Employer Sponsored Visa

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    Employer Sponsored Visa Program

    The employer-sponsored visa allows Australian employers to sponsor specific skilled labour to serve their business needs. It also allows skilled labour of a foreign country to explore their employment options with Australian employers, in case they may need their skills.

    Initial review and assessment.
    After review, your application is prepared and submitted to department.
    Visa Outcome
    Based on the processing timelines, an outcome is delivered by department.

    Other Information

    Visa Options

    There are several visa options that allow businesses to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia. They are:

    Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) Sponsorship (482 visas)

    The Subclass 482 TSS visa has replaced the 457 visa, and allows businesses based either in Australia or overseas to sponsor workers for a temporary visa lasting up to 4 years. Only certain occupations are eligible for TSS visas, and employees must be paid at the market rate.


    The application for a company sponsorship visa consists of 3 main parts:


    Applying for approval as a business sponsor would require the business to provide details to show:

      • The business is a lawful, operating business
      • The business has the financial ability to pay a nominated worker
      • The business commits to meeting the sponsorship obligations

    The Labour Agreement process is far more complex, and unless a template agreement exists, companies are required to negotiate terms and conditions with the Department of Immigration.


    Employers must then nominate one of the three TSS application streams. These are as follows:

    Short Term Stream

    For the short term stream:

      • The nominated occupation must be on the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL)
      • Applicants must show that they are Genuine Temporary Entrants
      • The visa is valid for up to 2 years (unless an International Trade Obligation applies)
      • The visa can only be renewed onshore once
      • No pathway for employer sponsored permanent residence (unless Grandfathering or Transitional provisions apply)

    Medium Term Stream

    Under the Medium Term Stream:

      • The occupation must be on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
      • A higher English language requirement applies compared to the Short Term Stream
      • The visa can be valid for up to 4 years
      • The visa can be renewed without limitation and applicants may be eligible for permanent employer sponsored options

    Labour Agreement Stream This stream is for employers who have negotiated a labour agreement with the Australian Government.

    Skilling Australians Fund

    A Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy is payable for each nomination under the TSS program, as follows:

      • For businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10m:
      • An upfront payment of $1,200 per nominee, per year of intended employment will be required
      • For businesses will an annual turnover of more than $10m:
      • An upfront payment of $1,800 per nominee, per year of intended employment will be required

    The revenue raised from these payments will go towards the training of Australian workers. Please note the SAF levy has replaced the ongoing training obligation for Standard Business Sponsors.

    Labour Market Testing

    Immigration requires that all positions nominated for the grant of TSS visas are advertised unless an International Trade Obligation exemption applies. Legislation further sets out where advertising should take place, for how long, and what should be contained in the ad. Basically:

      • The nominated position must be advertised in Australia
      • At least two advertisements must be published; in two different places or the same place for two different time periods, such as:
        • Advertisement of the job on Job Active (government website)
        • A national recruitment website
        • National print media
        • National radio
        • If the sponsor is accredited – on the company's website
      • The advertising must have occurred within 4 months prior to the TSS nomination being submitted
      • Advertising must have remained live for at least 4 weeks
      • The role must be advertised in English, with the position title and duties as well as salary range.
    1. VISA

    The employee would then apply for a visa to work in Australia to fill the nominated position. This would involve providing evidence that they:

      • Have at least 2 years of full-time, relevant work experience (or the experience required under a Labour Agreement);
      • Meet the ANZSCO requirements for the nominated occupation;
      • Meet the English language requirement relevant to the stream in which the application is made (exemptions from English language testing are available in certain circumstances):
        • Short term stream: equivalent to average 5 in IELTS, with no scores under 4.5 in any of the 4 bands
        • Medium term stream: equivalent to a minimum of 5 in each band of IELTS; an average of 5 is not sufficient
        • Labour Agreement stream: Requirements as per the negotiated agreement or template
        • Both streams: Hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand.
      • Do not have a substantial criminal history and meet the character requirements
      • Meet the health requirements unless a waiver applies


    TSS Visas are subject to condition 8607:

      • The employee can only work for the nominating employer, in the occupation in which they were sponsored
      • If registration, licensing or professional membership is required to work in the position, the applicant holds this
      • The holder must commence work within 90 days of grant or arrival in Australia; and
      • The holder is subject to cancellation if they cease work for more than 60 days

    Subclass 494 Regional Employer Sponsored (Provisional)

    The Subclass 494 visa opened to applicants on 16 November 2019, allowing businesses in regional Australia to sponsor workers from a wider occupation list, with a pathway to permanent residency that is not reliant on ongoing sponsorship.

    The Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa is a provisional (temporary residence) visa which requires holders to live, work, and study in a regional area of Australia. Once certain residence requirements have been met, holders can apply for a permanent Regional visa.

    The application process for the Subclass 494 visa are very similar to those for a Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa. This consists of 3 main parts:


    To apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor, the business would need to provide evidence that it is actively and lawfully operating, and has the financial ability to meet its sponsorship obligations.

    Australian businesses who have already been approved as sponsors for 457/TSS visas will be able to use the existing SBS to nominate for the Subclass 494 visa. It is not possible for overseas businesses to sponsor for the 494 visa.


    Employers then nominate a position located in regional Australia, and identifies the person they wish to sponsor for the role. To meet the nomination requirements, employers must show:

      • The nominated occupation is on the Subclass 494 Medium-Long Term Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL)
      • Labour Market Testing has been undertaken – no exemptions apply
      • The nominee will be paid a market rate salary, which is not less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of $53,900
      • The Regional Certifying Body for their area has certified the market rate salary
      • The role will be available for at least 5 years

    Skilling Australians Fund

    A Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy is payable for each nomination under the 494 program, as follows:

      • For businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10m, a one-off, upfront payment of $3,000 per nominee.
      • For businesses will an annual turnover of more than $10m, a one-off, upfront payment of $5,000 per nominee.

    The revenue raised from these payments will go towards the training of Australian workers.


    The employee would then apply for a visa to work in Australia to fill the nominated position. This would involve providing evidence that they:

      • Are aged between 18 and 44 inclusive
      • Have Competent Englishor higher, and their dependent family members over 18 years of age have at least Functional English
      • Hold a positive skill assessment in the nominated occupation*
      • Have at least 3 years of relevant skilled work experience*
      • Meet health and character requirements

    Duration and Conditions

    The Subclass 494 visa is valid for 5 years from the date of grant, and requires all visa holders to live, work, and study in regional Australia. Visa holders are eligible for Australian Medicare for the life of this visa.

    494 Visas are subject to a condition limiting the primary visa holder to only work for the nominating employer, and only in the occupation in which they were sponsored. If the visa holder ceases work, they have 90 days to find a new employer or the visa is liable for cancellation.

    Conversion to Permanent Residency

    It is possible to apply for a permanent Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa after living and working in a regional area for at least 3 years. Unlike the transitional pathway for ENS or RSMS visas, the Subclass 191 visa does not require that holders have been working for the same employer for the 3-year period, and does not require nomination from an employer in order to apply for the permanent visa.

    Applicants must still meet certain income requirements, and be able to prove their residence in regional Australia for the 3-year period.

    Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)

    The Employer Nomination Scheme is a permanent visa, and requires the nominating employer to be operating in Australia. The employee needs to show a higher level of skill than for a TSS visa, but.

    ENS Stages

    There are two stages to the ENS subclass 186 application:

      • Nomination: involves review of the business operations as well as the position offered to the employee. Employers will also be required to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, which is $3,000 or $5,000 depending on turnover.
      • Visa Application:there are three possible pathways, though all must have Competent English, as well as provide health and police checks. If nominating a licensed occupation, the applicant must hold a full licence in order to meet the skill requirements.

    Application Pathways

    There are three possible application pathways for an ENS visa:

    1. Direct Entry Stream:Applicants will need to provide a formal skills assessment in their occupation and show that they have worked in their occupation for three years. Applicants must also be under the age of 45 years, be nominating an occupation on the Medium Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), and have competent English
    2. Temporary Residence Transition:In this case no skills assessment is required however, unless Grandfathering Provisions apply (see below), applicants need to be under 45 years of age at the time of lodgement, have worked with the nominating employer on a 457 and/or TSS visa for at least 3 years, and nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
    3. Agreement Stream:where the employer has a Labour Agreement with permanent positions available. Requirements are set out in the Agreement.

    In some instances, exemptions may be applicable to the above requirements.

    Grandfathering Provisions

    Subclass 457 visa applicants and visa holders as at 18 April 2017 have access to transitional arrangements until 2022. These arrangements allow them to preserve their eligibility for an ENS visa through the Temporary Residence Transition stream as it existed in 2017.

    To be eligible for these transitional arrangements, applicants must have either:

      • Held a 457 visa as at 18 April 2017, or
      • Had a pending 457 visa application as at 18 April 2017, which resulted in the approval of a 457 or TSS visa.

    Applicants who are eligible to apply via these provisions will not need to meet the new requirements in relation to:

      • Occupation: applicants may qualify even if their occupation is not on the MLTSSL or has since been removed from the occupations list altogether
      • Age: applicants may still qualify if they are aged between 45 and 49 years of age. In some instances, further exemptions may apply to those aged above 49 years
      • Work experience on the 457 visa: applicants may qualify once they have worked in their nominated occupation for their nominating employer for at least 2 years whilst holding a 457/TSS visa

    New Zealand Citizens and Family

    Holders of a Subclass 444 Special Category visa or 461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship visa can access age and skill waivers through the Direct Entry stream of an ENS visa if they have worked for their nominating employer for at least 2 years in their nominated occupation otherwise the criteria are broadly similar to the TSS visa.

    Training Subclass 407 Visas

    The Training Subclass 407 Visa is a short stay visa for people occupational training or professional development in Australia.

    Common Visa Criteria

    There are two eligibility pathways for the visa. However, all applicants must show that they:

      • Have turned 18 (or can demonstrate exceptional circumstances)
      • Have functional English
      • Hold private health insurance
      • Have access to sufficient funds to support themselves in Australia
      • Genuinely intend to stay temporarily in Australia for the intended purpose
      • Meet health and character requirements

    Sponsorship by an approved Temporary Activities Sponsor is required.

    Your employer must nominate you (and they cannot be a sole trader or an individual).

    Occupational Trainees

    This stream requires a nomination by the sponsor to do one of the following activities in Australia:

      • Training required to obtain registration, membership or a licence to work in Australia or home country
      • Training in a gazetted occupation – in this case, the applicant must have worked full time in the occupation for at least 12 of the last 24 months
      • Up to 6 months of practical experience, research or observation is required to obtain an overseas qualification
      • Training supported by a government agency or the applicant's home government
      • Occupational training would generally require at least 70% of the training to be on-the-job versus classroom training.

    Visa Conditions

    The 407 visa is granted for a specific period, anywhere from six months to two years. The Immigration Case Officer will decide the length of the visa based on how much training they think you need. At the end of the 407 visa, you may be eligible for another type of visa.

    If you are outside Australia at time of grant, this visa allows you to:

      • to travel to and enter Australia after your visa is granted and
      • remain in Australia during the stay period granted (up to a maximum of two years), which begins on the day you first enter Australia.

    If you are in Australia at time of grant, this visa allows you to:

    Remain in Australia during the stay period granted (up to a maximum of two years), which begins on the date your visa is granted.

    The duration of stay (stay period) you have been granted will be consistent with the requirements of your training position or professional development programme.

    When you receive your visa, you are issued with a visa grant notification letter that explains the conditions of your visa, including the stay period and entry requirements.

    Condition 8102: Main applicant must not engage in work in Australia other than in relation to the holder’s course of study or training.

    Condition 8104: Secondary applicants must not engage in work for more than 40 hours a fortnight while the holder is in Australia.

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    Raman Doegar

    MARN: 1797422

    Oceania Immigration Advisory Pvt. Ltd is a private immigration consultant organisation founded by Mr. Raman Doegar, a registered migration agent (MARN: 1797422 ) with Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) and a Member of Migration Institute of Australia(MIA). A master in his field and passionately dedicated to it, Mr. Raman provides comprehensive and personalized services to his clients. Raman moved to Australia in 1999 as a student and completed his education from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT University) in the field of Bachelors of Applied Science-Hospitality Management. He held various senior leadership and management oles in the hotel industry especially in 5-star properties for over 15 years. Raman has over 9 years of experience in the education sector delivering education services in the field of Business and Hospitality across diverse courses ranging from diploma to bachelors level and in the range of RTOs and Universities.