, but the uncertainty of the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the sponsoring business was critical.

We spent a good deal of time clearly explaining the pros and cons of each approach. We described the possible outcomes in each scenario and what that meant to the applicant regarding timing and costs. After long consideration and discussion, we settled on moving forward with the ENS application. With a mixture of determination and good fortune, the business in Tasmania was not as financially affected by the pandemic as it could have been.

The applicant was granted his ENS visa, and the relief couldn’t have been greater. An outstanding result for all.

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