Australia – Working Visas, Immigration and Employer Sponsorship

Migrating to Australia

If you are planning a move to Australia, there is an abundance of information regarding working visas, temporary or permanent stay visas, immigration requirements and employer sponsorship requirements.

Migrants to Australia fall under the following categories:

Workers: – for skilled people who want to migrate and work in Australia.

Business People: – for people coming to Australia on a business-related visit, or to establish, manage or develop a new or existing business or to invest in Australia.

Refugee or Humanitarian: – for people leaving their own country because of war, violence, persecution and seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

Migrants can also utilize a registered Migration Agent to offer legal advice and assistance.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship have a host of information for migrants, prospective applicants and employers or businesses looking to employ overseas skilled workers.

SkillSelect is an online service where skilled workers interested in migrating to Australia can register their details to be considered for a skilled visa through an Expression of Interest.

SkillSelect also addresses regional shortages by allowing intending migrants to indicate if they are willing to live and work in regional Australia. This is of particular benefit to employers in regional areas experiencing skill shortages as it then enables the Government to attempt to settle the migrants in those regional areas.

Further information on SkillSelect is available at


There are a number of different visas granted to migrants with the most common visa granted being the skilled migration, family migration and study migration. For skilled people interested in temporary and permanent employment in regional Australia, the visa options are:

Employer Sponsored Workers – A skilled employee sponsored to work in Australia by an Australian or overseas employer.

Sponsored By A Family Member – An Australian citizen and permanent resident can sponsor their relatives to migrate. The skilled migrant can be a brother, sister, nephew, niece, non-dependent child, parent, first cousin or grandchild of the sponsor.

State or Territory Nominated – State and Territory government Departments sponsor skilled people to support regional development and help supply the needs of regional employers.

General Skilled Migration – Other permanent visa options available for people to live and work in regional Australia.

Employer Sponsorship

Employer Sponsored Visas can be temporary or permanent visas.
The most common employer sponsorship visa is the Skilled Workers Temporary Visa (Subclass 457). This Visa is valid for up to four years. A business can sponsor a skilled worker if they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill a skilled position listed in the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List.
In relation to the Skilled Workers Temporary Visa (Subclass 457) the employer applies to be a sponsor and nominates a position. The employee applies for the visa. The applications for each of these stages can be submitted at the same time.

Gold Fields in Western Australia, one of the largest producers of gold in the world, offer Employer Sponsorship Visas (Subclass 457). They can be contacted at Goldfields.

The following two Employer Sponsored Visas offer permanent stays in Australia:
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa Subclass 186 Direct Entry Stream; and
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa Subclass 187 Direct Entry Stream.

For detailed information on migration, visas and employer sponsorship contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (