The current skills shortage in Australia has been an ongoing labour issue, causing many employers to start seeking individuals who aren’t permanent residents or Australian citizens to fill in a vacancy within a business. When sponsoring an employee, there are a variety of factors that need to be considered to ensure that both the employer and nominee are both eligible for the sponsorship process. Whenever a business can show that a specific skilled occupation vacancy can’t be filled in, they are able to sponsor an employee under the TSS 482 visa. Legal Kitz have written the following outline to help you grasp these concepts better.
What are the key takeaways of sponsoring an employee?
- Sponsorship approval is dependent on various factors, and does not guarantee a positive outcome.
- Various visa types for sponsorships have different requirements and implications, therefore each should be revised thoroughly.
- The process ranges from a week to two months from the date of lodgment, without any guaranteed outcome.
What criteria does a business need to fulfil to sponsor an employee?
A business must satisfy the following criteria to sponsor an individual:
- Has a general business registration;
- Is a lawfully operating business;
- Meets various training requirements;
- There is a business necessity to fill in the position;
- The terms and conditions of the nominee’s contract is consistent with Australian employees;
- The position will pay the market salary rate;
- They have made an effort to fill the position with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, such as by placing advertisement to fill in the role;
- They comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations law.
What kinds of sponsorship visas can be applied for?
Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa (subclass 482)
Considered to be the standard work visa, this visa would typically last for 2-4 years. Dependent family members could be included within this sponsorship application, however your skills and occupations must meet the requirements of the required occupations. If your occupation is not part of the listed required occupations, it is still possible to obtain this visa as long as you show that you:
- Meet the skilled requirements of the required occupation;
- Meet registration and licensing obligations;
- Speak English language requirements; and
- Have been nominated by an approved business.
Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
This visa requires nomination by an Australian employer, as this is considered as a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. Your occupation for this visa needs to be on the skilled list of occupations, and you must have the relevant qualifications and work experience to match this. This would generally include:
- Have been nominated by an approved Australian employer within the six months before you apply;
- You are generally under the age of 45 at the time of application, unless you are exempt;
- Have the necessary skills and requirements for the position;
- Have appropriate English language skills;
- Meet health and character requirements; and
- Meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187)
This is a permanent resident visa for people who want to work regionally in Australia. However, you have to be:
- Nominated by an approved Australian employer for a job in regional Australia;
- Younger than the age of 45, unless exempt;
- Meet skills, qualifications, and requirements with English language;
- Meet health and character requirements;
- Meet the requirements in the stream in which you apply; and
- Have the required skills and qualifications at the time in which the application was lodged, holding any mandatory registration, licence or professional membership.
What is the sponsorship process?
The specific requirements, process and documents are all dependent on the type of visa you choose. The steps for sponsoring an employee include:
Step 1: You need to show that you can’t find a person in Australia to fill in your vacancy.
Step 2: The occupation you want must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations.
Step 3: Find a visa that suits the employee and your needs.
Step 4: Check that you and your business are eligible to sponsor
Step 5: Apply to become a sponsor.
Step 6: Nominate the occupation
Step 7: Complete the visa application
How much does the sponsorship process cost?
Becoming an approved sponsor under the TSS 482 visa program would typically cost around AU$420, however there are various price points for the different visas applied for.
Nominating a visa applicant for the TSS 482 visa would cost around AU$330, whilst nominating a visa applicant for the ENS 186 visa would cost around AU$540, however this is subject to stream and location. Nominating an applicant for the RSMS 187 visa, there is no application fee, however the skilling Australian Fund levy is payable. This is dependent on the size of the business and proposed period stay of the employee. The levy payments are tax deductible.
Sponsoring an employee takes time, effort and money to get through the entire process without any guaranteed outcome. Businesses often have to first show a specific vacancy could not be filled in by a resident or citizen before moving forward. This is because the government prioritises residents and citizens first when it comes to employment, making it harder for international students or immigrants to stay and be permanently employed in Australia. If there is still any confusion, Legal Kitz is here to help!
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