Employer Sponsored Visas
If you have found an employer that would like to employ you, the Employer Sponsored Visa stream gives you a chance to work in Australia either temporarily (Subclass 457) or permanently (Subclasses 186/187). There is a range of requirements that both an employee and employer must comply with.
Business (Long Stay) Visa – Subclass 457
This visa is a temporary work visa that allows employers to sponsor overseas workers to fill nominated skilled positions. The 457 visa is currently the most common pathway of business sponsorship for overseas workers.
457 visa applicants must have an employer willing to sponsor them as part of the visa application process. Employers must meet specific sponsorship and nomination steps before the prospective employee can apply for a 457 visa.
A 457 visa is valid for up to four (4) years and work experience gained in Australia on this visa may lead to permanent residence either through sponsorship by an eligible employer or the skilled migration program.
In order to qualify for a 457 visa, applicants must have an employer who is willing to sponsor them. There are three steps in the visa application process:
Employers must seek and obtain approval to sponsor and recruit overseas workers. A business will be approved for a specified number of overseas workers over a 2 year period.
Employers must nominate each of the positions they wish to fill with an overseas worker. The nomination must relate to an occupation which meets a minimum skills threshold covering managerial, professional, associate professional and trade occupations. The nominated position must also be paid a minimum salary level as specified in a Gazette Notice.
The overseas workers identified to fill the vacancy must apply for a 457 visa to enter and remain in Australia. The applicant must demonstrate they have skills to match the nominated position and must be offered employment at not less than the salary indicated in the nomination application.
The applicant is also required to satisfy certain health and character requirements to meet the 457 visa criteria.
The 457 visa is a temporary visa valid for up to four (4) years and permits the holder to live and work in Australia with a sponsoring employer.
Immediate family members (such as a partner and dependent children) included on the application are also entitled to live and work on this visa type.
Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) grants permanent residence to overseas workers who are sponsored by their Australian employer. The Employer Nomination Scheme is specifically designed to enhance Australia’s ability to compete globally while satisfying genuine shortages in the Australian skilled labour market.
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) allows overseas workers or temporary workers in Australia to be sponsored for permanent positions that the employer has been unable to fill from within the Australian labour market or through their own training efforts.
The Employer Nomination Scheme visa application process is made up of two important stages:
1. Nomination by the employer
The Australian employer must obtain sponsorship status. To obtain sponsorship, the employer must:
- demonstrate that they are actively and lawfully operating in Australia
- have a commitment to training existing employees
Once the employer has demonstrated they satisfy the sponsorship criteria, the position to be filled (or nominated) must also meet certain requirements. For example, the position must be full time for at least 3 years and be on the gazetted list of approved occupations for this category.
2. Visa application
Once the nomination has been approved, the visa application must be lodged within six (6) months. The visa application must be lodged at the same Business Centre of DIAC as the corresponding nomination, even if the nominee is outside Australia. Applicants are also required to satisfy certain health and character requirements in order to meet the visa criteria.
Successful visa applicants under the Employer Nomination Scheme become permanent residents of Australia. Australian permanent residents are entitled to live, work and study in Australia on a permanent basis. Additional benefits of Australian permanent residence include access to government-subsidised healthcare (Medicare), certain social security benefits and the ability to apply for Australian citizenship.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187)
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) enables employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor highly skilled workers either from overseas, or from people temporarily in Australia to fill skilled vacancies in their business. Employers must be lawfully operating in Australia, and the position must provide full time employment in Australia for two years. Conditions of employment and wages must comply with Australian legislation and awards.
- nominates the position(s) that they wish to fill
- arranges certification by the Regional Certifying Body
- seeks approval of the nomination from the department
- recruits the overseas worker(s) to fill the nominated positions.
Regional Certifying Bodies (RCB):
- assists employers to fill vacancies in regional Australia
- assesses whether the position is genuinely vacant and unable to be filled by an Australian employee
- if these requirements are met, certifies the position.
- accepts the offer of employment from the nominating employer
- applies for a visa
- meets the conditions on their visa (once approved).
Successful visa applicants under the Regional Sponsored Nomination Scheme become permanent residents of Australia. Australian permanent residents are entitled to live, work and study in Australia on a permanent basis. Additional benefits of Australian permanent residence include access to government-subsidised healthcare (Medicare), certain social security benefits and the ability to apply for Australian citizenship