457 Visa - freedom to work wherever you want


There is a lot of confusion surrounding the rules of the 457 visa, as a migration company, Oz Migration get a lot of enquiries regarding its limitations. One thing we’re asked on several occasions is, “can I work for whoever I want?”... 

In theory, yes, the 457 visa can allow you to work wherever you like, you are free to apply and work for any Australian company that is willing to become your sponsor, you can even change jobs just like any Australian Permanent resident or citizen.

In fact, the Human Resource (HR) law of Australia is applicable to 457 visa holders, therefore you must be treated in accordance with the Australian HR laws, but also abide by the immigration rules set around 457 employment.

Basically, there are two parts to the sponsorship, one is the entity that wants to sponsor you - it has to get an agreement with the Department of Immigration and can apply to sponsor you. The sponsoring entity does not hold your 457 visa, you hold your 457 visa approval, and you can have that approval moved to another sponsor at any time without the permission of your existing sponsor.

The entity sponsoring you for your 457 visa cannot hold you back to stay with them, nor can they threaten you with being kicked out of the country, they can however cancel their sponsorship. In which case you will have 90 days to find a new company to sponsor and employ you. You are free to move to another employer as long as you acquire another sponsor for your 457 and do not work outside the skill set you have been/can be sponsored under.

The Immigration Department wants this visa to allow skilled individuals to be able to stay and move around if they can find further work; they want to keep the skill in Australia. That’s why they allow 90 days for you to find further work if your current employment ceases or if you are not happy working where you are, you have 90 days to find another sponsor.

In some cases, you can work through an approved 457 on-hire company; this automatically allows you more free movement around jobs, as well as allowing you to change on-hire companies.

For more information contact us at info@ozmigration.net.au. In the meantime, enjoy working in Australia.

Australia: working without company sponsorship


Many individuals thinking of migrating to Australia do a lot of research regarding the conditions, rules, forms, tests, eligibility skills list and other issues around the Australian visas. This can sometimes get understandably overwhelming, in which case we get enquiries asking whether it’s possible to settle down in Australia without sponsorship from an Australian company.

To answer the question, yes it is possible to settle down and work in Australia permanently without employer sponsorship, as long as you are able to meet eligibility requirements for the General Skilled Migration scheme via Skills Select.

Another route could be an Australian Working Holiday visa; however, this visa only allows you to work with one employer for six months and only allows you to stay in Australia for a maximum of 12 months (2 years if you spend 3 months out on a farm etc.)

Alternatively, you can live and work in Australia through an employer based sponsorship such as the Subclass 457 visa. To obtain this visa, you will need to either be sponsored directly by the company who has offered the job, or through a surrogate/umbrella/contractor management company that has an on-hire agreement with the government to sponsor individuals with your skills.

The route you choose really depends on your future plans. If you have any further enquiries please contact us as info@ozmigration.net.au.

What you need to know about moving from a Working Holiday Visa to a 457 Visa


For those visiting Australia on a 417 (Working Holiday) or a 462 (Work & Holiday) visa that are planning on extending your stay... it’s in your best interest to acquire a 457 Australian Visa. Due to the rules associated with the 417/462 visa: only allowing you to work in Australia for a maximum of 6 months with each employer and stay for a maximum of 12 months, (24 months if you have worked for 3 months in specified work in regional Australia) moving to the 457 Visa will allow you to stay in Australia for another 4 years.

Many 417/462 visa holders often look to this option once they've made the decision to live & work in Australia longer than their current visa allows them to. However, what most potential 457 holders do not take into consideration is the amount of time it takes for a visa application to be processed. It is important for all holders of the Working Holiday Visas to be mindful of the time involved in this process and to understand that it can be a long time before they are approved to bridge to the 457 Visa. Many assume that a lodgement of a Subclass 457 visa means they will be able to continue working past the 6 month period, this is incorrect!

Before applying for the 457 Visa you need to make sure you qualify... To do this you can use a variety of sources, such as; the Government Website Page or speaking to a qualified migration agent.

As an migration company we get countless enquiries from individuals with only weeks left on their 417/462 visa period and are hoping to extend their stay by acquiring the 457. In most circumstances, unless the application is submitted with enough time for it to be approved before their work period has expired; they’re legally not allowed to work in Australia.

Should you find yourself in this situation, you need to cease working until your Subclass 457 visa has been approved, or you can obtain permission from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for an extension to your 6 month work limitation – this extension can only be submitted after the 457 visa has been lodged and can sometimes take longer than the visa to be processed. 

There is also such thing as a ‘bridging visa’ however this offers no immediate assistance and still requires a long waiting period. Due to the bridging visa, which is issued on the lodgement of the 457 visa application, should someone’s 417/462 visa expire whilst their 457 visa is pending, they will be able to remain onshore during processing AND be able to continue working for the same employer for a further 6 month period.

In order to avoid all these additional hassles such as; the bridging visa & visa extensions – simply submit your application with sufficient time for processing. It is important that everyone understands the strict rules around the 6 month work limitation, and it is important to note that working for longer than 6 months with the same organisation is NOT permitted.  It is recommended for applicants who do not wish to cease employment whilst waiting for their 457 to be approved - that the application for the 457 visa is lodged at least 2 months before the work limitation comes into effect . Any breach of this condition could have an impact on your pending 457 application and possibly any future Permanent residency visa applications.


*Please note that the above advice may not be applicable to everyone and we recommend all individuals speak to and liaise with a registered migration agent to seek appropriate advice which is relevant to their particular situation.*

Nurses looking to work in Australia on a 457 visa


We've recently been asked about the rules and regulations revolving nurses who wish to come to Australia on a 457 visa and what’s involved in the process.

In order to sponsor Nurses on 457 visas, the usual 457 visa process is followed, however, there are extra registration and licensing requirements. If you’re an overseas nurse looking to come to Australia, you must first be registered in your home country as a nurse, and then you need to apply for Australian licensing via Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA). Find the AHPRA online here: www.ahpra.gov.au

Prior to submitting the 457 application, it is essential that you go through the AHPRA’s registration process as the Australian registration is required before the 457 visa can be granted. The registration process assesses your skills and qualifications and makes an assessment as to whether you meet the Australian nursing standards.

In addition, they will also have to have relevant educational qualifications in order to meet the skill requirement for this visa.

Australian 457 Visa: the difference between a Standard Business Sponsorship & Labour On-Hire Sponsorship


As a company which assists individuals seeking to obtain 457 visa sponsorship in Australia, we constantly see confusion regarding the features, benefits and differences between the two ways of obtaining 457 visa sponsorship. These two avenues are; Standard Business Sponsorship a Labour On-Hire Sponsorship.

The main difference between both is that the visa holder is either sponsored directly by a
company they are providing the services for (Standard Business Sponsor) or via a third party (Labour On-Hire Sponsorship). There are advantages and disadvantages with both, which may influence your decision to chose one avenue of sponsorship over another.

Through securing and maintaining a Labour Hire Agreement with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Australian, provides the on-hire industry with a clear pathway for the recruitment and contracting of skilled overseas workers. on-hire firms seek to attract and contract overseas workers to on-hire out to unrelated businesses. The labour agreement

When applying for a 457 visa, the on-hire company must meet the same requirements as a Standard Business Sponsor. If you maintain sponsorship through an on-hire company, although on-hire companies are a surrogate employer, you can only be paid directly by the sponsoring (on-hire) company.


Advantage and Disadvantage of a Standard Business Sponsorship:
Advantage: With Standard Business Sponsorship, you have access to opportunities for Employer Nominated Sponsorship (ENS) for Permanent Residency.
Disadvantage: While sponsored through Standard Business Sponsorship you remain restricted to one employer/ role and need to find a new company to sponsor you if you want to move – essentially, you may need to go through the whole visa process again.

Advantage and Disadvantage of a Labour On-Hire Sponsorship:
Advantage: Labour On-Hire Sponsorship provides flexibility with options for permanent or contract based work. You can work on various projects at different sites within your sponsored classification while maintaining sponsorship through an On-hire Firm. On-hire agreements give you flexibility to change jobs without having to apply for/renew your 457 visa. 
(A lot of Labour On-Hire’s also provide salary packaging options – that allows a visa holder to maximise their take home pay through deductable expenses and allowances.)
Disadvantage: At present, although this is being challenged, you cannot apply for Permanent Residency under the Employee Nomination Scheme (ENS).


Whether an individual elects to secure visa sponsorship through Standard Business Sponsorship or visa a Labour On-Hire is entirely up to them and their individual circumstances. It is important for individuals to consider all options before making a decision when it comes to what route of sponsorship that they want to take. There are other facets to making this decision, if you have any further questions please contact us at info@ozmigration.net.au.

Skilled Nomination Visa (Subclass 190) – "What are the limitations when applying?"...


As migration experts, we are bombarded with enquires on a daily basis, this week we were asked “are there any limitations when applying for the I-90 under the skilled migration in certain states?"...


Like most visa’s, there are a lot of requirements which need to be met in order to qualify. In the case of the Skilled Nomination Visa (Subclass190) if you were to try and attain this visa you will need to meet the Department of Immigration and Border Security’s (DIBP) visa eligibility requirements in addition to the individual state/territory sponsorship requirements, (these requirements are imposed by the state they are requesting sponsorship from).


Each state/territory has a State Migration Plan, as well as a set of sponsorship criteria that must be met in order to be nominated. The criteria varies depending on the needs and processes of the state/territory and may include reaching set levels of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results for particular occupations, already being a resident in the particular state, meeting licensing requirements, work experience requirements as well as already having secured an offer of employment in the nominated state etc.


In addition to meeting all the eligibility requirements associated with the 190, one of the main limitations you will face is ensuring that you’re not only meet state sponsorship criteria, but that your occupation is also available on the state’s current Migration Plan. More information about the State Sponsorship can be viewed at: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/nom-by-state-terr-gov.htm


Before submitting an expression of interest to apply for this visa, you must meet the DIBP requirements and the State Sponsorship must be secured.  It is also not guaranteed that you will be extended an invitation to apply for this visa; therefore it is recommended that you meet all the relevant criteria and obtain as many points as possible in the relevant points test.


In addition to obtaining the visa, it is also your responsibility to find employment within the nominating state. This means you need to do your own research, and apply for vacant positions relevant to your skills and experience.

Want to work in Australia?


John Glover from OzMigration Solutions explains how you can work & immigrate to Australia.

International’s/ Migrants still needed in Australia


Skills shortage, 457 Visa and the Fair Work Act

Many changes to Workplace Law have been introduced recently and with more companies now employing internationals, it is vital that these changes be understood in order to continue successfully operating the most affective work practices. Over previous editions we have looked at the Australian Skills Shortage; we are now able to look at how these shortages and the Fair Work Act are linked.

The skills shortage in Australia is still relatively high and once we turn even further away from the financial crisis, these skill shortages look to be greater than ever before. Australia will be forced to obtain skills from overseas through the 457 work visa option or through ENS Employee Nomination Scheme; both are relatively fast in being processed. However, the new rules to this visa, linked with the Fair Work Act changes, make working under this process slightly different.

The changes were introduced to monitor the exploitation of overseas workers; it ensures the overseas workers are skilled at a particular level, as well as overcoming criticisms of the Minimum Salary Level (MSL).

So what do they wish to achieve by the reform? The reform hopes to streamline the process for low risk sponsors as well as increase flexibility and mobility for the visa holders. With the greater emphasis on training and development, not only will the overseas workers benefit but also those local Australian employees.

On April 1st, 2009 seven reform measures to the 457 visa were announced. Here we look at the reform which seems to be the biggest question on most organisations’ mind, The Minimum Salary Level

With the implementation of a market base rate for all new and existing 457 visa holders from mid September 2009. This will result in a fairer, simpler and more transparent method of determining the terms and conditions of employment.

Market Rates
Regimenting the market rates, will ensure local labour is not a less attractive option for employers, as well as continuing to provide those industries with needed skills where local labour is unavailable. Overseas workers will also benefit from receiving the same remuneration and working conditions as an equivalent Australian worker doing the same work at the same location.

Guiding Principles
The salary offered should be the same as an equivalent Australian worker at that location; the employer will determine the terms and conditions for the 457 worker in the same way as for an Australian worker. The employer may be required to provide appropriate evidence of these terms to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
The commencing TSMIT is $51,400 (as of July 1st 2012) and will look to be indexed annually; if the Market Rate in the workplace is lower, nomination will be refused. As well as this, the agreed Non-Monetary Benefits can be allowable, as long as they are also available to Australian workers.

High Income Threshold
Where the nominated salary is above the High Income Threshold $180,000, the equivalent terms and conditions assessment does not apply;

Health Costs
The onus has previously been on the employer to cover health costs of the worker. However, under the new reform, some responsibility shifts to the visa applicant.

Improved information sharing
The Commonwealth and State/Territory government agencies, including, Taxation; Industrial relations; Workplace safety; Fair trading; Registration & licensing; Law enforcement as well as many others have full transparency between one another.

The introduction and implementation will be a lengthy process with possible disruption to your workplace. At Pendragon, we understand these changes, we assist you with ways to work with the new rules but not leave yourself open to employment issues making the New Year a great one for all concerned.

Sponsoring International Workers


Bizarre as it seems, despite the rise in unemployment, Australia is still suffering from a severe shortage in many skilled occupations. Even when having to downsize in one area, many employers have requirements in other departments that are near impossible to fill in a reasonable time, often leaving key roles open for months on end, resulting in more inefficiencies and further poor results – it’s a vicious cycle.

Although the migration program has recently been pared back, these changes relate only to the permanent visa classes. Employers seeking access to the international resource pool are still able to apply to become approved sponsors under the Standard Business Sponsor program and thereby be eligible to offer sponsored temporary residence visas to suitable international candidates.

In the past, accessing foreign talent was the domain of the multinational blue chip corporations only. SME’s were unsure of how to tackle this complex beast, and more often than not, simply steered away from it. However, with the assistance of registered migration agents and the expertise of consultants who specialise in this niche area, smaller and medium sized enterprises are now starting to realise the benefit of being able to expand their search for talent across the globe. The application costs are relatively minor, especially when compared to the returns realised by having the right person on board on time.

Know your obligations

One of the areas of highest concern is the obligations that the business bears in order to sponsor a visa. There are many horror stories about companies being caught short, and ending up out of pocket when an employment relationship goes sour. While most are urban legends, there certainly have been incidents where companies have been burned simply because they weren’t aware of what their rights and obligations were. Make sure that you fully understand your obligations before you make any offer of employment. DIAC publishes Information Booklets from time to time, stating the requirements. Take the time to familiarise yourself with these obligations to prevent nasty surprises later on. If using an employment management company, find out if they are willing to underwrite some of the more onerous obligations, or how you can protect yourself against later claims through having a solid employment contract in place. Once understood, the visa undertakings are easy to meet.

The role of the migration agent

Migration agents are there to make your dealings with the DIAC as pain-free as possible. They should know the legislation thoroughly and be willing to spend time with you explaining the ins-and-outs of the visa classes. Only use an agent registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority, and make sure that your agent is well versed in the employer nominated visa classes. Migration law is a vast and complex area, and many agents choose to specialise in only one or two categories. Don’t be afraid to ask for references - a good agent should be happy to supply you with these.

The role of the employment management firm

Employment management firms are often able to simplify the process of employing international workers by offering an outsourced management service. This generally comprises of a payroll service (to offer benefits such as the Living Away From Home Allowance) and a monitoring service, to ensure that the DIAC requirements are being met). The more established firms should also be able to offer you a full package, complete with visa assistance, negotiation between the potential employee and the business, employment law advice and ongoing employment management services. Once again, don’t be afraid to ask for references.

Moving Forward

If you have roles within your business that have traditionally been hard to fill, or one that you are currently struggling to find a suitable candidate for, step out and consider the international workforce. For a relatively small investment, you could tap into a fresh skills pool, where you aren’t clamouring against competing employers or getting involved in bidding wars for the right candidate. There are many thousands of people looking for the opportunity to move themselves and their family to our country. Being offered a sponsored visa is often their only choice, and once secured, their gratitude is evident in their work ethic, with them often going on and rising rapidly through the ranks at their new organisation. Good Luck!


1 2

Oz Migration Blogs

457 Visa - freedom to work wherever you want


There is a lot of confusion surrounding the rules of the 457 visa, as a migration company, Oz Migration get a lot of enquiries regarding its limitations. One thing we’re asked on several occasions is, “can I work for whoever I want?”... 

In theory, yes, the 457 visa can allow you to work wherever you like, you are free to apply and work for any Australian company that is willing to become your sponsor, you can even change jobs just like any Australian Permanent resident or citizen.

In fact, the Human Resource (HR) law of Australia is applicable to 457 visa holders, therefore you must be treated in accordance with the Australian HR laws, but also abide by the immigration rules set around 457 employment.

Basically, there are two parts to the sponsorship, one is the entity that wants to sponsor you - it has to get an agreement with the Department of Immigration and can apply to sponsor you. The sponsoring entity does not hold your 457 visa, you hold your 457 visa approval, and you can have that approval moved to another sponsor at any time without the permission of your existing sponsor.

The entity sponsoring you for your 457 visa cannot hold you back to stay with them, nor can they threaten you with being kicked out of the country, they can however cancel their sponsorship. In which case you will have 90 days to find a new company to sponsor and employ you. You are free to move to another employer as long as you acquire another sponsor for your 457 and do not work outside the skill set you have been/can be sponsored under.

The Immigration Department wants this visa to allow skilled individuals to be able to stay and move around if they can find further work; they want to keep the skill in Australia. That’s why they allow 90 days for you to find further work if your current employment ceases or if you are not happy working where you are, you have 90 days to find another sponsor.

In some cases, you can work through an approved 457 on-hire company; this automatically allows you more free movement around jobs, as well as allowing you to change on-hire companies.

For more information contact us at info@ozmigration.net.au. In the meantime, enjoy working in Australia.

Australia: working without company sponsorship


Many individuals thinking of migrating to Australia do a lot of research regarding the conditions, rules, forms, tests, eligibility skills list and other issues around the Australian visas. This can sometimes get understandably overwhelming, in which case we get enquiries asking whether it’s possible to settle down in Australia without sponsorship from an Australian company.

To answer the question, yes it is possible to settle down and work in Australia permanently without employer sponsorship, as long as you are able to meet eligibility requirements for the General Skilled Migration scheme via Skills Select.

Another route could be an Australian Working Holiday visa; however, this visa only allows you to work with one employer for six months and only allows you to stay in Australia for a maximum of 12 months (2 years if you spend 3 months out on a farm etc.)

Alternatively, you can live and work in Australia through an employer based sponsorship such as the Subclass 457 visa. To obtain this visa, you will need to either be sponsored directly by the company who has offered the job, or through a surrogate/umbrella/contractor management company that has an on-hire agreement with the government to sponsor individuals with your skills.

The route you choose really depends on your future plans. If you have any further enquiries please contact us as info@ozmigration.net.au.

What you need to know about moving from a Working Holiday Visa to a 457 Visa


For those visiting Australia on a 417 (Working Holiday) or a 462 (Work & Holiday) visa that are planning on extending your stay... it’s in your best interest to acquire a 457 Australian Visa. Due to the rules associated with the 417/462 visa: only allowing you to work in Australia for a maximum of 6 months with each employer and stay for a maximum of 12 months, (24 months if you have worked for 3 months in specified work in regional Australia) moving to the 457 Visa will allow you to stay in Australia for another 4 years.

Many 417/462 visa holders often look to this option once they've made the decision to live & work in Australia longer than their current visa allows them to. However, what most potential 457 holders do not take into consideration is the amount of time it takes for a visa application to be processed. It is important for all holders of the Working Holiday Visas to be mindful of the time involved in this process and to understand that it can be a long time before they are approved to bridge to the 457 Visa. Many assume that a lodgement of a Subclass 457 visa means they will be able to continue working past the 6 month period, this is incorrect!

Before applying for the 457 Visa you need to make sure you qualify... To do this you can use a variety of sources, such as; the Government Website Page or speaking to a qualified migration agent.

As an migration company we get countless enquiries from individuals with only weeks left on their 417/462 visa period and are hoping to extend their stay by acquiring the 457. In most circumstances, unless the application is submitted with enough time for it to be approved before their work period has expired; they’re legally not allowed to work in Australia.

Should you find yourself in this situation, you need to cease working until your Subclass 457 visa has been approved, or you can obtain permission from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for an extension to your 6 month work limitation – this extension can only be submitted after the 457 visa has been lodged and can sometimes take longer than the visa to be processed. 

There is also such thing as a ‘bridging visa’ however this offers no immediate assistance and still requires a long waiting period. Due to the bridging visa, which is issued on the lodgement of the 457 visa application, should someone’s 417/462 visa expire whilst their 457 visa is pending, they will be able to remain onshore during processing AND be able to continue working for the same employer for a further 6 month period.

In order to avoid all these additional hassles such as; the bridging visa & visa extensions – simply submit your application with sufficient time for processing. It is important that everyone understands the strict rules around the 6 month work limitation, and it is important to note that working for longer than 6 months with the same organisation is NOT permitted.  It is recommended for applicants who do not wish to cease employment whilst waiting for their 457 to be approved - that the application for the 457 visa is lodged at least 2 months before the work limitation comes into effect . Any breach of this condition could have an impact on your pending 457 application and possibly any future Permanent residency visa applications.


*Please note that the above advice may not be applicable to everyone and we recommend all individuals speak to and liaise with a registered migration agent to seek appropriate advice which is relevant to their particular situation.*

Nurses looking to work in Australia on a 457 visa


We've recently been asked about the rules and regulations revolving nurses who wish to come to Australia on a 457 visa and what’s involved in the process.

In order to sponsor Nurses on 457 visas, the usual 457 visa process is followed, however, there are extra registration and licensing requirements. If you’re an overseas nurse looking to come to Australia, you must first be registered in your home country as a nurse, and then you need to apply for Australian licensing via Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA). Find the AHPRA online here: www.ahpra.gov.au

Prior to submitting the 457 application, it is essential that you go through the AHPRA’s registration process as the Australian registration is required before the 457 visa can be granted. The registration process assesses your skills and qualifications and makes an assessment as to whether you meet the Australian nursing standards.

In addition, they will also have to have relevant educational qualifications in order to meet the skill requirement for this visa.

Australian 457 Visa: the difference between a Standard Business Sponsorship & Labour On-Hire Sponsorship


As a company which assists individuals seeking to obtain 457 visa sponsorship in Australia, we constantly see confusion regarding the features, benefits and differences between the two ways of obtaining 457 visa sponsorship. These two avenues are; Standard Business Sponsorship a Labour On-Hire Sponsorship.

The main difference between both is that the visa holder is either sponsored directly by a
company they are providing the services for (Standard Business Sponsor) or via a third party (Labour On-Hire Sponsorship). There are advantages and disadvantages with both, which may influence your decision to chose one avenue of sponsorship over another.

Through securing and maintaining a Labour Hire Agreement with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Australian, provides the on-hire industry with a clear pathway for the recruitment and contracting of skilled overseas workers. on-hire firms seek to attract and contract overseas workers to on-hire out to unrelated businesses. The labour agreement

When applying for a 457 visa, the on-hire company must meet the same requirements as a Standard Business Sponsor. If you maintain sponsorship through an on-hire company, although on-hire companies are a surrogate employer, you can only be paid directly by the sponsoring (on-hire) company.


Advantage and Disadvantage of a Standard Business Sponsorship:
Advantage: With Standard Business Sponsorship, you have access to opportunities for Employer Nominated Sponsorship (ENS) for Permanent Residency.
Disadvantage: While sponsored through Standard Business Sponsorship you remain restricted to one employer/ role and need to find a new company to sponsor you if you want to move – essentially, you may need to go through the whole visa process again.

Advantage and Disadvantage of a Labour On-Hire Sponsorship:
Advantage: Labour On-Hire Sponsorship provides flexibility with options for permanent or contract based work. You can work on various projects at different sites within your sponsored classification while maintaining sponsorship through an On-hire Firm. On-hire agreements give you flexibility to change jobs without having to apply for/renew your 457 visa. 
(A lot of Labour On-Hire’s also provide salary packaging options – that allows a visa holder to maximise their take home pay through deductable expenses and allowances.)
Disadvantage: At present, although this is being challenged, you cannot apply for Permanent Residency under the Employee Nomination Scheme (ENS).


Whether an individual elects to secure visa sponsorship through Standard Business Sponsorship or visa a Labour On-Hire is entirely up to them and their individual circumstances. It is important for individuals to consider all options before making a decision when it comes to what route of sponsorship that they want to take. There are other facets to making this decision, if you have any further questions please contact us at info@ozmigration.net.au.

Skilled Nomination Visa (Subclass 190) – "What are the limitations when applying?"...


As migration experts, we are bombarded with enquires on a daily basis, this week we were asked “are there any limitations when applying for the I-90 under the skilled migration in certain states?"...


Like most visa’s, there are a lot of requirements which need to be met in order to qualify. In the case of the Skilled Nomination Visa (Subclass190) if you were to try and attain this visa you will need to meet the Department of Immigration and Border Security’s (DIBP) visa eligibility requirements in addition to the individual state/territory sponsorship requirements, (these requirements are imposed by the state they are requesting sponsorship from).


Each state/territory has a State Migration Plan, as well as a set of sponsorship criteria that must be met in order to be nominated. The criteria varies depending on the needs and processes of the state/territory and may include reaching set levels of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results for particular occupations, already being a resident in the particular state, meeting licensing requirements, work experience requirements as well as already having secured an offer of employment in the nominated state etc.


In addition to meeting all the eligibility requirements associated with the 190, one of the main limitations you will face is ensuring that you’re not only meet state sponsorship criteria, but that your occupation is also available on the state’s current Migration Plan. More information about the State Sponsorship can be viewed at: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/nom-by-state-terr-gov.htm


Before submitting an expression of interest to apply for this visa, you must meet the DIBP requirements and the State Sponsorship must be secured.  It is also not guaranteed that you will be extended an invitation to apply for this visa; therefore it is recommended that you meet all the relevant criteria and obtain as many points as possible in the relevant points test.


In addition to obtaining the visa, it is also your responsibility to find employment within the nominating state. This means you need to do your own research, and apply for vacant positions relevant to your skills and experience.

Want to work in Australia?


John Glover from OzMigration Solutions explains how you can work & immigrate to Australia.

International’s/ Migrants still needed in Australia


Skills shortage, 457 Visa and the Fair Work Act

Many changes to Workplace Law have been introduced recently and with more companies now employing internationals, it is vital that these changes be understood in order to continue successfully operating the most affective work practices. Over previous editions we have looked at the Australian Skills Shortage; we are now able to look at how these shortages and the Fair Work Act are linked.

The skills shortage in Australia is still relatively high and once we turn even further away from the financial crisis, these skill shortages look to be greater than ever before. Australia will be forced to obtain skills from overseas through the 457 work visa option or through ENS Employee Nomination Scheme; both are relatively fast in being processed. However, the new rules to this visa, linked with the Fair Work Act changes, make working under this process slightly different.

The changes were introduced to monitor the exploitation of overseas workers; it ensures the overseas workers are skilled at a particular level, as well as overcoming criticisms of the Minimum Salary Level (MSL).

So what do they wish to achieve by the reform? The reform hopes to streamline the process for low risk sponsors as well as increase flexibility and mobility for the visa holders. With the greater emphasis on training and development, not only will the overseas workers benefit but also those local Australian employees.

On April 1st, 2009 seven reform measures to the 457 visa were announced. Here we look at the reform which seems to be the biggest question on most organisations’ mind, The Minimum Salary Level

With the implementation of a market base rate for all new and existing 457 visa holders from mid September 2009. This will result in a fairer, simpler and more transparent method of determining the terms and conditions of employment.

Market Rates
Regimenting the market rates, will ensure local labour is not a less attractive option for employers, as well as continuing to provide those industries with needed skills where local labour is unavailable. Overseas workers will also benefit from receiving the same remuneration and working conditions as an equivalent Australian worker doing the same work at the same location.

Guiding Principles
The salary offered should be the same as an equivalent Australian worker at that location; the employer will determine the terms and conditions for the 457 worker in the same way as for an Australian worker. The employer may be required to provide appropriate evidence of these terms to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
The commencing TSMIT is $51,400 (as of July 1st 2012) and will look to be indexed annually; if the Market Rate in the workplace is lower, nomination will be refused. As well as this, the agreed Non-Monetary Benefits can be allowable, as long as they are also available to Australian workers.

High Income Threshold
Where the nominated salary is above the High Income Threshold $180,000, the equivalent terms and conditions assessment does not apply;

Health Costs
The onus has previously been on the employer to cover health costs of the worker. However, under the new reform, some responsibility shifts to the visa applicant.

Improved information sharing
The Commonwealth and State/Territory government agencies, including, Taxation; Industrial relations; Workplace safety; Fair trading; Registration & licensing; Law enforcement as well as many others have full transparency between one another.

The introduction and implementation will be a lengthy process with possible disruption to your workplace. At Pendragon, we understand these changes, we assist you with ways to work with the new rules but not leave yourself open to employment issues making the New Year a great one for all concerned.

Sponsoring International Workers


Bizarre as it seems, despite the rise in unemployment, Australia is still suffering from a severe shortage in many skilled occupations. Even when having to downsize in one area, many employers have requirements in other departments that are near impossible to fill in a reasonable time, often leaving key roles open for months on end, resulting in more inefficiencies and further poor results – it’s a vicious cycle.

Although the migration program has recently been pared back, these changes relate only to the permanent visa classes. Employers seeking access to the international resource pool are still able to apply to become approved sponsors under the Standard Business Sponsor program and thereby be eligible to offer sponsored temporary residence visas to suitable international candidates.

In the past, accessing foreign talent was the domain of the multinational blue chip corporations only. SME’s were unsure of how to tackle this complex beast, and more often than not, simply steered away from it. However, with the assistance of registered migration agents and the expertise of consultants who specialise in this niche area, smaller and medium sized enterprises are now starting to realise the benefit of being able to expand their search for talent across the globe. The application costs are relatively minor, especially when compared to the returns realised by having the right person on board on time.

Know your obligations

One of the areas of highest concern is the obligations that the business bears in order to sponsor a visa. There are many horror stories about companies being caught short, and ending up out of pocket when an employment relationship goes sour. While most are urban legends, there certainly have been incidents where companies have been burned simply because they weren’t aware of what their rights and obligations were. Make sure that you fully understand your obligations before you make any offer of employment. DIAC publishes Information Booklets from time to time, stating the requirements. Take the time to familiarise yourself with these obligations to prevent nasty surprises later on. If using an employment management company, find out if they are willing to underwrite some of the more onerous obligations, or how you can protect yourself against later claims through having a solid employment contract in place. Once understood, the visa undertakings are easy to meet.

The role of the migration agent

Migration agents are there to make your dealings with the DIAC as pain-free as possible. They should know the legislation thoroughly and be willing to spend time with you explaining the ins-and-outs of the visa classes. Only use an agent registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority, and make sure that your agent is well versed in the employer nominated visa classes. Migration law is a vast and complex area, and many agents choose to specialise in only one or two categories. Don’t be afraid to ask for references - a good agent should be happy to supply you with these.

The role of the employment management firm

Employment management firms are often able to simplify the process of employing international workers by offering an outsourced management service. This generally comprises of a payroll service (to offer benefits such as the Living Away From Home Allowance) and a monitoring service, to ensure that the DIAC requirements are being met). The more established firms should also be able to offer you a full package, complete with visa assistance, negotiation between the potential employee and the business, employment law advice and ongoing employment management services. Once again, don’t be afraid to ask for references.

Moving Forward

If you have roles within your business that have traditionally been hard to fill, or one that you are currently struggling to find a suitable candidate for, step out and consider the international workforce. For a relatively small investment, you could tap into a fresh skills pool, where you aren’t clamouring against competing employers or getting involved in bidding wars for the right candidate. There are many thousands of people looking for the opportunity to move themselves and their family to our country. Being offered a sponsored visa is often their only choice, and once secured, their gratitude is evident in their work ethic, with them often going on and rising rapidly through the ranks at their new organisation. Good Luck!