Employment and Employer Sponsorship Visa details
Australian and overseas employers can sponsor and employ foreign skilled workers who have recognized qualifications and skills or experience in occupations required in Australia.
Skilled people seeking to work for an Australian employer under these schemes must be sponsored by their Australian employer.
Sponsorship or Nomination can be for temporary or permanent residence depending on the business needs and employees skills.
Immigration Law Matters will help you determine your eligibility to become a sponsor or be sponsored.
We give you the employer and employee a strong understanding of the processes and options available whilst ensuring both your personal and business information are kept confidential.
Pathway 1: Temporary sponsorship of overseas employees
This visa is commonly known as the 457 Visa. A Business operating in Australia wishing to employ overseas workers needs to apply for approval as a Business Sponsor. The business sponsor needs to be the direct employer of any approved visa applicants. Employees may work for an associated entity within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
Approved Business sponsors undertake legal obligations in relation to their overseas employees, to uphold Australian employment law, and commit to employment of local Labor and to non-discriminatory employment practices.
Sponsorship applications address a wide range of criteria incuding the business financial capacity, commitment to training their Australian workforce and the need to fill a vacant skilled position.
The nominated salary for the skilled worker is assessed against factors, such as the average remuneration for that occupation in Australia, minimum gazetted salary levels, and benefit to Australia through employment of overseas workers.
Visa applicants must satisfy skills requirements for grant of the temporary visa in accordance with the migration regulations, recognized occupational qualifications and skill minimum standards. Candidates may be asked to undertake English language testing.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has monitoring programs in place to review approved sponsors to ensure they are employing staff in accordance with the sponsorship undertakings and that they generally continue to meet their acknowledged undertakings as employers.
Pathway 2: Nominating employees for permanent residence
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) allows employers to hire highly skilled workers to fill vacancies in their business. The skilled workers can be either overseas, or temporarily in Australia. Employers must be operating in Australia. The position must provide full time employment in Australia for at least three years and meet Minimum Salary Levels set by the government. Employers can offer salary package benefits to employees provided they are above and beyond the minimum salary and are equitable with industry wide conditions
Nominating employer’s must have a genuine need for the employee to fill the position, follow all relevant Australian laws, including a satisfactory record of meeting immigration laws.
Businesses need to address a range of factors, including their employment and training of Australians.
The employee’s eligibility, skill and qualification levels, 3 years recent work experience in the occupation (unless recently graduated in Australia), licensing requirements, English language and health and character requirements are the major requirements for this visa.
The permanent residence application is only assessed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship following the Business Nomination approval.
Pathway3: Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme or RSMS visa is a permanent employer sponsored visa which requires a job offer in a Regional Area of Australia.
RSMS Application Stages
There are in general three stages to an RSMS application:
- RCB Certification: the Regional Certifying Body will ensure that the position is genuine and in many cases require that the position has been advertised
- Nomination: review of the business and position by the Department of Immigration
- Visa application: there are three pathways, and generally the skill level is lower than for the ENS program.
RSMS Regional Areas
In order to be granted an RSMS visa, the employee must be offered a position in a “regional area”. The regional areas are specified by postcode by the Department of Immigration.
The following are considered Regional areas for the purposes of RSMS sponsorship:
- The whole of Western Australia
- The whole of South Australia
- The whole of Tasmania
- The whole of ACT
- The whole of Northern Territory
- New South Wales (NSW) – all areas excluding: Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong
- Victoria – all areas excluding Melbourne
- Queensland– all areas excluding Brisbane
Company Monitoring Services
Immigration Law Matters also offers Company Monitoring to help employers meet new Visa Checking Requirements.
The Employer Sanctions Bill was passed by the Senate on 27 February 2013 and received the Royal Assent on 14th March 2013.
There is an estimated 100,000 people working illegally in Australia and the legislation raises the bar on businesses to ensure that they are not hiring illegal workers.
Who will be affected?
The new legislation will affect:
- Employers: who must ensure that direct employees, as well as any temps or contractors, have appropriate work rights
- Recruiters: who must check work rights before referring a candidate for employment
- Company Directors & Officers: who may be personally liable if they do not ensure adequate systems and processes are in place to conduct visa checks.
What are the consequences?
The Department of Immigration can issue infringement notices of $9,900 for each offence, and the maximum penalty is $49,500 if court action is initiated.
Unlike previous legislation, the Department of Immigration does not need to show that the business was negligent, reckless or intended to hire an illegal worker. The mere fact that a person did not have work rights is enough to prove an offence.
Businesses need to show a “statutory defence” to avoid liability under the new act. In most cases, this would involve showing that the business conducted visa checks at “reasonable times” to ensure that the person had work rights.
How can you keep compliant?
Immigration Law Matters has developed an ‘In-House’ monitoring system to make compliance with the new Employer Sanctions Bill easy. Our Monitoring System provides businesses with:
- Automated Visa Checks of your full workforce
- Simple reports on any changes to employees visa status
- SMS and Calendar Reminders of important visa status changes.
Why should you choose Immigration Law Matters?
Immigration Law Matters regularly acts for companies wishing to recruit foreign employees or hire existing foreign workers in Australia. We minimize the administrative process for the business allowing busy managers and owners to remain focused on their core business.
Sponsorship programs are subject to frequent government regulation and policy change.
Immigration Law Matters will give you, the employer and employee, a strong understanding of the processes and options available whilst ensuring both your interests and business information are kept confidential. As an employer, you will have free access to our Company Monitoring Services.
Decision Ready Applications: One of the main benefits of using Immigration Law Matters to assist with your Employment Visa application is that we can lodge “decision-ready” application on your behalf. This will lead to significantly faster processing than lodging directly with the Department of Immigration.