Employer Sponsorship is where an approved Australian company sponsors you for employment in Australia, and in doing so, you receive a visa that allows you to migrate to Australia under the condition that you remain employed by the company who has sponsored you.
You should note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that all costs are covered by the company; in some cases they are, and in other cases, you will have to cover your portion of the visa costs and your relocation costs.
What it does mean when you are sponsored by a company is that you are given the rights to come out and live in Australia for the duration of the visa, because a company is offering you a job.
In the majority of cases, the visa that you receive is a temporary visa, meaning that you can only live and work in Australia for the duration of the visa. However, this is a very attractive option for skilled overseas nationals, as it often means they can migrate to Australia sooner than if they had applied for Permanent Residency (skilled migration). It is often also the only option available to many people, who may not qualify for other types of migrant visas.
As mentioned previously, it is recommended that before you start your search for jobs in Australia, you should first determine that you qualify for migrating – this is also true for applying for employer sponsored jobs in Australia.
Some people believe that if they do not qualify for General Skilled Migration, that their only option is employer sponsorship or 457 visas sponsorship. While this is true in some cases, in many cases, people do not even qualify for this type of visa. It is therefore highly recommended that you do all of the necessary research to uncover whether you do indeed qualify for employer sponsorship, especially if you have determined that you don’t qualify for skilled migration.
Types of Employer Sponsorship
As with researching whether you qualify for skilled migration, if you opt to do your own research to discover whether you qualify for employer sponsorship, you need to be extremely thorough and ensure that you regularly check back to the Australian immigration site (www.border.gov.au) to stay up to date with the changes that occur.
There are two types of employer sponsorship in Australia. The first is Skilled Workers Temporary; which includes:
The second type is Skilled Workers Permanent Visas, including:
There is also the Expression of Interest (EOI) programme, which is submitted via the online SkillSelect service (as covered in the previous section).
Australian immigration rules are changing regularly, so we recommend that you keep up to date with what’s happening with Australian sponsorship visas, at the Australian immigration website: http://www.border.gov.au.
Many people do not understand the main differences between the types of employer sponsored visas, and as such, do not want to be considered for temporary sponsorship visas. This is decision does not go in a potential migrant’s favour.
It should be understood that many companies in Australia prefer temporary sponsorship due to the lower risk factor; that being, if the sponsored employee does not work out, the company is not obliged to keep them employed past their visa expiration date.
In comparison, although the permanent visa is more attractive to the person being sponsored, the employer actually takes a rather large risk in hiring someone on a permanent basis whom they have often never meet before, nor seen perform in the workplace; and therefore their preference is to opt for the temporary visa, at least to start with. If the sponsored employee proves themselves worthy, the company will in some cases assist them to achieve their Permanent Residency through sponsorship.
The rules for permanent sponsorship visas are much stricter than for temporary visas; and more often than not, you will not qualify for the permanent visa. Sometimes, you may not qualify for either – it is best to find out (more on this shortly).
Do to the temporary sponsorship visa being the preferred visa type for Australian employers, I urge you to consider temporary visa sponsorship. Even though the risk may appear greater at your end – being that if the company does not sponsor your PR you will need to find another employer sponsor or leave the country – you will more likely have the opportunity to migrate to Australia on a temporary visa, as permanent sponsorship is almost impossible to find.
How to Find Out if You Qualify
There are a two ways that you can uncover whether you do indeed qualify for employer sponsorship in Australia, and these are:
- Take a professional assessment with a registered migration agent; or
- Do your own research using the Australian immigration websites.
Many people make the decision to do their own research because they do not want to pay for the migration agent fees; however, if they are not thorough enough, they may make an error in their self-assessment, and find out in the ‘last hour’ that all their time and efforts have been in vain.
I therefore recommend that you take a professional migration assessment to receive an accurate assessment of your options.
Taking a Migration Assessment
As mentioned articles, the safest way to discover whether you qualify for any type of visa in Australia, including employer sponsorship, and to avoid an incorrect self-assessment, is to have a professional assessment with a registered and knowledgeable migration agent.
Please refer to the article, Which Visa? Using Migration Agents.
Doing Your Own Research
If you opt to do your own research to determine whether you qualify for employer sponsorship in Australia – like with researching other visas – be extremely thorough and ensure that you regularly check back to the Australian immigration site (www.border.gov.au) to stay up to date with the immigration rules.
Doing your own research to find out whether you qualify for employer sponsorship in Australia is the same method as described in the previous section. However, in case you skipped the previous section and have come straight to this section to find out whether you qualify for employer sponsorship, I have set out the steps below for your research.
Step 1 – Qualifying Occupations
The first place you can start is by reviewing the list of occupations that currently qualify for employer sponsorship. The list that is relevant for employer sponsorship visas is the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).
Again – be sure to check on these pages regularly as the list changes frequently.
Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List:
The current CSOL is relevant for applicants for:
- Points-based skilled migration who are nominated by a state or territory government agency under a State Migration Plan
- The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), who must have been nominated by an Australian employer to fill a position in an occupation that appears in the CSOL
- Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
- Training and Research visa (subclass 402)
You can view the CSOL here:
For Updates on Employer Sponsorship, visit: http://www.border.gov.au
Step 2 – Job Descriptions
Once you can see that there is one, or perhaps more, occupations that you MIGHT qualify for, you need to review the job descriptions as set out by ANZSCO (www.abs.gov.au) to discover whether the job descriptions match your actual experience. To start the search, go to:
Step 3 – Specifications Of Each Occupation
On the above web page, enter the occupation title into the search box, with the ANZSCO codes if possible (you will find these next to the relevant jobs on the CSOL above). For example, “234411 Geologist”. You then simply click on the “Go” button next to the search box.
When the search is complete, the page will offer you a suggestion of an occupation group that your search might fit into. Click on the appropriate link offered. In the above example it would be: 2344, Geologists and Geophysicists.
You will then be taken to a page that gives a description of what qualifications and specific experience you require to qualify for this occupation.
Be sure to study this page carefully, particularly the sections that apply to your specific occupation. This will ensure that you make a more accurate assessment of whether you qualify or not.
Think You Qualify?
If, after your research, you are confident that you qualify for employer sponsorship, and that is the visa route you are going to focus on, you are now ready to prepare yourself for the Australian job market! The modules following will help you to get started.
I always recommend, however, that you verify this with a registered migration agent, for peace of mind that you are indeed correct. It will be money well spent.
Not Sure You Qualify?
If, after studying the job descriptions, you are still unsure that you qualify, it is recommended that you book a professional assessment with a registered migration agent, such as TSS Immigration (Please refer to the article, Which Visa? Using Migration Agents).
By verifying with a migration agent, you will then be sure of whether to pursue your dream or to change direction in your life.
One of the big advantages of consulting with a recommended MARA registered migration agent is that if it appears that you do not qualify for the Australian employer sponsorship programme, the agent can advise you, where applicable, of the ‘pathways’ you can take to meet the criteria required to qualify for employer sponsorship.
1. Follow the steps above to do your own research into whether you qualify to migrate to Australia under the employer sponsorship scheme. 2. If you aren’t sure whether you qualify (and even if you are fairly sure), it is recommended that you book an assessment with a migration agent. 3. Once you have confirmed that you do qualify for employer sponsorship, and that this is the visa route you will be focusing on, get ready to prepare yourself for your job search (see articles on job search ).
1. Follow the steps above to do your own research into whether you qualify to migrate to Australia under the employer sponsorship scheme.
2. If you aren’t sure whether you qualify (and even if you are fairly sure), it is recommended that you book an assessment with a migration agent.
3. Once you have confirmed that you do qualify for employer sponsorship, and that this is the visa route you will be focusing on, get ready to prepare yourself for your job search (see articles on job search ).
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