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Sponsoring overseas workers- What Australian Employers need to know

Posted on December 5, 2019
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Sponsoring overseas workers

Employers in Australia, who cannot find a suitable Australian citizen or permanent resident for a position that requires specific skills, resort to looking for talent outside the country.  Once they find the talent they need from outside Australia; they will have to find ways to sponsor the overseas employee.

In this post, we will look at the visa options available to sponsors to bring overseas employees to work in Australia.

Not every company or business firm can sponsor overseas employees. The company must be registered and operating a business in order to sponsor employees.

Conditions for sponsorship:

You as an employee must first provide evidence that you have made attempts to find local talent to fill the position unless you are exempted from this rule.

You can sponsor those employees who wish to come to Australia for work. Those who are already in Australia but under a visa that does not allow them to work or those already working in the country on another visa can be sponsored.

The job you are sponsoring the employee for must be on the Skilled Occupation List. If it is not there, you can opt for labor agreement or the Global Talent Scheme options.

The applicant must prove that he has the skills, work experience and qualifications to be eligible for the job and this must be recognized by the government.

Visa options:

 You have various visa options if you want to sponsor an overseas worker. You must choose the most suitable one based on your requirements. Employers sometimes resort to more than one visa option to recruit suitable workers.

Let us look at the various visa options available for overseas workers:

Subclass 400 – This visa option can be used if you want to sponsor an employee for short term work. This is useful if you want to sponsor a highly specialized worker for a period of six months.  International companies that require employees to work on a short-term basis in Australia often use this visa option.

Subclass 408 (Exchange Arrangement Stream) – This visa option is helpful for businesses with overseas offices who want to bring in staff from other countries to Australia. The visa can be granted for two years.

Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) – This is the most common visa used by employers to sponsor skilled workers for up to four years.

Subclass 494 – Started in November 2019, this visa caters to businesses located in regional Australia that include Perth and Gold Coast. The visa contains a bigger occupation list, is for a five-year term and can be the pathway to a PR visa.

Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) –This agreement is valid only in those regions that have a formal agreement with the Australian government. It provides these regions with the flexibility to hire overseas employees based on the dynamic economic and labor market conditions. Flexibility is provided in terms of deciding the market salary, English language, skills and occupation that which may not be available under other programs. The six DAMA regions have their individual occupation lists.

Labor agreements – This can be entered between an individual business or industry and the government to provide concessions in terms of occupation, market salary or the English language. The agreements are based on the Subclass 482 and 492 visas.

Global Talent Employer-Sponsored – This visa option helps to facilitate the sponsorship of highly-skilled positions in niche areas that may not be covered under standard visa programs. This option is especially useful for industries belonging to the STEM field.

Employers in Australia now have a range of visa options to choose from when they want to sponsor overseas workers. Some businesses might use a combination of these visa options depending on the credentials of the overseas worker they wish to sponsor. The conditions may also differ based on the visa subclass. The sponsorship conditions will also vary. Employers must comply with the rules and regulations to ensure a successful sponsorship.

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