Employer Sponsored (Working) Visas

Australian migration law permits and encourages recruiting workers from overseas if their skills and competencies are in high demand in Australia.

The Employer Sponsored Scheme to Australia is a group of visas that allow you to live, work and study in Australia for a short or long period of time.

The main difference these visas from the Skilled visas 189 / 190 / 491 is a compulsory sponsorship from an employer, who is providing the applicant’s employment.

If you need to get qualified advice about visa choice, occupation, migration program and sponsorship approval as an employer or nomination approval, I would like to invite you for a consultation. As part of an express consultation, you can ask all important questions or get a general strategy for your migration case.

Sponsored visas - table of content

Employer Sponsored Visa requirements

In some cases, the applicant is required to undergo a skills assessment, to prove his skills meet Australian standards, and that his English proficiency level also meets visa criteria.

At the same moment, the employer who is going to sponsor a new worker must prove to DOHA that this position in the business structure cannot be covered by Australian labor. Both the employee and the employer should be approved by the DOHA as a suitable worker and appropriate sponsor.

Moreover, many working visas offer the ability to include a family in the visa application and also allow the applicant and his family to live, work and study in Australia depending on the type of visa.

Some visas require a personal statement of true intentions for a TEMPORARY stay in Australia from the applicant – the genuine temporary entrant (GTE).

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There are several Employer Sponsored visas and designated area migration agreements (DAMA) in the Australian migration program.

Most working visas can be granted to candidates with occupation from a specific skilled occupation list (each visa will have its own list), and if a candidate has a current job or job offer.

Temporary Skill Shortage visa SC482 (Temporary visa)

The TSS visa subclass allows employers to tackle the shortage of employees they cannot find in Australia by attracting skilled workers from overseas.

TSS visa holders can only work in Australia in a nominated occupation. At the time of applying for a 482 visa, the applicant may be overseas or in Australia. It has no age limit.

This subclass of a visa is considered in the following stages:

  • company sponsor-employer approval
  • approval of the nomination for the position
  • applying for a visa (the documents can be submitted immediately together or in stages)

The temporary skills gap is covered by employer-sponsored migrant occupations through a subclass 482 visa under two streams. Please read below.

This stream is available if the employer wishes to sponsor the foreign skilled worker on a temporary basis only in those occupations that are listed on the Short-Term Occupation List (STSOL) for the TSS visa.

A visa can be issued for a period of 2, with the possibility of an extension for the next 2 years, without a direct transition to permanent residence.

One of the requirements is a letter from GTE confirming your intention to stay temporarily in Australia.

This stream is available if an employer wishes to sponsor a foreign skilled worker for up to 4 years in occupations listed on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or Regional Occupations List (ROL) for the TSS visa.

Medium and long-term stream visa is the most common way to obtain a permanent resident visa through a work visa, PR will be available under certain conditions (for example, work for 3 years in a nominated occupation for the sponsoring company).

  • Minimum requirements for the applicant: relevant qualifications + 2 years of full-time work experience in the recent 5 years or in the absence of relevant qualifications, 3 or 5 years of full-time work experience in the recent 5 years (the number of years depends on the chosen occupation). In some cases, mandatory skills assessment will be required.
  • A company that plans to sponsor an employee must meet the special criteria of an employer sponsor and must be approved by the Department of Home Affairs in due course.
  • Submission of documents in three stages: sponsorship application, nomination, and visa for the applicant.
  • The minimum level of English proficiency is IELTS general 5.0, no less than 5 for each band (Long-term / regional stream) or an overall score of 5.0, no less than 4.5 for each band (Short-term stream).

Employer Nominated visa SC186 (Permanent visa)

The visa is intended for skilled workers from the list of in-demand occupations no older than 44 years, nominated directly by the employer. The applicant must also provide skills assessment and Competent English.

The 186 visa is a permanent visa and includes two streams.


This stream is available if the applicant has a TSS SC 482 Medium-long term stream, an SC 457 visa (no longer active for applications), or related Bridging visas.

This visa means that the employer wants to offer the applicant a permanent position in a particular occupation for a minimum of 2 years of a full-time contract.

To obtain a permanent ENS 186 visa to Australia through a transitional stream, you must meet the requirements:

  • work full time (up to 40 hours per week)
  • work two / three years with the specified employer
  • work in the nominated position.

Designed for people who have never worked in Australia, but have at least 3 years of relevant full-time work experience in the nominated occupation, relevant skills assessment and at least Competent English.

The occupation must be on the list of the Department of Home Affairs for visa 186.

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Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional) SESR SC494

The temporary subclass 494 visa replaced the 187 visa. The main visa requirement is the applicant’s proposed employment in the nominated position in the regional area (the entire territory of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) for 5 years.

After three years, if the applicant meets the requirements, he / she can apply for any other visa, including a permanent residency visa.

  • age under 45 at the time of application (there are exceptions)
  • English proficiency no lower than Competent level
  • previous relevant work experience in the nominated position for at least 3 years full time in the recent 5 years before the application is made.
  • an applicant in Australia – holder of a valid visa or bridging visa A, B or C
  • successful skill assessment
  • the employer must be eligible to sponsor the applicant
  • the position must be listed in the appropriate occupation list
  • you must start work no later than 90 days from the date of visa approval

To have the opportunity for direct transition to a permanent visa, the candidate has to meet the following criteria:

  • living in the specified regional area for at least 3 years
  • work in a nominated position with a break in employment of no more than 90 days
  • the income of the visa holder or his partner for each year out of 3 is at least 53,900 AUD.

Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa SC400

Allows highly skilled occupations to work on short-term work projects or, in some exceptional cases, participate in events of a national scale, such as disaster relief.
A visa can be supported by invitation or sponsorship by the employing organisation.

No English language requirement. No age limit.

This visa can be submitted from outside Australia and is considered fairly quickly, the maximum consideration period is 23 days.

With this visa you can:

  • Work in Australia for up to 3 months, and in exceptional cases up to 6 months
  • Family members will have no work rights
  • Combine a work project with a short vacation, which will be of secondary importance
  • Work without an employer, as a freelancer (for example, a photographer or journalist), while meeting certain requirements

With this visa, you have restrictions on:

  • Duration of the working project
  • Duration of training
  • Work trainings
  • Work in the entertainment industry
  • Further stay to Australia
  • The work is only within the declared activity in the sponsoring / supporting company.

Training visa SC407 (Temporary visa)

This visa, nominally related to study visas, actually represents the interests of the applicant who plans to improve their skills and undergo an occupational internship at an Australian company.

There is no age limit. 

The visa can be applied for in Australia or outside Australia. Prerequisites are health insurance and a functional level of English. The visa is also subject to the 8102 restriction, which prohibits the applicant from working separately from the nominated occupational training.

The maximum visa period is 2 years.

The visa processing time is from 71 days to 4 months.

The procedure for obtaining a visa 407:

1.Sponsorship from an Australian company.
2.Nomination by the sponsor of the applicant for the proposed training, a description of the goals, objectives and type of training process.
3.Submission of documents for a subclass 407 visa from the applicant (may include family members).

The package of documents, in addition to other standard requirements for health and character, as well as the results of the international English exam not lower than IELTS overall 4.5 band, must include a special letter from GTE, where the applicant describes intentions regarding temporary stay in Australia.

There are three streams of nominations:

  • occupational training required for registration
  • occupational training to improve skills in the relevant occupation
  • occupational training for overseas internship

The applicant’s occupation must be on the list of occupations nominated for a 407 visa. The applicant must have relevant work experience, at least 1 year of work experience in the nominated occupation full time in the last 2 years before application is lodged.

Temporary Activity visa SC408 (Temporary visa)

A temporary visa allows visa holders to work on short-term and highly specialised work projects.

Under certain circumstances, this visa also applies to employees of projects conducted in the public interest of Australia. 

You can apply while in Australia or from outside Australia.

  • No age limit
  • Visa requires formal employer sponsorship
  • May be intended for, for example, entertainment workers, athletes, religious workers, and academics.
  • Applicant must have the necessary skills to work in the nominated occupation that is required in Australia due to a shortage of local occupations
  • It is necessary to demonstrate sufficient funds to support the stay of the applicant and family members in Australia (bank statements, employment contract and sponsor support)
  • Meet the requirements of health and character
  • Confirm your genuine intentions to stay temporarily in Australia on a special GTE form
  • Working rights and visa valid for 3-6 months, 2 years or 4 years depending on the type of activity and sponsor
  • 408 visa holders are generally unable to extend their stay in Australia after four years spent on this visa

Labor Agreement

This stream has several programs options

There is a specific labor agreement between the employer and the Department of Home Affairs.

Employer company has the right to discuss and approve any occupation (from groups 1-4 under ANZSCO), the conditions for the English language, and exemptions for the transition to permanent residence (for example, exemptions for the level of English and age).

The average time for consideration of such an agreement is 6 months.

Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) are special agreements between the state / territory in Australia and the Department of Home Affairs to recruit workers from extended lists of occupations, with reduced English language requirements.

The employer must be located in a region that is approved by the DAMA agreement.
Now the DAMA agreements have been approved in the following regions: Northern Territory; The Goldfields, WA; Great South Coast, VIC; Adelaide City and Regional SA; Orana, NSW; Far North Queensland.

An employee arrives on a temporary work visa subclass 482 to work for 3 years for a sponsor-employer with the further possibility of transit to permanent residence.

Businesses that are trying to find overseas employees can use pre-approved agreements for the business sectors.

The following sectors are currently approved: Dairy, Fishing, Meat, Minister of Religion, On-hire, Pork, Restaurant (fine dining), Advertising, and Horticulture.

Special agreements from project companies that would like to attract highly skilled professionals from overseas during the construction phase of resource or infrastructure projects.

The Global Talent Employer Sponsored (GTES) program allows an employer to sponsor overseas workers in highly skilled niches where a local workforce cannot be found.

This stream has the following criteria:

  • positions are not limited to lists of occupations for the visa SC482
  • there are two streams for innovative business:
    • established business (sponsorship up to 20 positions) and
    • start-up (sponsorship up to 5 positions)
  • it is possible to agree to exemptions in the criteria for a standard visa 482
  • there are age exemptions for the transition to permanent residency, priority in consideration

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