It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to hire specialised staff to deliver efficient outcomes for clients and to improve workforce mobility. To achieve these objectives, many businesses are taking advantage of the visa programs that enable them to sponsor overseas talent to work in Australia on a temporary or permanent basis. Navigating the visa pathways which may be available to these clients doing business in Australia can present challenges if you are not familiar with the complexity of the Australian visa program. These fast facts will assist to highlight some of the pathways available to corporate clients seeking to employ overseas talent.
TEMPORARY VISA SOLUTIONS
1. TEMPORARY SKILL SHORTAGE VISA (TSS) (SUBCLASS 482)
The TSS visa is a temporary visa which enables employers to sponsor foreign workers to work in their business for a period of between 2 – 4 years. In our experience, TSS Visas are useful where clients need an employee with specialised expertise for a specific project or to fulfil the requirements of a tender. The TSS Visa involves a three-step process:
(a) a sponsorship application by the employer
(b) a nomination application for a skilled position by the employer
(c) a visa application by the proposed employee
The nominated position must be on the Department’s skilled occupation list. Both the employer and the employee need to meet certain eligibility criteria for the visa. The 482 visa provides a pathway to permanent residency in some circumstances which can be an attractive feature for employers and employees alike.
2. TEMPORARY WORK (SHORT STAY SPECIALIST) VISA (SUBCLASS 400)
This visa is a temporary visa for people who want to travel to Australia to undertake short-term, non-ongoing and highly specialised work. Visitor visas are sometimes used by businesses when they are sending employees to Australia on a short-term basis, for example, to conduct meetings in the Australian office, to visit an Australian client or to attend a conference. Visitor visas contain a condition which prevents the visa holder from working in Australia, so businesses should consider an alternative visa such as the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa in these circumstances.
3. SKILLED EMPLOYER SPONSORED REGIONAL (PROVISIONAL) VISA (SUBCLASS 494)
The Australian government introduced new regional visas on 16 November 2019. The definition of “regional Australia” has been amended to include most locations outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, including the Gold Coast. The visa enables regional employers to address labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers. This new regional visa offers several benefits to regional employers including:
(a) Skilled migrants will be prioritised and will have access to more occupations on the Skilled Occupation List, compared to those in major cities; and
(b) The employee can apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time the visa is granted.
We recommend that clients in regional areas investigate the regional visa pathways as they may provide a more suitable and effective migration solution than the TSS visa.
PERMANENT VISA SOLUTIONS
1. EMPLOYER NOMINATION SCHEME (ENS) (SUBCLASS 186)
This visa is a permanent residency visa for skilled workers which requires a business to nominate the workers and have a genuine need for an ongoing permanent position.
There are three different application streams for an ENS visa:
(a) Temporary Residence Transition (TRT): where the employee has worked with the employer on a 482 visa for three years under an occupation listed on the Medium to Long term List.
(b) Direct Entry Stream: If the employee does not meet the requirements under the TRT stream (for example, they have never or only briefly worked in Australia), this stream should be used if the employer has a genuine need for a skilled worker in a permanent and ongoing position.
(c) Labour Agreement Stream: where the employer has a Labour Agreement (less common).
There are two steps to the ENS application:
(a) Nomination: the business must nominate the employee in an eligible occupation. As part of the nomination, we conduct a review of the company’s operations and the nominated position;
(b) Visa Application: the employee must meet the eligibility criteria, including skills, age, language, health and character requirements.
The ENS visa is a good option where the employer wants to retain the employee on a long-term basis and is often effective from a recruitment perspective if the employee is seeking PR in Australia.
There are several corporate visas available and it is important to select the right pathway.
We are able to assist in all aspects of corporate visas as well as personal/family visas. If any of your clients (or you as a business owner) require further assistance in determining the most suitable visa pathway, please contact Principal and registered migration agent Jerome Quinn (MARN 1799131) on (07) 3014 6578.