Top 6 Employer Sponsorship Visa Challenges and How to Overcome Them

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February 13, 2024

Securing an Australian visa sponsorship can be a transformative step in your life. However, the journey is not without its challenges, from planning to application to your Australian migration. Understanding and overcoming these hurdles is crucial for a successful application process and the best experience in Australia. In this blog, we will delve into the top seven employer sponsorship visa challenges and provide valuable insights on how to overcome them.

Challenge 1: Understanding Visa Categories

There are a large selection of visa types and streams for employer sponsorship, each with different rules and purposes. To avoid confusion, it is best to speak to the registered migration agents at AustraliaMigrate to ensure you will apply for the best-suited visa type and stream. We have compiled a brief guide to these sponsorship visa types below.

Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482

This visa allows Australian businesses to nominate overseas workers to fill skills shortages in their business. The occupations must be on the Temporary Skills Shortage Lists — either the short-term or medium and long-term lists. There are two streams under the subclass 482 visa:

  • Short-term stream
      • Allows a visa of 2 years to be granted, with the potential for an extension of a further 2 years.
      • Countries with international trade obligations allow for visas of 4 years to be granted.
      • There are no options to apply for permanent residency.
  • Medium-term stream
    • Allows a visa of 4 years to be granted, with options for renewal.
    • There is an option for permanent residency (visa subclass 186). This depends on the visa holder being employed by the same employer for 3 years while holding their 482 visa.

Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186

This visa allows Australian businesses to nominate skilled workers, and let them live and work in Australia permanently. This visa allows holders to live, work, and study in Australia indefinitely, with unlimited travel to and from Australia for 5 years. Visa holders are granted access to Medicare, Australia’s public health care scheme, and given the option to sponsor eligible relatives. Most notably, this visa provides the option to apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible. There are three streams under the subclass 186 visa. 

  • Direct Entry stream
      • To apply for this visa, applicants need to have an occupation from the relevant occupations list.
      • Applicants must have a minimum of 3 years of work experience, and achieve a positive skills assessment.
  • Labour Agreement stream
      • Applicants must currently or plan to work for the nominating employer who is party to a labour agreement.
      • All applicants must meet the age, skills, and English requirements of the labour agreements.
  • Temporary Residence Transition stream
    • Applicants must hold a subclass 457, TSS, or related Bridging visa to be eligible for this stream.
    • Commonly, applicants must have worked for their employer for a minimum of 2 years full-time while holding a subclass 457 or TSS visa.
    • Applicants must have been nominated by an Australian employer whose nomination was approved in the 6 months before lodging their application.

Challenge 2: Eligibility Criteria

Australian sponsorship visa eligibility criteria can be stringent and complex. Many applicants find it challenging to meet the specific requirements set by the Australian government. To overcome this challenge, meticulous research is essential. Researching the basics of visa sponsorship can be a great first step to start to understand the criteria. Some of the main criteria include:

    • Language Proficiency: To prove that you have competent English, you must be able to provide evidence that you are either: a citizen of a relevant English-speaking country, or that you have obtained a high enough grade on an English language test. Adequate preparation will enhance your confidence and increase your chances of meeting language requirements.
  • Health Assessment: To enter Australia on a visa, you must meet the minimum health requirements. If you have a permanent or chronic health condition with a reasonably predictable course, the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth will estimate what your condition will cost the community up to a maximum of 10 years. Having a health condition does not necessarily mean you will not meet the health requirement; the likely costs will depend on what kind of condition you have and how severe it is. Read more about the health requirements for an Australian visa, and seek advice if you require clarification.
  • Character Requirements: To obtain a visa or citizenship, you must meet the character requirements set out by the Australian government. There are numerous reasons why a person may or may not have their visa approved on the grounds of character. The decision is made by considering many factors, including the protection of the community, the best interests of all children in Australia, the impact of visa refusal on your family in Australia, the impact on Australian businesses, and Australia’s international legal responsibilities.

Failure to meet these requirements can be one of the common reasons for sponsorship visa rejection. Plan ahead, schedule required appointments, and ensure compliance with health and character requirements. Proactively addressing any potential issues in these areas will contribute to a smoother application process. Contacting us and receiving professional advice is another great way to ensure you will address any eligibility issues and proactively increase your chances of success. 


Challenge 3: Documentation Requirements

The extensive documentation required for visa sponsorship is a common stumbling block. Gathering the necessary paperwork can be time-consuming and stressful. Create a comprehensive checklist early in the process, and start collecting documents well in advance. Utilise organisation tools and keep all paperwork in a secure, accessible location to streamline the documentation process. One of the services provided by AustraliaMigrate includes guidance and management of all visa-related documentation to ensure your process is streamlined and as simple as possible.

Challenge 4: Changes in Immigration Policies

Australian immigration policies are dynamic and subject to frequent changes. Staying updated on policy adjustments is crucial for a successful application. Regularly check official government sources, subscribe to the AustraliaMigrate newsletter, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and consider consulting with us to help you navigate through policy changes effectively.

Challenge 5: Job Market Competition

Australia boasts a competitive job market, making it challenging for prospective visa applicants to secure employment. To stand out, network actively through online platforms and local events, tailor your resume to Australian standards, and consider seeking the guidance of recruitment professionals. Likewise, finding an Australian employer willing to sponsor can be a daunting task. Tailor your job search strategies to the Australian market, leverage online platforms, and consider reaching out directly to potential employers. Demonstrating your value to employers and showcasing how you can contribute to their organisations will make you a more appealing candidate.

Challenge 6: Post-Visa Challenges

The challenges don’t end once you obtain your visa. Adapting to a new culture, lifestyle, and work environment can pose additional hurdles. Seek support from local communities, connect with expatriate groups, and be open to learning and embracing the Australian way of life. We have some simple tips for how to adapt to life in a new country and provide resources for living in Australia, which can be helpful to those experiencing culture shock.


Embarking on the journey of Australian visa sponsorship is undoubtedly challenging, but with thorough preparation, resilience, and a proactive approach, you can overcome these hurdles. Remember, each challenge is an opportunity for growth and learning. By addressing these challenges head-on, you’ll be well on your way to realising your dreams in Australia. To ensure you have the best chance of obtaining your visa, book a consultation with us today.


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