What are the undertakings given by an employer who sponsors an employee on a 457 visa?
The undertakings are set out on Form 1196 which a sponsors signs as part of his/her application to become a business sponsor. The obligations can be found at www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/obligations.htm.
What undertakings are given by an employer who sponsors under the permanent visa categories, such as the Employer Nomination Scheme or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme?
Under the Employer Nomination Scheme, an employer must undertake to pay the gazetted minimum wage and to ensure that the position is available for a period of three years. The latter will not apply if the employer decides he must close his business operations or reduce staff at some future date as a result of unforeseen circumstances.
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme is similar to the Employer Nomination Scheme, apart from two aspects. The first is that there are a greater range of occupations available to employers under this Scheme and the position must be available for two years, as opposed to three for an ENS application.
What happens if the employer does not pay me in accordance with the undertakings?
The first thing you must do is to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship at their office closest to you. If a migration agent was involved in processing your application, they will be able to advise you what other steps are available to you.
What happens if the employee leaves shortly after I have sponsored him/her?
Depending on the type of visa your employee has been sponsored on, you will need to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as soon as possible. If they are on a temporary 457 visa, you are still responsible for them until you have notified the DIAC that they are no longer in your employment.
Can my family in Australia who own a business sponsor me?
Generally no. If it is a method to obtain residence for other than a genuine business activity for which it can be proved that no other Australian permanent resident or citizen could undertake, it will not be approved.
If I am in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, can I be sponsored by an employer and change my visa status?
If you and the employer satisfy the requirements for a Business Sponsorship (Long Stay) Business Visa (subclass 457), yes, you may change your visa whilst in Australia. You may also subsequently be able to convert this visa to a permanent sponsorship.
If I am over 45 years of age, am I excluded from this avenue of visa?
The simple answer is no, but there are some restrictions. The temporary subclass 457 visa has no age restriction, but policy would require a close examination of any applicant over 55 years of age. Under the permanent sponsorship category of visas, 45 is the age limit, UNLESS exceptional circumstances apply. There are a number of circumstances that are considered exceptional, particularly if the nominated occupation is on the Migration Occupation in Demand List. Applicants aged 60 years or over are unlikely to be approved.
Do I have to have a business operating for any length of time before I can sponsor?
Unless you are able to demonstrate that as a start-up business you particularly need overseas skills, then a good business background and some evidence of training for your existing Australian staff is generally required.
Why do Regional Employers have more favourable conditions?
It is for more difficult for regional businesses to retain skilled staff due to the higher wages paid by their metropolitan counterparts.
What if I am uncertain about the sponsorship process?
In Australia and, in some overseas countries, you have the option of discussing all issues with a Registered Australian Migration Agent. Our sister company, livedownunder, has agents in Australia and overseas to assist you.
If I have a company overseas and would like to transfer staff to Australia, how would I go about this?
As an overseas business, you are able to sponsor staff to Australia. I would suggest that you seek advice from a Registered Australian Migration Agent as there are various programs available to overseas companies to expedite the transfer process.