Employing foreign workers can improve business’ productivity.
Why employ foreign workers?
Attracting and retaining hard working and loyal staff can be very difficult. Migrant workers can provide your business with the strong work ethic and loyalty it needs.
Australia’s immigration policy recognises the importance of migrant workers in Australia, as reflected in the multiple visa choices available to foreigners to work in Australia.
Who can sponsor?
Some basic criteria are required In order for a business to qualify to sponsor a foreign employee. Some key hurdle criteria are that the business must:
- have an ABN (or equivalent)
- be actively and lawfully operating a business
- have a genuine need to hire a foreign worker on a full-time basis
- have a role to be filled that is “skilled” for the purposes of the Department of Immigration (not necessarily on SOL/CSOL)
- offer terms and conditions of employment that is at least the equivalent of that offered to an Australian citizen / PR
- have no significant adverse information about it (eg. contravention of law, administrative action, legal proceedings etc)
Types of Sponsorship
There are two main types of sponsorship for businesses to sponsor foreign workers:
1. Standard Business Sponsorship (for 457 visa workers)
The 457 visa is a temporary visa that allows a worker to stay and work in Australia for up to 4 years.
2. Employer Nomination Sponsorship (for 186 and 187 visa workers)
The 186 and 187 visas are permanent visas which means the employee will be granted Permanent Residency upon visa grant and will be eligible for citizenship after meeting the 4-year residency requirement.
There are dramatic differences and advantages and disadvantages with each option. A professional can help point out why you should choose one form of sponsorship over another and save you money and /or heartache in the long run.
Who can be sponsored?
Not all foreign workers are eligible to be sponsored. Only those with a “skill” as defined by ANZSCO are eligible. Sometimes skills assessments are needed, which means the criteria of the skills assessment body needs to be considered.
The employee will also need to meet other criteria for visa grant such as English requirements, age, and public interest tests (eg. health and character).
Often applications fall over because the visa applicant has not demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Department that he or she has the requisite skill to fill the role nominated. This is where the quality of the submission and documentation comes in to produce a strong case for approval.