Employer Sponsorship Visa: A Guide to Businesses Looking to Sponsor Foreign Workers

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Employer sponsorship is a common pathway for skilled workers who are looking to start their Australian dream, work and live in Australia. There are currently several types of employer sponsorship visas available in Australia, including the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186), and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187). The eligibility criteria for each of these visas may vary, so it is important to ensure you consult your immigration specialist to ensure you are applying for the correct visa type. To be eligible for employer sponsorship, an overseas skilled migrant needs to meet certain criteria:

  1. Occupation: You must have skills and qualifications that match an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list. The list is regularly updated and reviewed, and you must ensure that your occupation is currently eligible for sponsorship.
  2. English language proficiency: You must be able to demonstrate English language proficiency at the required level for your occupation. This is typically assessed through an English language test, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  3. Qualifications: You must have the necessary qualifications to perform the tasks of your nominated occupation. This includes having any required licenses, assessments or registrations.
  4. Experience: You must have relevant work experience in your nominated occupation.
  5. Health: You must meet the health requirements set by the Australian government. This may include undergoing a health examination.
  6. Character: You must meet the character requirements set by the Australian government. This includes providing police clearances from any countries you have lived in for more than 12 months in the past 10 years.
  7. Sponsorship: You must have an eligible employer who is willing to sponsor you for a work visa. The employer must be approved by the Australian government to sponsor skilled workers.

 

Which Employer Can Become an Eligible Sponsor?

To sponsor overseas workers in Australia, an employer must first be approved by the Australian government as a standard business sponsor. To be eligible for approval, the employer must meet certain criteria, the most common ones being:

  1. Lawful and active operation: The business must be lawfully and actively operating in Australia.
  2. Good business record: The business must have a good record of compliance with Australian laws and workplace practices.
  3. Financial capacity: The business must have the financial capacity to meet the sponsorship obligations, including paying the worker at least the market salary rate.
  4. Training commitment: The business must demonstrate a commitment to training Australian citizens and permanent residents.

In addition to the above standard requirements, there are specific eligibility criteria for each of these visa subclasses. For example, the Temporary Skill Shortage visa requires the employer to demonstrate that they have a genuine need for a skilled worker and that they have been unable to find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position.

 

What is the Annual market salary rate (AMSR)?

The Annual market salary rate (AMSR) is basically what you would be offering an equivalent Australian worker for the same job. This can be determined by reviewing enterprise agreements or industrial awards, job outlook information, advertisements for the last 6 months in the same location, remuneration surveys or advice from unions or employer associations.

 

Can All Australian Employers Sponsor Overseas Workers?

 

Mostly, yes. Although there are some types of employers who may not be eligible for sponsorship for many reasons, including:

  1. Businesses that are not lawfully operating: Employers who are not operating lawfully in Australia or who are engaging in illegal activities are not eligible to sponsor overseas workers.
  2. Employers with a poor record of compliance: Employers who have a poor record of compliance with Australian laws and workplace practices, including employment and immigration laws, may not be approved as sponsors.
  3. Employers who do not have the financial capacity: Employers who cannot demonstrate that they have the financial capacity to meet the sponsorship obligations, including paying the worker at least the market salary rate, may not be approved as sponsors.
  4. Employers who do not have a genuine need for a skilled worker: Employers who cannot demonstrate a genuine need for a skilled worker, or who are using the sponsorship program for non-genuine purposes, may not be approved as sponsors.
  5. Employers who do not have a commitment to training: Employers who do not demonstrate a commitment to training Australian citizens and permanent residents may not be approved as sponsors.
  6. Employers who are subject to sanctions: Employers who have been sanctioned by the Australian government or who have a history of non-compliance with migration laws may not be approved as sponsors.

It’s important to note that there may be additional criteria or circumstances that would make an employer ineligible for sponsorship. If you have any specific questions about employer sponsorship eligibility in Australia, it’s best to consult with our migration agents prior to taking your first steps.

 

What is the First Step to Becoming a Sponsor?

 

The first step that an Australian employer should take to be eligible to sponsor overseas workers is to apply to become an approved sponsor by the Australian government. The application process for becoming an approved sponsor involves several steps:

  1. Check the eligibility requirements: Before starting the application process, the employer should ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements to become an approved sponsor as outlined above.
  2. Gather the necessary documents: The employer will need to provide various documents to support their application, such as financial records, business registration documents, and evidence of compliance with workplace laws.
  3. Complete the online application: The employer can submit their application to become an approved sponsor through the Department of Home Affairs’ online portal or by getting assistance from a migration agent who specialises in employer sponsorship. They will need to provide information about their business and their intended use of the sponsorship program.
  4. Pay the application fee: There is a fee for submitting an application to become an approved sponsor, which must be paid at the time of application. Wait for the outcome: Once the application has been submitted, the Department of Home Affairs will assess it against the eligibility requirements. If the application is successful, the employer will be notified and added to the approved sponsor list. If the application is unsuccessful, the employer will be notified of the reasons for refusal and may be given an opportunity to provide additional information.


What is the current processing time for a sponsorship application?

The current processing times for an employer to become an approved sponsor in Australia vary depending on a number of factors, such as the volume of applications being processed, the complexity of the application, and the level of scrutiny required to assess the application. The current estimated processing time for standard business sponsorship applications is between 8 and 12 weeks. However, this is only an estimate and processing times can vary depending on the individual circumstances of each application.


What is the current fee for a sponsorship application?

At the moment, the sponsorship application fee is $420. 


What happens after a sponsorship application is approved?

Once an employer has been approved as a standard business sponsor, they can nominate overseas workers for skilled visas, such as the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186), and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187).

Getting Expert Advice

Becoming an approved sponsor can be complex and time-consuming. Employers who are interested in sponsoring overseas workers are encouraged to seek advice from our registered migration agents to ensure they understand the process and meet all eligibility requirements.

 

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