Employer sponsored visas allow businesses in Australia and overseas to sponsor skilled workers who have recognised qualifications and skills in particular occupations required in Australia. Eligible employers may sponsor an overseas worker for a temporary or permanent visa, and should have the occupation listed on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL). If the occupation is not listed on the CSOL, eligible employers may consider a Labour Agreement.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection administers all sponsorship applications for employers and visa applications for employees.

1. Temporary Work Visa (Skilled) Subclass 457

The Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa is designed to enable employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian. This is the most commonly used programme for employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis. The subclass 457 visa allows businesses to employ overseas workers for up to 4 years in skilled occupations only.

This visa category involves three stages, Sponsorship, Nomination and the Visa application. The visa holders can:

  • Work in Australia for a period of between one day and 4 years
  • Bring any eligible dependants with them to Australia — dependants can work and study
  • After entering Australia, have no limit on the number of times they can travel in and out of Australia.
2. Employer Nomination Scheme, Subclass 186

Employer Nomination Scheme or ENS is a permanent residence visa for skilled overseas workers. There are two stages involved in ENS subclass 186 application.; firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream.

This visa allows the employee to work in Australia in one of the three streams:

  • Temporary Residence Transition Stream - It is for Subclass 457 holders who have worked in Australia for 2 years in the same occupation with their sponsored employer, who wants to give them a permanent position in that occupation.
  • Direct Entry Stream - Subclass 186 visa Australia is for people who have been sponsored by their employer under this stream, who have never or partially worked in Australia or temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.
  • Agreement Stream - It is for people sponsored by an eligible employer through a labour agreement.
3.Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) subclass 187

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) subclass 187 visa is designed for employers to address skill shortages in regional and low population growth areas.

Applicant can apply for this visa if

  • Want to live and work in regional Australia (any areas outside of the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne)
  • Have been nominated by an approved Australian employer located in regional Australia
  • Are younger than 50 years of age
  • Meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements.
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