Proposed Changes to the 457 Program
It is expected that numerous changes to the 457 Program will be implemented by the Australian Government in the coming months. Should these recommendations be implemented, many benefits can be expected to flow to Australian employers, prospective visa applicants and the Australian economy more broadly.
Greece & Poland join Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) Eligible Countries
On 1 August 2014 the Australian Government extended its Working Holiday Maker Program to passport holders of Poland and Greece.
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Employer Sponsored Visas

Employers and how we can assist

Australian-based employers (and in some cases, overseas organisations) may be able to sponsor and employ people to work and live in Australia.

These sponsorship pathways ultimately provide solutions for employers who have recruitment needs. Benefits to employers include:

  • Satisfying recruitment needs and shortages
  • Transferring specialised knowledge and skills to local employees
  • Maximising existing areas of expertise

Visa Lawyers Australia provides an end-to-end service for both the employer and the applicant. We meet with the employer to understand their needs and develop the best available visa application strategy. From this point we take over management of the process, freeing the employer from the time-consuming liaison and document collection process necessary for a thorough visa application. We liaise directly with the potential candidate (the applicant) and the Immigration Department on behalf of the employer, aiming to secure the necessary visa in as short a time frame as is possible.

We manage the entire application and lodgment process and provide employers and/or applicants with:

  • Written advice on requirements and stages
  • Assistance with drafting reference letters
  • Advice on required supporting documents
  • Advice and assistance with Labour Agreements

We take on responsibility for:

  • Preparing detailed applications to the Immigration Department and other bodies
  • Making detailed written legal submissions to the Immigration Department
  • Ongoing liaison with the Immigration Department and other assessing bodies during all stages of processing

The companies we have assisted include a wide range of public and private employers, as well as overseas organisations and agencies. Some examples are:

  • Investment and commercial banks
  • Start-up companies and firms
  • Private equity firms
  • Management consulting firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Engineering, Architectural and Construction firms
  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Other educational institutions
  • Law firms – requiring immigration and citizenship assistance for their clients

Contact Visa Lawyers Australia for assistance.


The Employer Sponsored Visas Options

Permanent Resident Visas Temporary Resident Visas
Visa Type Subclass Visa Type Subclass
Employer Nomination Scheme
  • 186
Business
  • 457
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
  • 187
Labour Agreement
  • 457
Labour Agreement
  • 186
Training and Research
  • 402


More details on the requirements and process of each Employer Sponsored Visa Scheme

In brief, the Employer Sponsored Visa categories are:


The Employer Nomination Scheme
– This visa (subclass 186) is for Australian employers who want to nominate highly skilled workers for a permanent visa to work in Australia. The employees can be either:

  • Highly skilled workers from overseas
  • Highly skilled temporary residents currently in Australia

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) – This visa (subclass 187) is for employers in regional Australia, to fill skilled positions they are unable to fill from the local labour market. Under the RSMS, employers are able to nominate staff from overseas or temporary residents currently in Australia to fill full-time, permanent vacancies.

Temporary Work (Skilled) Visas - This visa (subclass 457) is the most commonly used program for employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis to fill nominated skilled positions. It is possible for overseas workers to be employed for a period of up to 4 years on the visa. 

Employers can be either:

  • Australian businesses
  • Overseas businesses

Labour Agreement Schemes – Labour Agreements are formal arrangements to recruit a number of overseas skilled workers. Both temporary (subclass 457) and permanent visas (subclasses 186) can be granted under the agreement. An employer may consider this option for occupations not on the lists of approved occupations for the subclass 457 visa or permanent visas under ENS, as well as lower level skilled occupations under RSMS.  This scheme may also be appropriate where a business recruits labour for supply to an unrelated business and/or the hiring of labour to unrelated businesses.

Training and Research Visa – This visa (subclass 402) allows foreign nationals to complete structured and supervised workplace-based training and professional development programs, or observe or undertake academic research in Australia on a temporary basis.