How to Sponsor an Employee in Australia

how to sponsor an employee

As an employer, you understand that choosing the right employees is an integral aspect of your business or company. That’s when you begin to ask yourself, “can I sponsor someone to stay and work in Australia?” If yes, then the next question is how to sponsor an employee in Australia. 

You can’t bear the brunt of growing the company yourself. If you could, you wouldn’t need to hire others now, would you? This already tells you that your team of workers can either make or break your business.

Having a team of skilled and highly proficient workers is every employer’s dream. And sometimes, to fulfil this dream, you may need to get people from outside the country. So you begin exploring the possibilities of employing staff from overseas and sponsoring them into Australia. 

So, if you’re already thinking about employing international workers and you’re pondering an employee sponsorship in Australia, this one’s for you. Here, we’ll discuss everything about foreign worker visas and foreign sponsorships.

How to Get Started With Foreign Sponsorship

If you’re thinking about sponsoring an employee in Australia, there are certain things you must understand if you’re to succeed in your quest. You cannot make plans to invite a skilled worker into the country without meeting these requirements. 

Doing so is a sure way to get into trouble with the law. This is why you need to engage the services of skilled immigration agents to guide you through the process without any stress.  

The first step to take when employing international workers is to get a foreign worker visa for your foreign employee. As the employer who intends to sponsor the employee, you can make these applications on the employee’s behalf. However, this may not always be necessary.

For instance, if the employee already has a work permit visa, there’d be no need to sponsor the worker. But if this is not the case, then you may proceed with getting an approved visa for the employee.

There are various foreign worker visa options open to employers who decide to sponsor an employee. Some of these visas may cover the employee for a temporary period or a more permanent time. The type of foreign worker visa to go for would now depend on the choice of the employer. 

There are four types of Australian visas open to employers who want to engage in foreign sponsorship.

1. Temporary Work Visa (Short Stay Specialist)

This type of visa is ideal if you’re looking to sponsor an employee for a short term project in Australia. When compared to other visas, this visa also has the fastest processing time.

2. Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) Visa

This is the most widely used foreign worker visa option. It is available for employers who cannot find any skilled worker in the Australian labour market appropriate for the job. 

There are two main streams of the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa – short-term stream and medium-term stream.

The Short-term stream applies to those whose occupations are found in the Short Term Skilled Occupation List. Employees who meet the requirements are entitled to employment options that are valid for two years.

Upon application by the employer, the validity of the visa may be extended further by an additional two years.

So, if you want permanent residency for your employee, this is not your best foreign worker visa option.

The medium-term stream, on the other hand, applies to those occupations found on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List. Here, the worker is entitled to employment options with up to four years of validity. After three years of working with the employer, the worker may even apply for permanent residency. 

At this point, it’s important to point out that not every employer can provide employee sponsorship in Australia. To be considered eligible to sponsor an international worker for the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, you must meet certain requirements as an employer: 

  • Your business must be registered 
  • The business is one that operates lawfully
  • The position for which the candidate is to hold will pay the market salary rate
  • That you have made great efforts to fill the position with Australian citizens but have not succeeded at it.
  • That the employee will be lawfully behaved and will comply with all the laws guiding immigration in Australia and work relations.

How to Apply for TSS

To apply for TSS, there are certain processes that must be followed. They are in three stages:

  • Sponsorship
  • Nomination
  • Visa application

3. Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) Visa

If you are looking for a more permanent recruitment option for your employee, this is the best option available to you. Like the TSS, you must meet certain requirements before sponsoring employees in Australia. As an employer, you must prove that you have been unable to fill the position applied for from the Australian labour market.

If you can successfully prove this, the foreign worker recruited may be granted a permanent visa.

These are some of the streams through which applications can be made:

Temporary Residence Transitional Stream:

Employees under the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS) who have worked for three years out of the four years granted may apply for this visa. They may, however, need to have an English level equivalent to IELTS 6 in each band.

Direct Entry Stream:

This is the option for people who have either worked briefly in Australia or who haven’t worked here at all. To qualify for the visa, they must have at least three years of experience in the relevant occupation and a positive skills assessment in their nominated occupation. This visa option is ideal for highly skilled employees who need to fill a highly specialist role that is hard to source locally. 

Agreement Stream:

This is best suited for employees who are sponsored through a negotiated labour agreement which is a special type of visa program available to specific companies in Australia.

4. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 494)

Employers who own businesses in regional and low population growth areas in Australia tend to battle with shortages in skilled workers. The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa is for skilled workers who want to work in these regions.  

How Much Does it Cost to Sponsor an Employee in Australia?

Sponsoring an employee in Australia requires quite a bit of money. The actual amount would depend on the foreign worker visa option. However, you can expect to pay nothing less than AUD 4,000, no matter the type of visa.

And as the employer, it is your responsibility to pay all the costs of employee sponsorship in Australia. This includes the professional fees, job recruitment costs, and the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) fees. You can’t pass these costs to the foreign employee in question.

Now, before you go ahead with employing international workers and foreign sponsorship, it is best to get advice and guidance from immigration experts. You don’t want to jump in headlong and make mistakes along the way.

Contact an Australian Migration Agent

The process of applying for an employer sponsorship can be quite tasking and confusing. As such, it is advisable to consult with an immigration expert. 

At IMMIGATE, we make it our job to make employee sponsorship in Australia a stress-free process for employers. We are known for our unwavering dedication to ensuring a successful outcome for every client.

So, if you’re wondering how to sponsor an employee in Australia, our expert team of agents and lawyers can do all the hard work for you. Contact us now.

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