Employer Sponsored Visas

Employer Sponsored Visas

1. General.

These are visas that you can apply for if your occupation is in the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL)  and you have a job offer from an Australian Employer that is also willing to sponsor or nominate you for the visa. There are basically three categories of such visas available for you to apply for:

  • The Temporary Skill Shortage Subclass 482 Visa.
  • The Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186 Visa.
  • The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187 Visa.

2. Temporary Skill Shortage Subclass 482 Visa.

This visa is available for an applicant who is sponsored by an Australian employer or an overseas employer intending to establish an office in Australia to overcome temporary skilled labour shortages by recruiting personnel from overseas. This visa involves a 3-step process. First the prospective employer must first apply to sponsor a foreign worker. Then the employer must lodge a nomination application to nominate the worker. Finally when the two applications are approved the prospective worker can then lodge his/her visa application. The applicant if successful will be granted a visa to work for the sponsoring/nominating employer for two to four years. The employer is required to provide evidence to show that:

  • An Australian citizen or resident cannot be found to fill the job by doing a labour market survey;
  • Agree to pay the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy  ; and
  • Agree to pay the employee a minimum salary equivalent to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) which currently is $53,900 per annum. The TSMIT is revised periodically by the Department of Immigration & Border Protection.

3. Australian employers can also recruit overseas workers under Labour Agreements concluded with the Department of Immigration. Such agreements are only worthwhile to conclude if there are 10 or more workers identified by the prospective employer.

4. Legislation has been introduced to provide for the special business needs of regional Australia. The changes allow for the current skill and salary threshold requirement for the subclass 482 visa to be waived in exceptional circumstances. Generally the income threshold can be reduced up to 10% less than the normal Migration Income Threshold. The regional subclass 482 arrangement are only available to Australian businesses operating in, and seeking to nominate a position located in  regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area Overseas business sponsors, recruitment agencies, and labour hire firms are excluded from these regional concessions.

5. The Department of Immigration has also recently implemented a relatively new category of visas called the Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) visas with certain Australian states and territories to meet the chronic labour shortages of employers in such areas. For more information about the   DAMA Agreements  with the various Australian states and territories.

6. Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186 Visa.

This visa is for foreign skilled workers or professionals who want to migrate and work in Australia. This visa involves a two-step process. Firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then a visa application by the applicant under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa programme. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. If you are in Australia, and you wish to apply for this visa you must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.

7. This visa has three streams:

The Temporary Residence Transition Stream is for a subclass 457 or 482 visa holder who has worked for three years with the nominating employer, while holding a subclass 457 or 482 visa, in the same occupation with his/her nominating employer (who has lodged a valid nomination with the Department of Immigration under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), and who wants to offer the applicant a permanent position in that occupation with the employer or employing company.

The Direct Entry Stream is for an applicant who has been nominated by the potential employer under the Direct Entry stream, who has never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or a temporary resident in Australia who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

The Labour Agreement Stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.

8. Expression of Interest.

If you do not have an employer to nominate you, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. Prospective employers and state and territory governments can then view your details and decide whether to nominate you for skilled migration. Your EOI must specify which stream you want to be considered for. No supporting documents are required at this time. You can lodge your EOI while you are in or outside Australia.

9. You are able to apply for this visa if you:

  • Have been nominated by an approved Australian employer within the six months before you lodge your visa application.
  • Are under the age of 45 at the time of application, unless you are exempt.
  • Have the required skills and qualifications for the position at the time of the nomination application and you must hold any mandatory registration, license or professional membership, or you must already be fully assessed as suitable by the relevant assessment body.
  • Have the required skills and qualifications for the position.
  • Have appropriate English language skills (at the time of application lodgement), unless you are exempt.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply for the visa.

10. Age Requirements.

Even if you are older than 45 years of age, you can still apply for this visa if you:

  • Are nominated as a senior academic by a university in Australia.
  • Are nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian government scientific agency.
  • Are nominated as a minister of religion by a religious institution.
  • Are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 482 visa or a Subclass 422 visa for at least three years immediately before applying, and the nominated position is located in regional Australia.
  • Are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 422 visa before becoming the holder of a Subclass 482 visa for two years in the four years immediately before applying, and the nominated position is in regional Australia.
  • Are applying through the Direct Entry stream and you hold a Subclass 444 (New Zealand citizen) or Subclass 461 (New Zealand citizen’s family member) visa and you have been working for the employer who nominated you for at least two years in the last three years immediately before making the application.
  • Are applying through the Temporary Residence Transition stream, and you have been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 482 visa for at least three years immediately before applying, and that employer paid you at least as much as the Fair Work High Income Threshold in each of the three years.
  • Are nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian government scientific agency.
  • Are applying through the Agreement stream and the relevant labour agreement allows for a person who has turned 45 to be employed.

11. English Language Exemptions.

You can show that your English is adequate by providing the following evidence at the time of application:

  • Achieving the required minimum test scores in a specified English language test either for the Temporary Residence Transition Streamor the Direct Entry Stream in a test that has been conducted within three years immediately prior to the date of application lodgement.
  • Holding a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and evidence you are a citizen of that country.

12. English Language Exemptions.

You might not need to show adequate English language skills if you:

  • Are to be employed by a religious institution and you were nominated as a minister of religion.
  • Have nominated earnings at least equivalent to the current Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate (currently AUD$180,000), however if you are not able to demonstrate that you have functional English, you will be required to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge.
  • Are applying through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream and:
  • You have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution, and all of the tuition was delivered in English.

13. Skill Assessment Exemption.

You might not have to meet the skill assessment and work experience requirements if you:

  • Were nominated as an academic by a university in Australia.
  • Were nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian government scientific agency.
  • Were nominated as a minister of religion by a religious institution.
  • Have nominated earnings at least equivalent to the Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate (currently AUD$180,000).
  • Are in Australia as the holder of a Special Category visa (subclass 444) or New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa (subclass 461)and have worked with your nominating employer in your nominated occupation for the past two years (not including any period of unpaid leave) in the three years before you apply for this visa.

14. Skilling Australians Fund Levy.

An important requirement that MUST be met by an intending sponsoring and nominating employer is the agreement to pay the Skilling Australians Fund Levy . The Australian Government is committed to working with industry to ensure the vocational education and training ( VET ) sector responds effectively and efficiently to the skills required by employers and supporting apprentices and trainees through the Skilling Australians Fund (the SAF). It is for this reason that the Department of Immigration has done away with the previous Training Benchmark system of meeting the above requirement.

15. Market Salary Rate.

Another important requirement that must be met by an intending Australian employer is to provide terms and conditions of employment that are no less favourable than those that would apply to an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident doing equivalent work in the same workplace.

Terms and conditions include the nominated position’s salary, hours of work and leave entitlements (among other things). The salary paid to an Australian worker under these terms and conditions of employment is known as the market salary rate.

16. The potential employer must prove to the Department of Immigration that the skilled worker will be paid the market salary rate. Depending on whether you have an Australian doing similar work, you can do this by:

  • Reporting the terms and conditions that apply to an Australian worker who is already employed in a similar job in a similar location in your workplace.
  • Referring to an industrial award or enterprise agreement that outlines terms and conditions for Australians performing similar work in similar locations.
  • Providing relevant data from reputable remuneration surveys.
  • Providing evidence of the salaries of employees performing equivalent work in similar locations.

17. Conclusion.

If an applicant is able to meet all the requirements of any particular category of visa he/she intends to apply for, then he/she is invited to contact James Tan Immigration Consultants by completing the Assessment Form in this website for a proper assessment to determine whether an application should be lodged with the Department of Immigration & Border Protection. This assessment costs only $150.00 and is credited to the applicant’s fees payable if he/she proceeds to instruct us to proceed with an application. In all instances lodgement fees (which can be quite substantial) once paid to the Australian Department of Immigration is non-refundable. Therefore the $150.00 assessment fee paid is money well spent.

18. Please note that the immigration information provided in this website is a guide only. You are advised to contact create link to Contact Us James Tan Immigration Consultants or the Department of Immigration & Border Protection for specific answers to any question affecting your case. For a prompt reply to any query with regard to your case you are invited to submit your confidential completed create link to Assessment Form to James Tan Consultants for an accurate and quick assessment of your specific case.

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