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Understanding the immigration visa requirements for working in Australia or New Zealand can be a challenge when you’re not sure where to start.
With numerous options to choose from, including short term visas such as the Temporary skills shortage (TSS) visa (formerly the 457 visa), the Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) 400 visa, 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa, Regional employer sponsored 187 visa, and general skilled migration visa, accurate and timely support can be the difference between approval and refusal.
Temporary skills shortage (TSS) visa (formerly 457 visa)
With the sponsorship of an employer, the temporary skills shortage TSS visa provides employees with the opportunity to work in Australia for two or four years depending on the position (extensions are possible). Including professional, management, technical and trade occupations, the TSS visa is relevant for businesses and individuals.
Working with both new and established businesses, The Migration Agency helps obtain approval from the Department of Home Affairs to sponsor overseas workers (Standard Business Sponsorship).
With experience of working in niche industries requiring ‘new economy’ skills, our TSS visa specialists have been successful at obtaining sponsorship rights for start-up businesses and for occupations not listed on the skilled occupation lists. This has included recruitment of overseas talent on TSS visas even if the business been trading for less than 12 months, or where the role was removed from the TSS / 457 visa occupation list as a result of 457 visa changes.
Our approach to identifying the ideal pathway to approval of your TSS visa is detailed and personal. We take time to understand your specific needs and provide advice on your eligibility based on your skill profile and the nature of the position you will perform. We aim to find the most favourable solution for you, ideally giving you the option to secure permanent residence in future. Once this is clarified, we go to work on preparing your application and lodgement.
Eligibility assessments for business and recruiters
Need a TSS visa solution fast? The Migration Agency can help.
Our comprehensive services and cloud-based case management solution for visa applications means faster and more efficient access to talent. We can manage the entire process for you, from labour market testing to eligibility assessment, organising rapid translations and police clearances, through to preparing “decision ready” applications and submissions. If there is an opportunity to fast track your case, we will know about it. Allowing faster preparation of sponsorship and TSS visa applications, recruitment agencies and businesses can progress seamlessly through each stage. Focus on your business while a TMA visa specialist takes care of your candidate.
The competition for global resources is high and we understand the importance of fast response times. Existing clients have access to TMA’s telephone advisory service that provides quick assessments over the phone or email, a vital tool for recruitment. We can also advise if a prospective employee has the necessary skills and qualifications to meet eligibility criteria for sponsorship on a TSS visa.
Looking for assistance with permanent residency applications for sponsored 457 visa / TSS visa holders or direct entry visa applicants nominated by an employer? The Migration Agency can help with that too.
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) enables employers to nominate employees for a permanent residence or 186 visa to Australia. Generally an employer can nominate an employee to fill a skilled position that is on the 186-eligible occupation list, however it is also possible to secure a 186 visa pathway for employees working in positions that are not on the eligible list of occupations through a bespoke labour agreement with the Department of Home Affairs.
There are three streams under which a 186 visa application can be made:
Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream This stream is for applicants who have worked with an employer on a TSS visa for the last three years in their nominated occupation (or two years for some TSS visa holders). No skills assessment is required for a TRT stream application, and an English level of IELTS Band 6 or equivalent is required. Applicants must be under 45 years of age.
Direct Entry Stream Under the direct entry stream, applicants who have sufficient skill and experience to pass a formal skills assessment in their occupation, are nominated in an occupation on the relevant skills list. They must also demonstrate and have worked in their occupation for at least three years. The required English level is IELTS Band 6 or equivalent. Applicants must be under 45 years of age.
Agreement Stream The Agreement Stream is applicable when an employer has a Labour Agreement with the Australian Government and the terms of that Agreement permit the nomination of 186 visa applicants.
Our approach to 186 visa applications is to take an end-to-end case management approach. Commencing with an initial eligibility assessment and strategic planning, we will review and provide advice in relation to supporting evidence, preparing the application submission, and liaising with the skills assessment body and Department of Home Affairs until the final decision.
Migration to Australia without employer sponsorship is possible. A skilled professional with relevant qualifications and experience in an occupation listed on the relevant skills list may meet eligibility criteria for permanent residency under the Australian skilled migration program.
While information is available to assist with visas for working in Australia, navigating through the guidelines and legal speak and successfully securing a visa approval isn’t always easy. This is where The Migration Agency can help.
Our team of Australian visa specialists can advise whether you have the skills and experience to receive an invitation to apply for a permanent residency visa. Support with preparation of a skills assessment, submission of an expression of interest, together with lodgement of your General skilled migration visa application, is also available.
What happens if you don’t meet Australian qualification requirements?
If your current qualification doesn’t meet the Australian qualification requirements of your visa for working in Australia, there are other options available to you if you have completed substantial work experience in your occupation. We’ll work together with you to help gain recognition of prior skills and experience to obtain the qualifications and positive skills assessment required for visa purposes.
Want to know if you meet eligibility criteria under the Skilled Migration Program?
As the Australian Government encourages migration to regional Australia, the Regional employer sponsored 187 visa offered under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, is an option for achieving permanent residency. It offers permanent residence to applicants with a job offer from an employer in regional Australia, and the highest level of priority processing among the classes of permanent sponsored visas from the Department of Home Affairs.
Employers in regional locations enjoy a more extensive list of eligible occupations for nomination of an employee on a 187 visa compared to other employer sponsored visa pathways.
When applying for a 187 visa, an application is made via the relevant Regional Certifying Body (RCB) for the particular regional location. Entry streams are the Temporary Residence Transition stream, for applicants working with the employer on a 457 / TSS visa for 3 years (or 2 years for TSS visa holders), and the Direct Entry stream, for applicants who are nominated for a position and have 3 years’ prior work experience.
Whether you are the employer or candidate, The Migration Agency understands the 187 visa application process. Following our own internal step-by-step process, we reduce the uncertainty around visas for working in Australia, by mapping a clear, manageable pathway to approval. Right upfront, we’ll provide transparent advice about your eligibility and likelihood of success. Responsive and approachable, we help streamline the 187 visa application process, identifying opportunities and risks before they arise.
Look for assistance with your Regional employer sponsored 187 visa.
Short term & specialist visas - subclass 400, 408, 407
The 400 visa program enables foreign workers who are invited by an Australian business or organisation to work in Australia short term basis of 3 to 6 months.
The applicant must show they intend to perform work that is highly specialised. This would normally require the applicant to demonstrate they have skills not readily available in Australia, for example skills relating to overseas technology; or where the required skill set is in limited supply in Australia.
Requirements for this visa are the work must be not ongoing in nature, meaning the activity is likely to be completed within three months. A stay of up to 6 months may be considered where there is a strong business case, however workers must not be "rotated" through the same position. If the position is required to be filled for periods longer than 6 months, a TSS visa may be a preferable option.
Strong business case: The application process requires presentation of a strong business case, demonstrating evidence the employment conditions satisfy Australian workplace standards and activities will not adversely affect Australian workers. The Migration Agency can prepare the business case required for you to secure a more favourable visa validity period.
Business visas supporting investment, innovation and business growth
The Australian Government understands there is much to be learned and gained from assisting highly skilled individuals, enterprising business people and investors to settle in Australia.
Specifically, under the Business Innovation and Investment visa program, entrepreneurs and business owners with a proven track record who meet certain criteria can obtain permanent residency, enabling them to contribute to national innovation and economic development.
The program is designed to:
Grow exports from Australian goods and services
Increase production, competition and commercial activity
Forge stronger links with international markets
Enable business migrants to integrate more broadly across Australia.
Depending on the needs, circumstances, and financial means of a business or individual, there are three visas available in the Business innovation and Investment Program, namely:
Global Talent Visa - subclass 858/124 Australia's Global Talent Visa program is aimed at highly skilled individuals and is designed to grow Australia's innovation and tech economies. It is intended for applicants in future-focused target sectors including AgTech, Space and Advanced Manufacturing, FinTech, Energy and Mining Technology, MedTech, Cyber Security, and Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT. This visa has no age limit or investment prerequisite, which makes it an attractive option for very experienced professionals and entrepreneurs. To qualify, applicants require an internationally recognised, prominent in their field, and able to provide evidence of outstanding achievements. This is a prioritised visa program, and successful applicants can obtain fast-tracked permanent residence for the whole family within weeks. Places are also available to internationally recognised PhD students who can demonstrate their exceptional talent.
Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) This is a temporary visa which allows you to own and manage a business in Australia, invest, and undertake entrepreneurial activity.
Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) A permanent residency visa for people who continue to own, manage and invest in business.
The Entrepreneur stream of the Business Innovation and Investment visa is for entrepreneurs with committed funding to develop and commercialise their innovative ideas in Australia.
The Investor and Significant Investor migration streams are a channel through which high net worth individuals can migrate to Australia on a temporary or permanent visa through investment.
Drawing on our commercial knowledge and strategic planning experience, we assist clients to move or retire here. We’re also able to highlight the legitimate study or work pathways family members can take, which fall within the scope of this visa.
As with every visa application we work on, one of our Australian visa specialists will complete an eligibility assessment and assist with preparation and submission of your expression of interest. If successful, we’ll also work with you to prepare and lodge your visa application. You can be confident we’ll be with you every step of the way.