There are four categories for employer-sponsored migration to Australia:

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) has been developed for Australian employers to recruit permanent, highly-skilled staff from overseas or from people temporarily in Australia, when the employers have been unable to fill a vacancy from within the Australian labour market or through their own training programs.

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is designed to help employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia, who are unable to fill skilled vacancies from the Australian labour market.

Labour Agreements (LA) enable Australian employers to recruit (either permanently or temporarily) a specified number of workers from overseas in response to identified or emerging labour market (or skill) shortages in the Australian labour market.

Invest Australia Support Skills (IASS) program is designed to encourage international firms to choose Australia as a location for foreign direct investment. It allows companies that make a significant investment in Australia to bring out essential key expatriate managerial and specialist employees from within the company group (this program replaced Regional Headquarters agreements from 1 July 2002).