How to get a sponsored visa in Australia

Sponsored visa in Australia
Updated 2019-07-30 09:40

There are a few different visas that will allow employees to sponsor skilled workers to come and live in Australia, both temporarily and permanently, to fill a nominated role. You can also be sponsored by a partner if they are an Australian citizen.


The Australian government has made changes to these visas to bring in reforms, with the aim of ensuring that businesses can still access international workers, but also to ensure Australian workers are not at any disadvantage in finding employment. The most recent update of eligible skilled occupations occurred on the 11th of March 2019 and tries to respond to the changes in the Australian labour market as well as regional variations.

These are the current sponsored worker visas:

Temporary skill shortage visa (subclass 482)

The Temporary skill shortage visa (subclass 482) enables employers to address labour shortages by bringing in skilled overseas workers when they cannot be sourced in Australia. It can be broken up into four different streams; short-term stream, medium-term stream, labour agreement stream, and subsequent entrant, which allows skilled workers to bring their family members with them. The eligibility for this visa includes having the right skills for the required job, having an approved sponsor, and meeting English language requirements. You must also meet specific standards of health and character requirements. You can stay for up to two to four years depending on the stream, and the cost can vary from AUD 1,175 up to AUD 2,455, and takes anything from 33 to 67 days to process.

Features include: workers are tied to their sponsor, and can only work in that nominated occupation. You are not allowed to change without a new occupation, and you must have two years of experience in the related field.

Employer nomination scheme (subclass 186)

Employer nomination scheme (subclass 186) can allow you to be sponsored permanently with no geographical restrictions, and the worker is not tied down to the sponsor. The applicant must have a skills assessment, relevant registration or licensing, and at least three years' work experience. They must meet the health and character requirements and be nominated by an Australian employer. This visa is also broken into three streams; direct entry stream, labour agreement stream, and temporary residence transition stream, which all have their different requirements but are all permanent and all cost AUD 3,755. The processing times of these are usually over a year.

Regional sponsored migration scheme (subclass 187)

The Regional sponsored migration scheme (subclass 187) is another permanent visa, but the sponsored work required must be regional. The worker must stay with the sponsor two years after the visa is granted, and they are required to have a skills assessment, and three years' work experience. Eligibility includes being nominated by an approved Australian employer for a regional job in Australia, be under 45 years of age, and meet skills, qualifications, and English requirements. It costs AUD 3,755 and takes up to two years to process.

Partner visa (subclass 820 and 801)

You can also be sponsored by a partner or spouse who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen eligible to live in Australia. You will be granted a temporary partner visa first (subclass 820), which will lead to a permanent partner visa (subclass 801). This costs AUD 7,160 and can take up to two years to process. Once this is processed, you can apply for permanent residency. The visa can be quite invasive as you need to show evidence of your relationship. If you are looking to proceed with this visa, make sure you start collecting evidence as soon as possible.

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