Is it difficult to sponsor a worker?

The law and policy is fairly involved, so in this regard, it is reasonably complex. Certain evidence is necessary. It is also a matter of deciding how best to prosecute the businesses’ argument that a sponsored employee is necessary.

Most businesses fail to prepare applications properly because they are not aware of the law or policy. The Immigration Department make their decision based on the evidence provided. If the evidence is scant, or unconvincing, then your application to sponsor a worker will be refused.

Whether you choose Alta Visa to prepare your applications or someone else, in general it makes sense to get professional help. At Alta Visa we will work with you to prepare a good quality application that is well-evidenced, and has no inconsistencies.

What are the requirements?

The basic idea behind employer sponsored visas is that businesses can hire a foreigner on a temporary or permanent work visa if they can’t fill a vacancy with a local. However, there are certain rules to make sure businesses are not bringing in foreign workers at the expense of locals, or bringing in friends and relatives disguised as employees, or because they think it may be cheaper to hire a foreigner. In short, you have to prove the following:

  • you actually need a new employee
  • you will pay them the same amount as an Australian
  • that you contribute towards training Australians (for the 457 & 186 visas)

Choose a visa

Temporary Work Visa 457 More

You can sponsor a worker on this 4-year temporary work visa. You show why you need them, that you will pay them fairly, and that you contribute to training Australians. After two years, you can sponsor them on a permanent work visa, if you want. The worker shows they have the qualifications, and/or work experience to do the job, and their English is reasonable…

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Employer Nominated Scheme 186 Visa More

This is a permanent work visa. Many businesses first sponsor a worker on a Temporary 4-year 457 work visa, and after two years, sponsor their worker on this visa. You can also sponsor someone not already working for you if you agree to employ them for at least two years. In both cases, you show why you need them, that you will pay them fairly, and that you contribute to training Australians…

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Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme 187 visa More

You can sponsor a worker for this permanent work visa if you are a business in a regional area and you have an employee that has been working for you on a Temporary 457 work visa for 2 years. A regional area is anywhere except Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong; Melbourne, and Brisbane. If you are a regional business you can also sponsor a worker for this visa directly. This may be attractive to you, as the requirements are less onerous compared to other work visas. Although a Regional Certifying Body will assess the position to determine it cannot be filled by a local, your business does not have to show it contributes to the training of Australians. Most applicants do not need to do a skills assessment and the skill level they must show is lower…

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Business must meet the following requirements:

1. The sponsored worker must be paid the same as a local worker

Sponsored employees must be paid the same salary as would a local doing the same job. This is called the market salary rate.

  • If you have an Australian worker doing the job you simply produce evidence that the worker being sponsored will be getting the same salary and same conditions, and if the salary is different, the reason for the difference.
  • If there is no Australian doing the same job, then you show what locals in the same area are being paid for that job, and provide evidence you are going to pay the same amount.

2. Businesses must spend some money on training Australians

It’s not much – either a contribution of 1% of payroll to a training fund that trains Australian workers in the same industry, or evidence that you have spent 2% of payroll on training your current Australian staff. What is considered ‘training’ is very specific, and we’ll need to talk to you about this.

This rule does not apply to the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme 187 visas – this would be in recognition that it is more difficult for regional businesses to find suitable workers.

3. Business must provide evidence it needs a paid worker

You provide evidence of the business growing, diversifying, or a position becoming vacant because someone left. The Immigration Department look at the reasons for the new worker fairly carefully. You have to show you actually need a worker and the position is a genuine one – they don’t want businesses bringing in relatives and friends disguised as new employees. It pays to spend time on assembling decent evidence to satisfy the Immigration Department on this point.

How do I apply?

There is a series of visa applications that need to be prepared. Although we list these steps separately below, in reality we prepare the applications at the same time.

For 457 Temporary work visas there are three separate applications.

  1. Sponsorship application: You first apply to be a sponsor. The Immigration Department will check that the business is legitimate, is trading, etc.
  1. Nomination application: You then nominate a position that needs to be filled. You show that you need a new employee, you are paying market rate for the job, and that you spend some money on training Australians.
  1. Applicant’s application: Finally, the applicant applies to fill the position. The government will check that the applicant is sufficiently skilled to do the job. 

For the permanent work visas – the Employer Nominated Scheme 186 Visa, and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme 187 visa – there are two applications.

  1. Nomination application: You nominate a position that needs to be filled. You show that you are a legitimate business, that you need a new employee; that you are paying market rate for the job, and that you spend some money on training Australians.
  1. Applicant’s application: The applicant applies to fill the position. The government will check that the applicant is sufficiently skilled to do the job.