Attracting staff and applicants from overseas undoubtedly has many business benefits, from filling skill gaps to attracting and retaining talent. Many Australian employers have been looking overseas more than ever. Ensuring the business is not at risk of legal complications and getting your overseas employees started is where we step in.

…almost 31% of businesses are struggling to find suitable workers…Most of these businesses attributed their struggles to applicants not having the required skills (59%) and a lack of applicants (79%).

Financial Review, 2022

This article explains the visa requirements and what to look for when hiring employees from around the world.

What visa should we apply for?

Choosing the correct visa for working in Australia depends on factors such as job type, duration of employment, salary, and location. Options include:

Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa
Used to quickly mobilise highly specialised and skilled workers for short term and project-based work this temporarily visa can be granted for up to 6 months with a good business case.

Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa
A temporary work visa for skilled employees to work for up to 2-4 years for a sponsoring employer in Australia where businesses are unable to find Australians to fill the positions. Occupations to apply for the visa must be included in the Governments skilled occupation lists.

Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Visa
For longer term options allows skilled employees live and work in Australia permanently. Employees must have the required skills and work experience and are nominated by their employer.


Overseas employees

Who is eligible?

Most businesses that are active and lawfully operating in Australia can utilise skilled migration visa pathways to nominate and sponsor skilled employees.

To be eligible for one of these visas, applicants must:

  • Be aged 18 years or over
  • Have the relevant skills and experience for the position
  • Meet English language requirements
  • Meet health and character requirements

And Employers must:

  • Demonstrate a genuine need for the positions contained within the government’s current skilled occupation lists.
  • Practice non-discriminatory recruitment
  • Ensure that terms and conditions for employment for overseas hires are favourable to Australia.

What to look out for during the recruitment process

As an employer you are responsible for ensuring that workforce has the correct visas and can lawfully work in Australia, or excessive fines and penalties can apply. It’s important as a HR professional or hiring manager to understand work rights in Australia as part of your recruitment process.

What is the proposed start date?
Processing times for the 482 and permanent visas can be lengthy. A shorter option may be necessary if eligible for urgent project work.

Does your employee already hold a visa?
Checking visa status prior to offer will assist to understand current work rights if any.

Has the employee ever held a visa in Australia or had a visa refused in the past?
Visa history could impact eligibility and long-term success of a new visa application.

Does the employment contract meet the visa requirements?
Depending on the type of visa they may be able to work part time, full time or may require a fixed term contract. Employers are also required to meet National Employment Standards including working hours, leave, and pay.

What are your business responsibilities?
Certain visas will require employers to meet certain obligations such as keeping records of overseas workers, notifying of changes in the business or employment and paying certain costs.

Are there family members migrating too?
Additional family members could change timeframes, costs and visa conditions may differ.

Why use an Immigration lawyer?


  Saves time.

Sponsoring an employee and applying for a visa can be complex and time-consuming. A lawyer can take care of the paperwork and ensure everything is filed correctly. This means that you can focus on running your business.


   Expert knowledge.

Experienced in the legal frameworks, sponsorship obligations and requirements of all types of visa and immigration law, they can advise you on the best visa option for your needs and ensure that you meet all the requirements.


   Minimises risk.

Applying for a visa can be risky, as there is always the chance that the application will be rejected. A lawyer or agent can help to minimise this risk by ensuring that all the requirements are met and that the application is complete.

Ongoing support and compliance Employees in breach of work conditions could cost the business fines of up to $100,000. Lawyers can check work rights and provide advice after the grant of a visa.

What are the next steps?

If you would like to sponsor an employee, the first step is to contact our advisory team. They will be able to assess your situation, check eligibility and advise you on the best course of action.

Our team will help you to prepare all the necessary paperwork. They will also apply on your behalf and provide support during the process.

Our goal is to provide practical results to allow your employees to start working as soon as possible.

EPG Migration is part of a larger solution

What if you could tap into one group for all your workforce management needs?

On the ground in 14 global locations, the EPG Group’s permanent and contingent staffing solutions, immigration expertise and payroll services are powered by HCM technology that helps keep you compliant and delivers global workforce analytics to drive business growth.

Learn more >