Sponsoring an employee on an Australian visa

The TSS visa (subclass 482) replaced the 457 visa earlier this year.

Want to sponsor an overseas worker on a temporary visa? Currently employing a Working Holiday visa holder and want them to continue working for you? Depending on their skills and experience, you may be able to offer them sponsorship.

The Temporary Skills Shortage (482) employer sponsored visa is designed to help Australian employers address labour shortages. This visa replaced the 457 visa earlier this year. Although there are some differences between the visa types, the application process follows similar steps.

What you’re about to read sounds complicated, but if you engage the services of a Registered Migration Agent, they will manage the whole process for you from start to finish, and liaise with Immigration on your behalf.

What’s Involved?

As an employer, the first stage is applying for Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) approval. Sponsorship approval is valid for five years and you can sponsor more than one person, provided you can justify the position in your business. The fee is $420 and the process takes around 4 – 6 weeks.

If you already have approval to sponsor 457 visa holders, you can use this approval to nominate people on the 482 visa. You need to make sure it isn’t about to expire.

Next, you’ll need to nominate the job the employee will do. You’ll need to show that the position fits into your business and offer a market salary rate. If the occupation has caveats, your business will need to meet these. Caveats can relate to business size, recent turnover, employee salary or the nature of the tasks the employee will do.

The employee must be qualified or experienced enough to carry out the work you’re nominating them for and the occupation must be on the short or medium-term occupation list associated with the TSS visa. A Registered Migration Agent can assess their eligibility for you.

You’ll also need to meet the Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirements. You must show that the business has placed two advertisements that have remained ‘live’ for at least 21 consecutive days (soon to be 28). The advertisements can be placed on a national recruitment website (such as JobActive, SEEK, Adzuna or Indeed), national newspapers or national radio. Unfortunately, ads placed on social media, LinkedIn or on your own website won’t cut it for Immigration.

 

The nomination fee is $330. The visa fee itself depends whether the occupation you’re nominating is on the short or medium-term list.

You may also need to pay the Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) Levy when you nominate the employee. This replaces the training benchmark requirement that was previously attached to 457 sponsorship approvals. It came into force on August 12th 2018.

The amount payable depends of your turnover in the 12 months prior to lodging the nomination:

• Turnover greater than $10 million: SAF Levy is $1,800 for each year of the 482/TSS visa
• Turnover less than $10 million: Levy is $1,200 for each year of 482/TSS visa

There is a contribution charge cap for employers. This limit is calculated annually using a special formula. To give you some indication of the limit, the cap for the 2017-18 financial year was $8,000 for a nomination relating to a temporary visa and $5,000 for a nomination relating to a permanent visa.

There are several circumstances under which this SAF Levy is refunded to you. This includes a scenario whereby the sponsorship and visa applications are approved, but the employee does not arrive in Australia to commence work.

Depending on the occupation, the employee can be nominated on a 1, 2, 3 or 4 year 482/TSS visa. Some employees will have a pathway to permanent residency; other will not.

If time is of the essence, you do not have to wait until the sponsorship is approved before lodging a 482/TSS nomination and visa. These part of the application can be added to the pending sponsorship. If your employee’s visas is due to expire, lodging a 482/TSS visa keeps them in Australia lawfully. Likewise, if your employee is on a Working Holiday 417 or 462 visa and is restricted to 6 months work for your business, once the 482 visa is lodged, you can apply for a work rights waiver. This will give the employee permission to continue to work for your business during the visa processing time. It can take 3 – 4 weeks for this waiver to be approved, so you need to plan ahead.

The overall processing time is approximately 2 – 4 months.

For a free consultation, contact True Blue Migration Services today. Our team of Registered Migration Agents work with employers all over Australia. We’re proud to have been selected by Hays Australia as a Globalink ANZ 2018 panel member.