How to employ an overseas worker – Sponsor Obligations and Visa Requirements

Sponsoring overseas employees to work for your Australian business is not only a great opportunity for a business to tap into highly skilled workers from around the world, but also a great opportunity for foreign nationals to work in Australia and gain experience abroad. Some visa options even offer pathways to Permanent Residency!

Australia offer a number of different visa options for businesses to sponsor workers who are foreign nationals. It is a complex process as there are a number of sponsor obligations that need to be met by the employer as well as certain visa criteria that need to be satisfied by the applicant (Employee).

This article will cover a broad overview of the sponsor obligations as well as the visa requirements and various options.

There is certain criteria that needs to be met by employers to ensure they utilise the sponsored visa program as per its intentions and that Australian and overseas workers are protected accordingly. These requirements include:

  • mandating a minimum salary of $53,900
  • limiting the occupations that are eligible for employer sponsorship to only those determined to be in demand in the Australian labour market by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment
  • requiring employers to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund
  • requiring overseas workers to hold relevant Australian registration, licences and certificates
  • skills, english language, age, and work experience requirements for overseas workers

For some visa types, you must demonstrate that you can’t find a suitable Australian worker. This is known as Labour Market Testing or LMT. For these visas, if you nominate an overseas worker, you will need to test the local labour market. Depending on the type of visa and nominated occupation, employers might need to meet the necessary Labour Market Testing Requirements.

Being a sponsor means the skilled worker can work only for you while you sponsor their visa.

Who can become a sponsor

Any legally established and operating business can apply to be a sponsor. There are a number of different types of business sponsors including:

  • Standard Business Sponsor: A standard business sponsor is a business that the department have assessed as suitable to sponsor an applicant for a Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482).
  • Accredited Sponsor: To be an accredited sponsor you must be a standard business sponsor. You receive priority when we process Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) (TSS) nominations and visa applications.
  • Temporary Activity sponsor: An approved temporary activities sponsor is business the department have assessed as suitable to sponsor an applicant for a Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408), or sponsor an applicant for a Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403) Seasonal Worker Program stream or Pacific Labour Scheme stream visa, or nominate and sponsor an applicant for a Training visa (subclass 407)

Who can be sponsored

Businesses might be able to sponsor a skilled worker to come to Australia if you can’t find an Australian citizen or permanent resident with the skills and experience needed for the job.

You can sponsor workers temporarily or permanently.

You can sponsor someone who is a skilled worker:

  • living overseas who wishes to travel and work in Australia, or
  • already in Australia on another type of visa which does not currently allow them to work, or
  • already living and working on another visa in Australia

You can also take over the sponsorship of people holding a Temporary Work skilled visa (subclass 457) Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482).

The job you sponsor an overseas worker to do must be on the Skilled Occupations List. For high-skill niche roles that can’t be filled through existing visa programs you could access the Global Talent Scheme.

How to sponsor

Sponsoring a worker is a complex process with lots of moving parts that need to align. Our team at First Class Migration proud ourselves on not only the incredible relationships we have with our clients but also the years of experience in this particular space. We work alongside a number businesses in Australia to whom we assist with processing skilled work visas for their overseas employees. Our team of High Experienced Migration Agents would be more than happy to help you out and offer the necessary expertise required.

Please feel free to get in touch for any advice along the way!