​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Employer sponsored visas are a great way to attract skilled workers to fill positions in your workforce that you are unable to fill locally. 

Depending on your requirements, you may be able to sponsor workers on either a temporary visa or a permanent visa. Below is a brief outline of the current visa ​options. If you think any of them might suit your business needs, check the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website to find out:

  • the most up to date information;

  • how each visa works;

  • eligibility requirements;

  • your obligations;

  • the worker's obligations; and

  • how to apply. 


Eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements and criteria differ widely from visa to visa but generally the applicant worker must have the following:

  • proficiency in the English language;

  • good health;

  • good character;

  • their skills assessed or already possess relevant qualifications to the position; and

  • meet any age restrictions.


Temporary visas

Business (long stay) visa (subclass 457)

This visa allows employees to work in Australia for​ up to four years. They may also be able to bring in eligible family members. 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 Skilled Occupation List (SOL)​.


Labour agreements

Labour agreements are formal arrangements between an employer and the Commonwealth which allow for the recruitment of an agreed number of overseas skilled workers.

This program allows you to employ overseas workers on temporary or permanent visas. 

This program may be suitable for employers where occupations are not on the SOL, yet a genuine skills shortage exists. This program is also suitable for those circumstances where occupations are not covered under the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). It may also be suitable where a business recruits or hires labour to supply to another organisation.  


Summary table

Visa name Suitable for Period visa is valid Main features  Occupation must be on​​ this l​ist
Business (long stay) subclass 457 Employers who need to fill temporary skilled positions in Australia for Australian and overseas businesses. 
From one day up to four years. Must be an eligible sponsor.

Must have an eligible nominated occupation.

Must have an eligible nominated employee. 

Skilled Occupatio​n 
​​List (S​​OL)​
Labour agreements Employers where the occupation is not on an approved list, or covered by ANZSCO or where a business recruits or hires labour to supply to another organisation. Up to four years for a 457 visa.

Permanent visas can also be granted.

Employers must request access to a labour agreement then negotiate and sign the agreement with the Commonwealth
No list. 

Occupations must be negotiated with DIBP on a case by case basis.


Permanent visas

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) – subclass 186

If you are looking for highly skilled workers, this program may meet your requirements. You must be able to offer a position that is full time and ongoing for at least two years. Workers you sponsor may be granted permanent residence in Australia along with their dependent family members. 

This visa has three streams: Temporary Residence Transition; Direct Entry; and Agreement. More information about these streams can be found on the
DIBP​ website.

The occupation/position you are trying to fill must be listed on the
Skilled Occupation List (SOL)​.​


​Summary table

Visa Suitable for Main features Occupation list
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) – subclass 186Employers looking to recruit full time employees for at least two years. The nomination of a position must be approved before the visa can be granted. Skilled Occupation List (SOL)​
Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (subclass 187)Employers in regional areas (including Perth) looking to recruit full time employees for at least two years. For the direct entry stream, the employer must seek advice from a regional certifying body (RCB) in relation to the position to be filled. Occupation must be classified at skill levels 1 to 3 in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) for the direct entry stream.


Other visa options

The DIBP website has a visa finder that shows a range of visas that may be available to your potential worker. Talking to a migration agent could be helpful.

A list of registered migration agents is available from the DIBP's
Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).  

Orientation sessions for newly arrived skilled migrants

Settlement Services will be hosting free orientation sessions to help you settle more easily into your new life in Western Australia.
Skilled migrants and their families are welcome to attend.
View Settlement Services Events page​ for details.​

Fun Fact
POME – Australians refer to English people as ‘poms’ or ‘pomes’, pronounced ‘pomm-ees’. This is an acronym for ‘prisoners of mother England’. It may have been originally an ...