What Is Sponsorship for Employment? (With Step Guide)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 10 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The idea of experiencing a different culture and earning money while learning about another country are two of the many reasons candidates may seek employment opportunities in foreign countries. Understanding what sponsorship for employment is and how to go about it can help you determine whether to seek employment sponsorship and know which professions are most likely to receive it. In this article, we explain what is sponsorship for employment, discuss various types of employer-sponsored visas available for Australia, and explore how to get sponsorship for employment.

Related: What Are the Different Types of Employment?

What is sponsorship for employment?

The answer to 'What is sponsorship for employment?' involves identifying what sponsors do and understanding the basics of seeking employment in another country to increase your chances of gaining sponsorship. Employee sponsors provide financial and legal support to individuals from other countries to get an employment visa to work and live in the country temporarily or on a permanent citizenship basis. You can get sponsorship for employment if you meet the eligibility criteria and pass the skills assessment, which may include having in-demand skills or profession, selection by an approved sponsor and language proficiency certification.

In Australia, Australian and New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents have an unrestricted right to work. Citizens of other countries may work in Australia if they hold the appropriate visa. This regulates the type of work you can do, the employer and the work duration. It's essential that you clearly understand the laws and regulations concerning employer-sponsored visas for successful application and to avoid breaches. The advantage of having sponsorship is that the employer can play a significant role in your career advancement by offering training and recommending you for visa extensions or residency when necessary.

Related: How to Find Work in Australia

Types of employer-sponsored visas

Each country has its own requirements for visas and work permits for non-citizens. If you are intending to work in another country, you will need to research that country's specific requirements. If you are looking for work in Australia, some of the visas sponsored by Australian employers include:

Temporary skill shortage visa

The temporary skill shortage visa is a type of employer-sponsored visa that allows you to live and work in Australia as a skilled employee. Employers use it to address labour shortages when they cannot find appropriately qualified Australian residents. The work tenure ranges from one to four years. It requires candidates to have relevant occupational skills and two years of work experience in the required capacity or a related discipline. Employees receive a salary based on the prevailing market rates.

You may only work for the sponsoring company and its associates unless exempted as a contract letter may specify. Any change in the profession requires submitting a new selection. The visa has three streams, including:

  • Short-Term Skilled Stream: This applies to candidates whose profession is on the short-term skilled occupations list. With this visa, you can stay up to two or four years upon renewal or under an international trade obligation.

  • Medium-Term Stream: Employment sponsorship under this visa involves the most sought-after professions in Australia listed in the regional and Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills lists with a stay of up to four years. Also, you can renew the visa several times and, after three years, get a permanent residency.

  • Labour Agreement Stream: You can get this visa if your employer has a labour agreement with the Australian government. With this visa, you can immigrate to Australia and can stay for a maximum of four years.

Employer nomination scheme

Under the Employer Nomination Scheme, you get a permanent work visa with no geographical restrictions. The requirements include skill assessments by the respective Australian bodies unless exempted, scoring 6.0 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or its equivalent in language proficiency and three years experience in the occupation. If the profession falls within the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List and you work for the sponsoring company for a minimum of two years after you receive the visa, you can remain a permanent employee.

Regional sponsored migration scheme visa

Under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa scheme, you get a permanent work visa for required occupations in the region. This visa doesn't apply to some regions, for instance:

  • Perth

  • Melbourne

  • Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong in New South Wales

  • Queensland

  • Brisbane

  • Gold Coast

The regional list has more professions nominated than the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa. The visa is accessible for employees under 45 years of age, who hold a score of 6.0 in IELTS or equivalent in language proficiency and who have at least three years of work experience in that role. You can get this visa without an assessment of your academic qualifications if your occupation falls under trades, which includes painters, chefs, plumbers and mechanics. The application process requires you to be in a regional area and work under your sponsorship for a minimum of two years after being granted the visa.

Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

The Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa allows you to work in designated regional areas and requires a skills assessment of candidates. Visas given to employees under this visa type last for five years. The visa requires you to live, work and study in the nominated regional area. While applying for this visa, you may also include your family members.

Global Talent Employer-Sponsored (GTES) program

Under the Global Talent Employer-Sponsored (GTES) program, you can get sponsored by organisations for highly skilled niche positions that aren't readily available in the Australian market and through the Temporary Skill Shortage program. GTES has two streams, established businesses and start-ups, with visas valid for up to four years, which can lead to permanent residency with higher incomes for employees. The occupation list doesn't restrict you to the TSS streams.

How to get sponsorship for employment

Follow these steps to get sponsorship for employment:

1. Find an employer or a sponsor recruiting from overseas

To get sponsorship for employment, you can find a sponsor or use Skillselect to complete an expression of interest (EOI) and allow employers to find and nominate you for an Australian visa. Submitting an EOI doesn't involve paying any fee. To find a sponsor, you can also search and apply for jobs in companies hiring overseas employees or request your current employer to sponsor you if you're working with an international company with branches in Australia. You may require a resume and attend interviews online or in-person if already in the country.

Related: How to Prepare for a Job Interview

2. Check if the occupation is among the eligible skilled professions

It's essential to ensure the occupation is on the eligible skilled occupations list before applying, as the nominated occupation affects the choice of visa. The Australian government updates the list of skilled occupations that regularly match the Australian labour market's needs. You may opt for a different type of visa to live and work in Australia if the occupation isn't on the list, such as a working holiday visa.

3. Select a work visa that suits you

Choose one of the employer-sponsored visa types that best reflects your needs as an employee. When considering your options for a work visa, assess the cost and whether you wish to work on a temporary or long-term basis, resulting in permanent citizenship. You can use the Visa Entitlement Verification Online system (VEVO) to check your eligibility status to work.

4. Confirm that the employer is eligible to provide sponsorship for employment

Check with the employer to ensure they can offer sponsorship to candidates. Check whether the organisation is established and is operating legally as a standard business sponsor. If the employer isn't eligible to offer sponsorship services, they can apply to become one or get accredited as a sponsor.

5. The employer nominates an occupation for you as a sponsored employee

Some employers may advertise vacancies for non-residents to apply. After a successful application, the employer can recommend you for sponsorship for that role. It's essential to prove that you have the skills, academic qualifications and work experience needed for the occupation by providing certified copies of your academic qualifications. Also, it's vital that the salary complies with the nomination, visa requirements and market rate for the occupation.

6. Complete the visa application form

You can fill the visa application form depending on the visa category after the employer lodges the sponsorship and nomination forms. It's crucial to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the visa and, where necessary, complete a skills assessment successfully from the relevant assessing Australian body. You can apply on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website if the sponsor is an Australian business or a registered overseas business. Sometimes, it may be necessary for visa holders to renew their visas, such as when the visa is almost expiring.

7. Payment of the visa processing fee

Processing fees vary depending on the visa type and agreements between the Australian government and the company. These costs may also vary from time to time. Thus, in case there's an increase in the fee between the date of application and the date of processing, the new fee applies. You can start working once you have paid and processed the visa.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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