Corporate Immigration Solutions

With True Migration, you’re not restricted by borders

At True Migration Immigration Australia, we understand that quality employees are the greatest resource for any business and sometimes it is difficult to source this talent within Australian shores.

Looking abroad to find the Corporate Visa solution comes with inherent issues, especially where visa applications are concerned. Many businesses and individuals go through the process themselves and find the red tape overwhelming. The process can drag on for months and sometimes it’s difficult to get clear feedback from the Department of Immigration. And, in the end, many applications are rejected or delayed unnecessarily because one critical piece of information is missing.

True Migration Immigration Australia stands up as an industry leader in getting results for the business.

Visa Options

There are several visa options that allow businesses to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia. They are:

Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) Sponsorship (482 visas)
The 457 visa has been abolished as of 18 March 2018 and replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa. This visa allows businesses based either in Australia or overseas to sponsor workers for a temporary visa lasting up to 4 years. Only certain occupations are eligible for TSS visas, and employees must be paid at the market rate.
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
The Employer Nomination Scheme is a permanent visa and requires the nominating employer to be operating in Australia. The employee needs to show a higher level of skill than for a TSS visa, but otherwise, the criteria are broadly similar to the TSS visa.
Regional Sponsored Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS)
The RSMS visa requires a job offer in a regional area. The position needs to be approved by a Regional Certifying Body, but otherwise, the skill level criteria are lower than for an ENS visa. The resulting RSMS visa is a permanent visa but is subject to cancellation if the employee leaves employment within 2 years of obtaining the visa.
Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Subclass 400 Visas
For people undertaking highly specialised work or they are working in Australia’s interest.
Temporary Activity Subclass 408 Visas
For people coming to Australia as an invited participant, on exchange with an Australian business, for sporting activities, as a religious worker, a Domestic worker, to work in the entertainment industry, for research activities with an Australian educational institution, or as part of a special program.
Training Subclass 407 Visas
For people working as an occupational trainee or as part of a professional development program

We do More for your Business

True Migration service doesn’t end there. On top of our industry-leading Immigration News services, keeping your organization abreast of Immigration Law changes which may affect your employees’ status for temporary or permanent residence, we also work tirelessly to educate your Human Resources personal through our Corporate Press Release program.

Your organization can expect to receive information that ensures all parts of your business is aligned for immigration processing, including;

  • Advice on business processes required by the Department of Immigration
  • Record keeping activities and ancillary services
  • Work rights on visa applications
  • Support services for sponsored employees “The Acacia Survival Kit”
  • Advice when terminating a sponsored employee

Please Get Free Assesment or call our Advisors on +61 402 671 354  if you would like assistance in sponsoring employees.

Standard Business Sponsorship Approval

In order to sponsor employees for the TSS (subclass 482) visas, most businesses need to be approved as a Standard Business Sponsor.

Standard Business Sponsorship Requirements

To obtain this approval, there are a number of important hurdles which must be met:

  • There is a properly established business structure – such as a company, trust, partnership or registered business name; and
  • The business must be in a sound financial position

If a company is or has been a business sponsor, details of their training expenditure for the period of sponsorship approval may also be required. Businesses not operating in Australia are exempt from this requirement

Sponsorship Period of Validity

Once obtained Sponsorship approval is generally valid for 5 years. However, there are a number of exceptions to this:

  • Recently Established Businesses: if a business has been established for less than 12 months, then the business sponsorship approval, as well as the associated sponsored visas granted, will be valid for a maximum of 18 months.
  • Accredited Sponsors: high volume sponsors can apply to become accredited sponsors. In this case, the sponsorship is valid for a period of 6 years

TMAC’s Expertise

Many businesses struggle to obtain approval as a standard business sponsor – issues can be encountered where:

  • The business is a startup or has only recently been established
  • A large number of overseas employees are already working for the business
  • There is no documentation on training activities for the business
  • The business has operating losses or has a weak balance sheet

TMAC Immigration has a long track record of assisting businesses to obtain approval for this critical part of the application process. We can advise you on which documents are needed to get your business approved as a sponsor – meaning you receive your approval much quicker and with less effort and stress.

Obligations for TSS Business Sponsors

When sponsoring 457 or TSS (subclass 482) visas, employers need to be aware of potentially significant sponsorship obligations which apply.

Failure to comply with these obligations can result in cancellation of an existing sponsorship, refusal of a sponsorship renewal, fines and possibly court action.

The main sponsorship obligations are as follows:

Provision of Training

Employers who were required to meet the relevant training benchmarks, in order to become an approved standard business sponsor, are required to continue with these provisions for each 12 month period following approval as a business sponsor.

Commences: date of approval of sponsorship

Ceases: when sponsorship approval ceases

Depending on when the standard sponsorship was approved, businesses may not be required to ensure this ongoing expenditure, particularly when the new Skilling Australians Fund takes effect.

Cooperation with Inspectors

Employers are required to cooperate with Workplace Inspectors. The following would be considered a breach of this obligation:

  • Concealing the location of persons and documents
  • Obstructing inspector or preventing a person from assisting
  • Assaulting, intimidating or threatening inspectors

Commences: date of approval of sponsorship

Ceases: 5 years from ceasing to be a sponsor

Equivalent Terms and Conditions of Employment

Conditions for 457/TSS visa holders must be “no less favorable” than conditions for Australian permanent residents and citizens

Employees must either be paid at least $250,000 or a market rate salary determined by conditions which would apply to Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Commences: date of approval of 457/TSS, or nomination if already the holder of a 457/TSS

Ceases: Cessation of employment or grant of further visa

Travel Costs

The employer must pay the cost of return travel for 457/TSS visa holder if properly requested.

The request must be properly made – in particular, it must:

  • Be made by the Department of Immigration, the primary 457 holders (ie the sponsored employee) or by a secondary 457/TSS holder (ie members of the employee’s family unit)
  • Specify the persons covered
  • Specify the country of passport they wish to travel to
  • Be made whilst person holds 457/TSS

The employer’s obligation is to pay “Reasonable and necessary” costs only. Such costs would usually involve:

  • Travel costs for both primary and secondary visa holders
  • Travel to the point of departure from Australia
  • Cost of return to the country of passport via economy class air travel

The costs must be paid within 30 days of the request

Commences: date of approval of 457/TSS, or nomination if already the holder of a 457/TSS

Ceases: grant of further visa, grant of nomination for a new employer or permanent departure

Costs to Commonwealth – Location, and Removal

This obligation would cover the cost of detection and removal incurred by the Commonwealth if the 457/TSS visa holder overstays their visa. It only covers costs incurred between when the person becomes illegal and when they leave Australia. If return costs have already been paid by the employer, then only the difference between this and the actual cost is payable. A maximum limit of $10,000 is applicable for this obligation.

Commences: date person becomes illegal

Ceases: 5 years from date person leaves Australia

Maintenance of records

The employer is obliged to keep certain records, including:

  • Request for payment of return travel costs and when received
  • Details of payment of return travel costs – date, who for, amount
  • Details of notification to the Department of Immigration – when and how transmitted
  • Tasks are undertaken by 457/TSS holder + location
  • Training provided to Australians working in the business

Commences: date of approval of sponsorship

Ceases:  2 years after ceasing to be a sponsor and there are no primary or secondary 457/TSS holders

Notification to Department of Immigration

The employer must notify the Department of Immigration of certain events via registered post or electronic mail to the specified address which depends on where the sponsorship application was processed by the Department of Immigration.

Notification must be made within 28 days, and examples of notifiable events include:

  • Cessation or expected cessation of employment
  • Change to training which may affect approval as a business sponsor
  • Changes to the legal structure of the employer
  • Payment of return travel for a 457/TSS visa holder
  • Insolvency/bankruptcy/administration

Commences: date of approval of sponsorship

Ceases: 2 years after ceasing to be a sponsor and there are no primary or secondary 457/TSS holders

Cost of Sponsorship Approval and Recruitment

The employer must not seek to recover or have another person pay for the cost of:

  • Obtaining sponsorship approval
  • Recruitment of the primary sponsored person

Commences: date of approval of 457/TSS, or nomination if already the holder of a 457/TSS

Ceases: grant of further visa, grant of nomination for the new employer or permanent departure From 14 December 2015 it is unlawful for individuals to pay an employer to sponsor them for a visa. This would include situations where the individual directly pays the employer, or a deduction is made from their salary, or the individuals provides any other benefit to the employer. It will result in visa refusal, visa cancellation, fines and even imprisonment.

Overseas Business Sponsorship for 457

It is also possible for employers who do not have operations in Australia to sponsor employees for the TSS visa program.

Sponsorship by an overseas business can be less beneficial for the following reasons:

  • The TSS holder must work directly for the sponsor, rather than an “associated entity” as for Australian business sponsors
  • Overseas Business Sponsors cannot sponsor for permanent visas such as ENS and RSMS

In other ways, using an overseas entity to sponsor is more beneficial than establishing a new entity in Australia – for instance:

  • The employer does not have to show that they train Australians in their business
  • The validity period for the sponsorship and TSS visas may be longer than for a newly established Australian entity

Overseas business sponsorships can now be lodged electronically, meaning that they are more convenient to lodge and process than was previously the case.

If you are looking to establish operations in Australia, Acacia can advise you on which application strategy will best suit your business, in terms of complexity, cost and time taken.

Please call our Advisors on +61 402 671 354 to ask how TMAC can assist you with sponsoring employees.

482 Temporary Skills Shortage Visas

The 457 visa has been abolished as of 18 March 2018 and replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa.

If not already approved, employers will apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) which will generally last for 5 years.

Otherwise, businesses with an approved Standard Business Sponsorship in effect may continue to use this for the TSS visa.

Criteria

The application for a company sponsorship visa consists of 3 main parts:

1. Sponsorship

Applying for approval as a business sponsor would require the business to provide details to show:

  • The business is a lawful, operating business
  • The business has the financial ability to meet its sponsorship obligation
  • The business has continued to meet the training obligations (only for businesses who have previously been approved as a business sponsor)

2. TSS Nomination

Employers must then nominate one of the three TSS application streams. These are as follows:

a) Short term stream

Under the short-term stream:

  • The nominated occupation must be on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL)
  • Applicants must show that they are Genuine Temporary Entrants
  • The visa is valid for either 1 or 2 years (unless an International Trade Obligation applies)
  • The visa can only be renewed onshore once
  • Provides limited pathways for employer-sponsored permanent residence

b) Medium-term stream

Under the medium-term stream:

  • The occupation must be on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • A higher English language requirement applies compared to the short-term stream
  • The visa can be valid for 1, 2, 3 or 4 years
  • The visa can be renewed without limitation and applicants may be eligible for permanent employer-sponsored options

c) Labour Agreement stream

This stream is for employers who have negotiated a labor agreement with the Australian Government.

3. TSS Visa

The employee would then apply for a visa to work in Australia to fill the nominated position. This would involve providing the following evidence:

  • At least 2 years of full-time, relevant work experience. A waiver is available in the Labour Agreements, and
  • Meet the ANZSCO requirements for the nominated occupation
  • Meet the English language requirement relevant to the stream in which the application is made:
    • Short term stream: equivalent to average 5 in IELTS, with no scores under 4.5 in any of the 4 bands
    • Medium-term stream: equivalent to a minimum of 5 in each band of IELTS, an average of 5 is not sufficient
    • Exemptions from English language testing are available for:
      • Passport holders from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand
      • People who have completed at least 5 years of study in English medium
      • Intra-company transfers where the base salary is at least $96,400
      • Diplomatic/consular appointments

For the Labour Agreement stream, the requirement is less strict – applicants must show they have the English language skills to perform the occupation, without reference to formal English testing.

There is also the requirement to show there are no medical conditions of public health concern, or would result in a significant cost to the Australian community, or would result in the use of scarce medical or community services.

Duration and Conditions

Applying under the Short-term stream will result in the TSS visa being valid for either 1 or 2 years (unless an International Trade Obligation applies).

Applying under the Medium-term stream will result in the TSS visa being valid for either 1, 2, 3 or 4 years.

TSS Visas are subject to condition 8607:

  • The employee can only work for the nominating employer, in the occupation in which they were sponsored
  • If registration, licensing or professional membership is required to work in the position, the applicant holds this
  • The holder must commence work within 90 days of grant or arrival in Australia; and
  • The holder is subject to cancellation if they cease work for more than 60 days

Fees

The application fee will depend on which stream is being applied for:

  • Short term stream: $1,175
  • Medium-term stream: $2,455
  • Labour Agreement stream: $2,455

The Government has also announced that a Training Levy will apply to TSS nominations and are yet to announce the date it will take effect. The following required contributions are expected:

  • Large organization (over $10 million turnovers): $1,800 per year of visa validity
  • Smaller organizations: $1,200 per year

Conclusion

The TSS visa is similar in concept to the 457 visa but different in detail in a number of important ways. If you would like advice on applying for TSS visas for your staff, or how the changes will impact your business, please call us on +61 402 671 354 If you are looking for employer-sponsored options and want to know more please book a consultation with one of our advisors. During your meeting, the advisor will also consider any alternative pathways that might be available.

Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186 Visas

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) results in a permanent visa for the sponsored employee. Whilst it has been a common way for 457 visa holders to qualify for permanent residence, it does have a higher skill level than the 457/TSS visa.

ENS Stages

There are two stages to the ENS subclass 186 application:

  • Nomination: involves the review of the business’ operations as well as the position offered to the employee. Employers will also be required to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund training levy – the date it takes effect is yet to be announced by the Government
  • Visa Application: there are three possible pathways which may require a skills assessment, English language testing and health and police checks

Application Pathways

There are three possible application pathways for an ENS visa:

  1. Temporary Residence Transition: In this case no skills assessment is required, however, unless Grandfathering Provisions apply (see below), applicants need to be under 45 years of age at the time of lodgement, have worked with the nominating employer on a 457 or TSS visa for at least 3 years, nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and meet Competent English
  2. Direct Entry Stream: Most of the time, applicants will need to provide a formal skills assessment in their occupation and show that they have worked in their occupation for three years. As above, applicants must also be under the age of 45 years, be nominating an occupation on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and meet competent English
  3. Agreement Stream: where the employer has a Labour Agreement

In some instances, exemptions may be applicable to the above requirements.

Grandfathering Provisions

The Department of Immigration has announced that 457 applicants and visa holders (as at 18 April 2017) will not need to meet all of the new requirements and will instead be able to preserve their eligibility for ENS and RSMS through the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

To be eligible for these transitional arrangements, applicants must have either:

  • Held a 457 visa as at 18 April 2017, or
  • Had a pending 457 visa application as at 18 April 2017, which resulted in the approval of a 457 or TSS visa.

Applicants who are eligible to apply via these provisions will not need to meet the new requirements in relation to:

  • Occupation: applicants may qualify even if their occupation is not on the MLTSSL or has since been removed from the occupations list altogether
  • Age: applicants may still qualify if they are aged between 45 and 49 years of age. In some instances, further exemptions may apply to those aged above 49 years
  • Work experience on the 457 visa: applicants may qualify once they have worked in their nominated occupation for their nominating employer for at least 2 years whilst holding the 457 visa

Common Issues with ENS Visas

ENS visas require a significantly higher level of documentation than a 457/TSS visa. Difficulties which can be encountered in applying for ENS visas include

  • Obtaining skills assessments – each skills assessing authority has different criteria, but in some circumstances, this requirement can be avoided
  • Demonstrating that the employer meets the “satisfactory record of training” requirement
  • Showing exceptional circumstances where visa applicants would not meet the usual requirements for Age, English language ability and skill level

TMAC’s Expertise

TMAC has significant expertise in obtaining ENS visas for employers, in some cases where meeting the standard criteria does not appear straightforward.

Please call our team on +61 402 671 354 to find out how TMAC can help.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 Visas

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme or RSMS visa is a permanent employer sponsored visa which requires a job offer in a Regional Area of Australia.

RSMS Application Stages

There are in general three stages to an RSMS application:

  1. RCB Certification: the Regional Certifying Body will ensure that the position is genuine and in many cases require that the position has been advertised
  2. Nomination: the review of the business and position by the Department of Immigration
  3. Visa application: there are three pathways, and generally the skill level is lower than for the ENS program. Applicants must be aged under 50 unless exceptional circumstances apply.

RSMS Regional Areas

In order to be granted an RSMS visa, the employee must be offered a position in a “regional area”. The regional areas are specified by postcode by the Department of Immigration.

The following are considered Regional areas for the purposes of RSMS sponsorship:

  • The whole of Western Australia
  • The whole of South Australia
  • The whole of Tasmania
  • The whole of ACT
  • The whole of Northern Territory
  • New South Wales (NSW) – all areas excluding: Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong
  • Victoria – all areas excluding Melbourne
  • Queensland- all areas excluding Brisbane

Application Pathways

There are three possible application pathways for an RSMS visa:

  • Temporary Residence Transition: where applicants have worked with the employer on a 457 visa for the last 2 years. In this case, no RCB certification is required.
  • Direct Entry Stream: the position will need to be certified by an RCB. Applicants in trade occupations may require a formal skills assessment.
  • Agreement Stream: where the employer has a Labour Agreement

Benefits of Applying for RSMS over ENS visa

The requirements for RSMS are more straightforward than ENS in a number of important ways:

  • The employer does not need to meet the training requirement
  • The visa applicant requires a lower level of skill for the Direct Entry Stream – most applicants do not require a skills assessment, and there is no minimum work experience requirement
  • It is possible to apply for RSMS in a wider range of occupations than ENS
  • RSMS is the highest priority visa in the skilled migration stream

Common Issues with RSMS Visas

The main difficulties employers face when obtaining RSMS visas are as follows:

  • Identifying the correct eligibility stream
  • Obtaining an RCB approval – each RCB has different criteria and an approval may need to be individually negotiated with the RCB
  • Showing exceptional circumstances where visa applicants would not meet the usual requirements for Age, English language ability and skill level

TMAC’s Expertise

RSMS has a much higher refusal rate than ENS – the main reason for this is that self-lodging applicants miss vital visa requirements.

Please book an immigration consultation to find out how TMAC can assist with your RSMS application.

Labour Agreements

Labour agreements are individually negotiated between the employer and the Department of Immigration and can be used to sponsor employees for:

  • 457 visas
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas
  • Regional Sponsored Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) visas

Advantages of Labour Agreements

The main advantages of labor agreements over the standard application pathways are:

  • It is possible to sponsor for a wider range of occupations under a labor agreement
  • Concessions can be negotiated on skill level, English language ability, and salary level
  • Businesses offering labor hire services must have a labor agreement to sponsor employees

Types of Labour Agreements

There are a number of different types of labor agreements:

  • Template Agreements: these apply to certain industries
  • Regional Migration Agreements: these are negotiated to cover a certain locality
  • Enterprise Migration Agreements: for large-scale resource projects

TMAC’s Expertise

Labor agreements require high-level negotiations with the Department of Immigration and may take 9 months or more to finalize where there is no template available.

Due to the high level of complexity, labour agreements are only recommended where a large number of workers is to be sponsored.

TMAC has expertise liaising with the Department of Immigration at the highest level – please call us on +61 402 671 354 if you would like our assistance in obtaining a Labour Agreement.

Ongoing Service & Support

Exceptional service is our mantra – we do more for our clients and you will always feel taken care of.

TMAC can facilitate sponsorship of employees in your business in the following ways:

Advisory Service

Sound planning is essential in sponsoring employees for Australian work visas. Acacia can give you strategic advice upfront in relation to important matters such as:

  • Which visa pathways are most suitable taking into account the overall best interest of your business
  • Business setup in Australia
  • Record Keeping and Monitoring requirements
  • Migration consequences on termination of employment
  • Work Rights and visa restrictions
  • Including dependents in visa applications
  • Advice to employees as to permanent residence options

Lodgement and Processing

The TMAC team can also act on your behalf in lodging sponsorships, nomination, and applications for Australian work visas with the Department of Immigration. You will receive industry best practice in visa lodgement and processing, meaning that you receive the outcome quicker with minimal time commitment from your staff:

  • Advising you and your employees on the documentation required for the relevant visa
  • TMAC will facilitate the application process as much as possible – most clients will not need to fill in a single form
  • Applications are lodged “decision ready” – almost all of our applications are approved without requests for further information from the Department of Immigration
  • Visa Evidencing on a grant of visa applications

Ongoing Support

After your visa is lodged, we will continue to support and advise you by:

  • Giving you regular progress reports
  • Keeping records of visa holders and expiry dates
  • Assisting with monitoring requests from the Department of Immigration
  • Updating you on recent and upcoming changes to migration law

Referral Service

We offer referrals to experts in a variety of fields to assist employers and business owners to reach their objectives. These include:

  • Market analysis
  • Business planning
  • Establishing the correct Australian legal structure
  • Taxation advice
  • Accounting advice and systems
  • Australian employment law

If you would like to find out more about how TMAC can assist you in sponsoring employees in your business, please call us on +61 402 671 354.

Training Subclass 407 Visas

The Training Subclass 407 Visa is a short stay visa for people occupational training or professional development in Australia.

Common Visa Criteria

There are two eligibility pathways for the visa. However, all applicants must show that they:

  • Have turned 18 (or can demonstrate exceptional circumstances)
  • Have functional English
  • Hold private health insurance
  • Have access to sufficient funds to support themselves in Australia
  • Genuinely intend to stay temporarily in Australia for the intended purpose
  • Meet health and character requirements

Sponsorship by an approved Temporary Activities Sponsor is required.

Occupational Trainees

This stream requires a nomination by the sponsor to do one of the following activities in Australia:

  • Training required to obtain registration, membership or a license to work in Australia or home country
  • Training in a gazetted occupation – in this case, the applicant must have worked full time in the occupation for at least 12 of the last 24 months
  • Up to 6 months of practical experience, research or observation is required to obtain an overseas qualification
  • Training supported by a government agency or the applicant’s home government

Occupational training would generally require at least 70% of the training to be on-the-job versus classroom training.

Professional Development

This would require you to be working overseas in a management or professional position. Training is primarily classroom training and would need to be in skills relevant to your position.

How do I apply?

The application must be lodged online. You can either be in Australia or overseas when lodging the application.

Can I Include Family Members?

Family members (spouses and children) can be included in your application.

Visa Conditions

The visa is generally valid for stay in Australia of 2 years. The visa is subject to condition 8102 which forbids work apart from the training specified in the visa application. You must also maintain your health insurance whilst in Australia.