Faster Work Visas - How can your business qualify?

Visa Processing Times seem out of control

The extensive waiting times for Australian working visas, specifically subclass 457 and its successor, the Temporary Skills Shortage 482 visa, are an ongoing concern for both applicants and their corporate sponsors. Currently, the period of uncertainty for 457 visas is up to nine months and even for subclass 482 it can extend to four months.

Resources at the Department of Immigration have been restricted, with Case Officers no longer available to deal with enquiries from applicants. Instead, much to the frustration of those awaiting answers, a collective case management system has been deployed; a virtual brick wall between those applying for visas and those determining the merits of their applications.

Is there another answer?

For corporate sponsors who meet required criteria, there really could be a better way. The government has recently reviewed its policies relating to Accredited Sponsors and for entities which rely upon skilled labour from overseas, approval under this status will achieve significantly streamlined processing of applications for subclass 482 visas; so much so that many such applications will be auto approved within minutes, totally without manual intervention, and others within two or three weeks.

Nominees of an Accredited Sponsor also receive additional considerations and providing the sponsor submits a reference letter to confirm good character, they will not require overseas police clearances.

A company can apply for accredited status (using the same documentation) when it makes application to become a standard sponsor. Then, should it fail to fulfil all accreditation criteria, it will still be considered for standard sponsorship.

What is required, in order to become an Accredited Sponsor?

To be approved for accredited status, the sponsoring entity must meet all standard sponsorship requirements, as well as additional characteristics applied to one of the four accreditation categories:

Category 1: Commonwealth, state or territory government agencies

Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of local workforce.

Category 2: Australian Trusted Traders

Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of local workforce, all paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or internal salary table which reflects appropriate current market rates.

Category 3: Low volume usage and high percentage of Australian workers

Have Australian workers comprising at least 85% of local workforce, paid appropriate to positions. Not a sole trader or partnership. Have annual turnover of at least $AUD4M for the last two years. Have been a standard business sponsor for at least one year. Have nominations approved for at least one primary TSS or subclass 457 visa. Have nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for the last year. Have no adverse monitoring outcomes.

Category 4: High volume usage and medium percentage of Australian workers

Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of local workforce. Not a sole trader or partnership. Have annual turnover of at least $AUD4M for the last two years. Have been a standard business sponsor for at least two years. Have nominations approved for at least ten TSS and/or subclass 457 visas in the last two years. Have nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for the last two years. Have no adverse monitoring outcomes. Engage all TSS and/or 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract which meets NES where applicable.

The Department will consider exceptions to these guidelines, providing requests are properly framed and adequately supported.

Check applications thoroughly; misunderstandings result in disappointment

In the complex and rapidly changing world of immigration law, nothing is constant and nothing is simple. It really does pay dividends therefore, to obtain professional assistance, skilled specialists, specifically trained in the processes, enabled to assist you in achieving the finest possible outcome in the shortest possible time.

For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration matters.

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