Stage 1: Sponsorship Application
The application for standard business sponsorship is lodged with the DOHA on behalf of your employer. The main criterion is that your employer’s business is actively and lawfully operating in Australia or overseas. An approved sponsorship is valid for five years. During this time, the business can nominate overseas workers for subclass 482 TSS visas.
Businesses who are approved to sponsor overseas workers for TSS visas MUST comply with certain obligations imposed by the DOHA. These obligations are designed to protect overseas workers from exploitation, and to ensure that the visa program is used correctly.
In particular, please note that a business approved as a standard business sponsor must not attempt to recover any of the costs associated with applying for sponsorship or nominations (including migration agent costs and Skilling Australians Fund levies), or any costs directly associated with recruiting overseas workers for nominated positions. Approved sponsors may however be able to recover GST and/or claim a tax deduction for payment of fees and costs associated with applying for sponsorship, and we recommend that independent tax advice is sought in this regard if relevant.
Approved sponsors must also maintain certain records relating to their sponsorship and subclass 482 (and 457) nominations. This includes records substantiating the sponsor’s annual turnover, as well as records confirming how, and by whom, each Skilling Australians Fund levy was paid. Such records must be provided to the DOHA upon request.
Please contact our office for further information, including a full list of sponsorship obligations.
Stage 2: Nomination Application
The nomination application is lodged with the DOHA on behalf of your employer, either at the same time as the sponsorship application, or during the sponsorship validity period. The main criterion is that the nomination meets the requirements listed above, including the additional criteria for the nominated stream.
Skilling Australians Fund Levy
Sponsors must pay the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy for EACH subclass 482 nomination lodged with the DOHA. The amount payable varies based on the sponsor’s annual turnover and the visa applicant’s proposed period of stay in Australia:
- For sponsors with an annual turnover of LESS THAN AU$10 million, the SAF levy is AU$1,200 for each year of the nominated visa applicant’s proposed period of stay i.e. AU$1,200 for a 1-year visa; AU$2,400 for a 2-year visa and so forth.
- For sponsors with an annual turnover of AT LEAST AU$10 million, the SAF levy is AU$1,800 for each year of the nominated visa applicant’s proposed period of stay i.e. AU$1,800 for a 1-year visa; AU$3,600 for a 2-year visa and so forth.
The SAF levy must be paid upfront, at the time that the nomination is lodged.
Please contact our office for further information regarding the SAF levy.
Stage 3: Visa Application
Your visa application is lodged with the DOHA either at the same time as the nomination application, or before the nomination expires (generally within 12 months of approval). The main criterion is that you fulfil the requirements listed above.
You may generally be in or outside Australia when applying for this visa. However, you cannot apply in Australia for another visa in the Short-term stream if you have held more than one subclass 482 TSS visa in that stream, unless this would be inconsistent with an International Trade Obligation. You may also be ineligible to apply in Australia if you do not hold the required type of visa, or have previously been refused a visa (or had your visa cancelled).
Once the DOHA has approved all three applications, you will be granted a subclass 482 TSS visa. The term of your visa will depend upon your visa stream, along with your employer’s requirements. If your visa is in the Medium-term stream, it will be valid for up to four years. If your visa is in the Short-term stream, it will be valid for up to two years.
PLEASE NOTE: We estimate that it may take several weeks to prepare and lodge your application, with the time taken largely dependent on how promptly you (and your sponsor, if applicable) provide us with the necessary supporting information and documents.
The time that it takes the DOHA to process your application is dependent upon its processing time service standards, and may also vary due to a number of other factors, including the complexity of your case, perceived risk factors and processing priorities. Please contact us for current information regarding likely processing timeframes for this type of application.