It doesn’t matter from what industry your business is, or from which country you are, there is no escape from the problem of skills gap, and this is especially true in Australia, a country who thrives on the aggregates on its workers’ individual talent and ability.
A skills gap happens when there is a huge disparity between the skills required for the job and the actuall ability of the employee doing it. Not that the worker is inept or incompetent, it’s just he/she isn’t the right person for the position. Like an ill-fitting piece of the puzzle or a cog grinding on the gears, skills gap results in loss of money, unemployment, and even closure of companies.
If you cannot obtain the right employee in your city or country, the best solution is to hire them from abroad. With the increasing globalisation, better traveling technology, and better migration policies, expatriating people to fill the skills gap has become more common. However, very few companies try to take this step as they do not know how to do it properly and legally.
This article provides a clear and concise step by step process on how you can employ staff from overseas without violating any laws or employees’ rights. The procedure can be taxing and demanding, but with the right knowledge and the right people to help you, this can be done right. And your business can continue to prosper.
Make Sure You Are an Approved Sponsor
Not all businesses in Australia can hire and sponsor overseas staff. As mandated by law, you are required first to meet specific conditions before you are allowed to enlist foreign workers. You need to prove that:
- Your business in Australia is actively and lawfully operating
- There is a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position.
- The skilled position in the applicant’s field is full time and ongoing for at least two years
- You pay at a market salary rate.
- You offer employees a salary meeting the minimum amount required by Immigration and the market salary rate for the position.
- You adhere to the Australian immigration and workplace relations laws.
- There is no conflicting or negative information known about your business or any person associated with your business.
- You follow any other imperatives mandated by your new employee’s visa type.
Find Out What Visa Types Are Suitable For Your Employee
This step is quite complicated as it is essential. You need to closely study the type of visa suitable for your worker, lest be prepared to be entangled with issues from the Immigration Department, jeopardizing your business and your employee(s)’ record.
There are three types of sponsorship visa available, each one with different conditions and obligations:
Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
This visa permits your sponsored skilled workers to come to Australia and work for up to four years. By law, your business is mandated to be actively and lawfully operating, as well as having no conflicting or negative information known about your business or any person associated with your business.
You may either apply to be a standard business sponsor or negotiate a labour agreement to be able to sponsor someone for a temporary work visa. For more information, you may check here.
Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
Your employee can apply for this visa within six months after you have you nominated him or her under a 457 Temporary Work Visa. Also, the employee should be under the age of 50 at the time of application (unless exemption is granted), as well as possessing the required skills and qualifications for the position and the appropriate English language skills. You may check here for other conditions.
As an employer, you may also transition your staff from the temporary work to this visa subclass, given you satisfy the requirements of being an approved sponsor and that you are not subject to any labour agreement, as well as the adhereing to the following (but not limited to) conditions:
- The nomination must be for an occupation (for the position) that is listed on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List.
- You must have met the subclass 457 visa training requirements in each year you have been a standard business sponsor.
- You must not be an approved overseas standard business sponsor under the subclass 457 visa programme.
You may check the other requirements here.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)
The 187 RSMS visa is very much like the subclass 186, in function and conditions, except that this visa subclass is applicable only if you (actively and lawfully) operate a business in regional Australia, i.e. outside Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong or Melbourne. You are in regional Australia if your post code is listed here.
Be Clear About What You Need
The Sponsored Occupations List (SOL) and the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) is replete with hundreds upon hundreds of job titles that can sometimes create a lot of confusion among sponsors and visa applicants alike.
Are you looking for a cook with culinary degrees and substantial restaurant or hotel experience? Then you need to hire a chef, not just a cook (both occupations are in CSOL). If you hire an optometrist to deal with eye and injuries and perform surgery, you will be trouble, because that’s an ophthalmologist’s job (optometrists are limited to vision problems and corrective treatments). Also, all psychologists are psychotherapists, but not the other way around.
Australia’s immigration policies are very specific with the kind of workers it will let in the country, to the point that each one has an assigned number. And speaking of which, make sure you and your employee(s) take note and input the number as accurately as possible. A mistake even in a singular digit will land a person to the job of a plumber (334111 in CSOL) instead of the child care center manager (134111 in CSOL) he/she is originally aiming for.
Approach a Credible Recruitment Agency
Hiring people is tough work. It requires a large network of applicants and potential employees (which itself takes time to build), a knowledge of the talent market, and expertise in selecting the right person for the job. It is something you don’t do perfectly off the cuff, not to mention it is expensive. And all these challenges will double since you are looking for people across the ocean.
These are the reasons why recruitment agencies such as Manpower Hub, Internations, and Scott Recruitment exist. They know where in the world to find which type of worker, have protracted reach to pools of global candidates, and could better market your company or business as an attractive employer. Also, they save you more money since they have become more efficient in doing this thing.
Make Sure the Nominated Employee Is Qualified
After you have zeroed in on a couple of possible candidates, it is time that you look for the qualifications to be sure you can nominate them and bring them here in Australia.
For employees to be nominated for subclass 457, they must:
- Prove their occupation is on the Skilled Occupation Lists
- Meet the skill requirements for the nominated occupation
- Meet registration and licensing obligations
- Speak vocational English
For visa subleases 186 and 187, employees must:
- Be under the age of 50 years
- Have skills and qualifications to the level required for the position (qualifications are being assessed by the appropriate Assessing Authorities is listed in CSOL)
- Possess good health and character (including their dependents)
- Meets the Functional English language requirements.
Sponsor and Have the Employee Apply for the Visa
After nomination and all requirements are complete, you are now ready to sponsor your employee. For the 457 visa, you may lodge your application online here. For those who will sponsor for 186 and 187, be sure you complete the document checklist here and here, respectively. You may also lodge the application on any Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) offices. After which your employer can now apply for the visa.
Make Sure You Ask Help From The Right People
All the nomination and sponsorship process can be done all by yourself. However, doing so can be time consuming, burdening, and be overly expensive. Asking advice from the inexperienced and the shady can be more dangerous, as scams and fraud migration services are everywhere, expanding the already sizable cost without going anywhere, and worse, can land you on legal issues.
Established and competent migration companies like VisaOne have experienced lawyers and migration experts that handle such visa-related inquiries, applications, nominations, and sponsorship, to make sure you maximize your money, get the job done, and no law or policy is being broken. VisaOne has been doing this for more than a decade now, granting visa to people from different countries so they can come to Australia and start a good life.
If you have any questions or clarifications regarding employee sponsorship, just leave a message below. It is free and you will get the reply immediately.