The Australian Work Visa Explained
The Australian Work Visa Explained; So you’re thinking of working in Australia for a period of time and you’re going to need a visa. In this article we are going to unbox some of the lessor spoken of realities with the short term visa options made available to work in Australia as a South African.
Provided that you have an approved nomination from an Australian employer that matches your work experience and skills, you may be eligible for an Employer Nomination visa.
What many people don’t realize is that the Employer Nomination Visa is not about you and your best interests; it’s about the needs of an Australian Business and the Australian economy as a whole. Effectively this visa makes you a tool in the hands of an Australian employer for the purposes of addressing a temporary need in their business that can’t be found locally in the Australian employment market at that moment.
It also means that you can be discarded the moment the business no longer wants or needs your services. The employer also has no obligation to sponsor you for a further visa.
The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa allows employers to sponsor overseas workers to live and work in Australia on a temporary basis. This visa is designed to assist employers who are unable to meet their highly skilled Australian workforce needs from the local labor market by recruiting highly skilled foreign employees for a temporary visa.
If you can find an Australian employer who is willing to sponsor you and have an approved nomination from the employer for that position, you may be eligible for a 482 Employer Nomination visa.
The TSS 482 Visa has two pathways:
• Only allowed a visa for up to 2 years.
• Only one onshore renewal possible – after 4 years you will need to leave Australia.
• Occupations listed on STSOL.
• No pathway to permanent residence.
• TSS visas granted for up to 4 years.
• No limit on the number of onshore renewals.
• Occupations listed MLTSSL.
• There may be a pathway to permanent residence if you work for at least 3 years on the same visa with the same employer through ENS Temporary Transition (subclass 186)
Sounds simple enough, right? 3 easy steps to getting a visa:
Step 1: The Sponsorship Application.
The Australian Employer needs too lodge an application for standard business sponsorship with the Department of Affairs (DOHA). The main criterion is that your employer’s business is actively and lawfully operating in Australia or overseas.
Step 2: Nomination Application
The Australian employer needs to lodge a nomination application with the DOHA, either at the same time as the sponsorship application or during the sponsorship validity period.
Step 3: Visa Application
You, the Visa applicant then lodge an application with the DOHA either at the same time as the nomination application, or before the nomination expires (generally within 12 months of approval).
Once the DOHA has approved all three applications, you will be granted a subclass 482 TSS visa for either a 2-year or 4-year period.
TSS visa holders need to be aware that if they have school-age children enrolled in public schools, additional school fees may apply. For example, in the state of South Australia, TSS 482 visa holders are expected to pay a levy for each child in school, which can amount to:
• Approximately $5100 per primary student per year
• Approximately $6100 per secondary student per year
As a Temporary visa holder, you do not have access to public health services in Australia and must provide your own private health insurance. Also, many temporary work visa holders are unaware that your health insurance coverage does not cover the birth of children in Australia. If you give birth in Australia while holding a TSS 482 visa, you will have to pay medical fees applicable to a foreign visitor, which will be an expensive.
Pathway To Australian Permanent Residency (PR)
Permanent Australian residency is only available for the medium-term stream and not the short-term stream, provided that you are under 45 years of age.
For Medium-Term Stream Visa:
• The pathway will be through the temporary transition ENS 186 or RSMS 187 Visa
• After working with the approved Sponsor for three years, applicants may be sponsored to apply for a Permanent Visa
The news and social media have been full of stories about employees and their families who have been left at a significant disadvantage by the Employer Nomination Visa and the limitations on this visa.
So, if the employer nomination visa is not all it’s made out to be – what visa options do you have?
What most people do not realise is that if you are eligible for an employer Sponsored visa, you are probably, in most cases, also eligible for a skilled visa provided that you have good English language skills, an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and are under the age of 45.
The major difference between the employer nomination visa and the skilled visa is that, on the skilled visa pathway, you have total control of your visa pathway to permanent residence and you and your family’s future in Australia. You can work in any occupation that you are qualified for, you can change employers and negotiate your salary and benefits.
There is more than enough employment opportunities in Australia. An Employer Nomination Visa only gives you access to ONE job in Australia while a skilled visa pathway gives you access to ANY job in Australia.
You need to pay for everything yourself – but you control the process and your future.