The lowdown on sponsoring overseas talent: Your questions answered
If your business has been thinking about sponsoring creative talent from overseas, but the process seems complicated and overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, we completely understand! It can feel like a lot of effort when you’ve got to investigate and navigate how it all works, while also managing all of your other work and responsibilities.
We spoke with Evan Bishop, Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1679414) from Worldly Migration and asked him to answer some of the biggest questions about sponsoring a migrant worker.
Evan, can you give a basic outline of how the migrant worker sponsorship process works from a business’ point of view?
For businesses that are unable to find a suitable Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill a skilled role, they can sponsor a migrant for either a temporary basis or permanently, depending on the occupation.
There are two business stages, the sponsorship and the nomination. The sponsorship is weighted on the financial viability and good trading of the business, and once granted, it is valid for five years and can be used across multiple migrant applications.
The nomination, however, is unique to every role lodged and focuses on the salary of the nominated position and the genuineness of the role, how it relates to the nature and scope of the business and hasn’t just been created for a migration outcome (to help someone get a visa).
How difficult is it to sponsor someone?
Proving the above requirements are addressed genuinely and succinctly is a meticulous process that has varying effort areas and chances of success are on a case by case basis. Often the biggest barrier to entry is the migrant worker not meeting the eligibility for the visa based on their level of English, skills, health or character requirements, despite being deemed shortlisted in their job application.
How long does it usually take?
After a mandatory four week advertising period (to prove Australians have had the opportunity to apply for the role first), we are currently experiencing processing times of 1-3 months after lodgement. Whilst it’s not overnight, this is a major improvement on previous years and in line with the Minister’s commitment for improved processing times, which was announced November 2022.
What’s the approximate cost of sponsoring someone?
For a two year full time sponsorship term for a business less than $10 million AUD turnover, the Department of Home Affairs charges are currently $420 for the sponsorship, $330 for the nomination, and $2400 for the mandatory training levy. These costs cannot be paid for or recovered from the migrant, businesses must pay for them themselves. Additionally, agency fees need to be considered for a professional to guide the application to success, which at Worldly Migration are starting at $4500.
Are there any risks involved in sponsoring a migrant worker?
Whilst the nominated person will be tied to your business, there is always the risk of the person either departing for another sponsorship position or leaving Australia if it is not the dream they thought it would be or personal circumstances arise. This is a two-way street: there’s also the risk your migrant worker doesn’t perform or breaches grounds for termination.
What advice or tips and tricks would you give businesses who were looking to sponsor a migrant worker?
If you have an open mind for considering overseas workers (or temporary visa holders such as graduates and backpackers), then it is worth chatting with us over a free initial consultation. It is wise to ensure when advertising, that you meet the Department of Home Affairs advertising requirements, so that if you do find a successful candidate that requires a visa to start working with you, then you have strategically already met the 4 week advertising requirement. The requirement is detailed and worth discussing in the free consultation.
Anything else you want to add that businesses should know?
If you’ve read this far, then I applaud you for considering the benefits of sponsoring a skilled migrant. Whilst it’s no cheap exercise, to be able to retain a skilled worker for several years outweighs the costs. Sometimes, the worker you need may not be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and relies on the vessel of employer sponsorship to be able to work for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for a free initial consultation and we would be happy to discuss further.
Disclaimer: The information shared in this article is accurate as of March 2023.
If you are interested in speaking with Evan about the sponsorship process, head to Worldly Migration’s website to book a free initial consultation today.
And if you’re looking to hire overseas talent, we speak with creatives from all over the world who want to work in Australia. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org today.