How to Sponsor an Employee
July 17, 2018
Your business needs the right team to thrive, and talent today is competitive in a global skills market. If your business needs to bring on employees who are other than Australian citizens or permanent residents, you should be familiar with the process of sponsoring employees on temporary (and permanent) work visas.
Step 1: Become a Standard Business Sponsor
Before you can sponsor an employee, the business must first become accredited by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) as a ‘standard business sponsor’. This is a one-off process, and the status is typically conferred for a period of up to 5 years.
The process is known as Standard Business Sponsorship. To be granted, the business must meet two requirements:
1. Run a lawful operating business
To meet this requirement the business must prove to the Department both that the business is legally established, and in operation. You’ll need to provide records, such as business registration records and financial statements, to substantiate this claim.
2. Have no relevant adverse information against your business.
If the Department is aware of adverse information against your business, they can use this as a basis to refuse your application. This includes information that shows your business:
- Contravened a law, or is under investigation for such
- Has become insolvent
- Has given, or has caused to be given, false or misleading information to the Department
In addition, the DHA will want to understand some basics about the business – such as the relevant industry profile and an outline of the employee structure (and visa status of employees).
You can read more here about Standard Business Sponsorship.
Step 2: Prepare the Nomination
The purpose of a nomination is to show the Department that there is a position available which will be filled by an overseas skilled worker. The focus of the Nomination application is the position, rather than the individual candidate.
Nominations must meet a wide variety of requirements, which differ depending on the visa subclass chosen. As a minimum, for the nomination to be approved:
- The position identified must match an occupation on the eligible list for the visa type.
- The position identified must be “genuine”. The genuineness of the position can be interpreted broadly by the DHA, and should be pre-emptivley addressed to the extent possible.
- The position must be full time for at least two years, with no express exclusions on continued employment.
- The position must meet salary and employment condition related requirements.
- The business must provide evidence of Labour Market Testing (attempts to source a candidate from the Australian job market).
- The business must employ the employee directly, or via an associated entity.
- The business must not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices.
- Many occupations have caveats placed on them. If relevant, these must be addressed in the Nomination.
Nominations are often the most complex component of sponsored visas, and the many requirements need to be met forcefully.
Step 3: Lodge Employee’s Visa Application (AKA the Primary)
In the employee’s visa application, commonly known as the Primary, the candidate will need to demonstrate they meet all the requirements of the visa in question, as well as the particular requirements of the occupation being filled. The candidate will need to demonstrate they have met the appropriate English level, character requirements (including Police checks), qualifications and experience, age level, work experience and qualifications. If the applicant is including family members in their application (eg partners, children), then details about them are included in this application.
Sponsoring an employee can be a complex process. Your business must meet a range of requirements, provide a variety of well-structured documentation. Our migration agents and lawyers have a well established reputation for managing migration applications. We advise clients operating across a diverse spectrum of industries, including hospitality, IT, communications, engineering, and architecture, for SMEs, corporates and startups. Get in touch if you would like us to manage your business through this process.