The Defence Industry in South Australia is a growing sector, which will provide significant employment opportunities for South Australians. Employers will seek to fill positions with Australians from the local labour market that have the required skill, qualifications and experience. However, if there is a skill shortage in the profession or trade that employers are seeking, accessing overseas trained and skilled people may be a necessary step to win contracts as well as ensure business growth.
The recruitment of key personnel from overseas can provide your company with the skills and knowledge you need to grow and can ultimately lead to the creation of further employment opportunities for more South Australians.
The Defence Teaming Centre, in conjunction with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), is able to provide information to employers about migration options to address skills shortages through the placement of an Outreach Officer at the Defence Teaming Centre. Please find below responses to frequently asked questions in relation to skilled migration:What migration assistance is available from the Outreach Officer at the Defence Teaming Centre? What visa options are available to employers? What is a 457 visa?What are the employer obligations under the 457 program? What are the permanent employer sponsored visa options?How do employers find a skilled worker from overseas? Apart from the migration process, what else should employers consider in sponsoring people from overseas? Where is there information about settling in Australia?How do employees on visas gain Australian citizenship? Does my prospective employee have the right to work in Australia? What is the role of the South Australian government? What are registered migration agents? Where is there further information?
What migration assistance is available from the Outreach Officer at the Defence Teaming Centre?
The Defence Teaming Centre hosts a senior officer from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), who is able to provide free visa/immigration information to employers who need to recruit skilled workers from overseas. Jan Schmortte can be contacted at email@example.com
, should you wish to discuss any issues related to migration to Australia or settlement in South Australia.
What visa options are available to employers?
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has either temporary or permanent visas available to assist employers to sponsor overseas skilled workers into their organisations.
What is a 457 visa?
Also called Temporary Business (Long Stay) - Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457), this temporary visa enables an employer to sponsor a skilled worker into Australia in a relatively short time frame in response to work pressures. This is the most commonly used program for employers to sponsor overseas workers for a period of between one day and four years. Employers need to be approved as a sponsoring body, and nominate the position/s to be filled and the overseas worker/s they wish to recruit. The employee then applies for the visa.
For more information about how this visa operates please click here
What are the employer obligations under the 457 program?
There are several obligations that help ensure that overseas workers are protected from exploitation. Sponsorship obligations also ensure that the program is being used to meet genuine skills shortages, and is not being used to undercut local labour wages and conditions.
For information about sponsorship requirements and obligations, please click here
What are the permanent employer sponsored visa options?
For employers to sponsor skilled workers in particular occupations required in Australia, there are two specific permanent visas available:Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) enables employers to sponsor highly skilled workers to fill skilled vacancies in their business. Skilled workers can be recruited either from overseas, or from people temporarily in Australia. Employers must be lawfully operating in Australia, and the position must provide full time employment in Australia for at least two years. Employers will also need to meet the prescribed benchmark for the training of Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.
For more information about this visa, click here
.Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) enables employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor highly skilled workers either from overseas, or from people temporarily in Australia to fill skilled vacancies in their business. Employers must be lawfully operating in Australia, and the position must provide full time employment in Australia for two years. Conditions of employment and wages must comply with Australian legislation and awards.
For more information on this visa, click here
How do employers find a skilled worker from overseas?
There are many ways that an employer may find a suitable person from overseas:
- SkillSelect is a free online service that enables skilled workers interested in migrating to Australia to record their details to be considered for a skilled visa through an Expression of Interest (EOI). Intending migrants can be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments, or they could be invited by the Australian Government to lodge a visa application. Employers require an AUSkey to access this service and search EOIs of potential employees. For more information and the login page, please click here.
- Direct advertising in target countries: some employers know that particular countries have workers with a skill set that is similar to their Australian workforce and may advertise directly in those countries for workers. They could do this either themselves or in partnership with an international on-hire (recruitment) company.
- Company’s existing workforce: Australia, being a multicultural country, has a culturally diverse workforce which may assist employers to source workers from countries similar to their current workforce profile. In addition, a worker from a particular country may have contact with former colleagues in their home country who may also be interested in migration and so be open to an employer sponsorship.
- ‘Skills Australia Needs’ Events:Skills Australia Needs events promote skilled migration to Australia by proactively bringing together employers, State and Territory governments and prospective skilled migrants. Overseas events specifically target high quality skilled workers who are invited to attend and meet with Australian employers after a pre-screening registration process. The purpose of the events is to help employers fill job vacancies that they are not able to fill from the Australian labour market. To find out more information about the Skills Australia Needs program, click here
- Working Holiday Maker Visa (subclass 417): Australia has reciprocal Working Holiday Maker visa arrangements with a number of countries, which allow young people (18 to 30 years of age) to have an extended holiday of up to 12 months in each others’ countries. Australia’s Working Holiday visa program allows visa holders to work for up to 6 months with any one employer. Should an employer wish to secure the services of a working holiday maker for a longer period than 6 months, they can consider sponsorship under either a temporary work visa or a permanent work visa. For more information about the working holiday visa, click here.
Apart from the migration process, what else should employers consider in sponsoring people from overseas?
Apart from the visa processing aspects of nominating a person to enter South Australia, employers are encouraged to consider the many issues which relate to the overall settlement of their new overseas worker, including their immediate family. As an employer, it is important that you secure and retain the skills that you need after perhaps a significant amount of cost and effort. To that end it is advisable that you also consider the settlement aspects of the entire family, along with the principal worker that you have nominated. If the entire family’s needs are not considered, there is potential for partners and children to become disenchanted, which could result in the family returning to their home country.
There are a number of issues that employers may wish to consider in the movement of a family unit from overseas into Australia, including:
- Relocation costs – should the employer meet some, all or none of these costs?
- Meeting at the airport – who will meet the new employee and their family at the airport?
- Accommodation – who will help find accommodation for the new employer?
- Public/Private Health Cover – is the company to offer Health Cover? Is the employer obliged to offer such cover?
- Partner’s employment – does your new employee’s partner want to work in South Australia? If yes, is there likelihood that employment in their occupation will be available?
- Schooling – are there children of school age in the family? If yes, who can provide assistance with finding appropriate schooling on arrival?
- Transportation – consider how the new family will transport themselves around. Do they need guidance about where to purchase/rent a vehicle?
These are just some issues that a sponsoring employer may wish to consider in addition to the recruitment and visa aspects of gaining a person from overseas. If your company does not have the in-house capacity to deal with these issues, you may consider engaging a professional relocation company to achieve the best outcome. Details of relocation companies in South Australia may be found in the yellow pages at this link www.yellowpages.com.au
Where is there information about settling in Australia?
DIAC has produced a series of ‘Beginning a Life in Australia’ booklets which provide useful settlement information for prospective and newly arrived migrants. These booklets contain a wealth of information about life in Australia, including: Housing, Transport, Education, Child care and Health and are available in a number of languages.
Employers may find this information helpful for their new employee and their families, please click here
How do employees on visas gain Australian citizenship?
If your employees seek to become citizens of Australia, citizenship residence requirements might be of interest to you.
From 1 July 2010 all citizenship applicants aged 16 and over will need to meet following residence requirements at the time they apply for Australian citizenship regardless of when they first arrived in Australia:
- they have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for 4 years immediately before applying, including 1 year as a permanent resident visa holder, and
- have not been absent from Australia for more than 1 year during the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year immediately before applying.
Permanent residents must maintain their permanent resident status at all times to remain eligible to apply for citizenship. This means ensuring that you have a current Resident Return Visa at all times when you are outside Australia or a permanent visa that is valid for entry to Australia.
If you would like to calculate your residence status, you can either call the Citizenship Information Line on 131 990 during business hours or use the Residence Requirements Calculator.
For more details about acquiring Australian Citizenship, click here
Does my prospective employee have the right to work in Australia?
If you have been the actual sponsor of a person under either the temporary or permanent visa arrangements outlined above, you will be aware of the visa category of your new employee, the associated work rights as well as your obligations as the sponsor. In the day to day operation of your company, it is likely that you will employ new staff who have not been actively sponsored by you. Making sure that a prospective employee has the legal authority to work makes good business sense.
In today’s competitive market, businesses cannot afford the disruption and loss of investment that would be caused by the sudden removal of a member of staff. This is highly likely to occur if you do not check the work rights of your new employees, and you employ someone from overseas who does not have the authority to work. As a part of your pre-employment checks, it is highly recommended that employers check the visa status of any new employee to ensure that they have the right to work. This can be easily done by an employer through the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system, which is a web-based service that enables companies to perform these checks quickly, easily and free of charge.
For full details, please click here
Employers should also know that from August 2007 it has been an offence under the Migration Act 1958 for a person to knowingly or recklessly allow an illegal worker to work or refer an illegal worker for work with another company. Individuals who are convicted of these offences face fines of up to $13 200 and two years imprisonment while companies face fines of up to $66 000 per illegal worker. To find out more about employer obligations under the Employer Sanctions legislation, please click here
What is the role of the South Australian government?
The Australian Government, in consultation with State and Territory governments and regional development authorities introduced a range of State Specific Regional Migration (SSRM) initiatives designed to help State and Territory governments to:
address skill shortages that may exist in their jurisdiction
attract overseas business people to establish new or joint ventures in their regions
encourage a more balanced settlement of Australia's skilled migrant intake.
These initiatives include flexible criteria which recognise the special circumstances of rural and regional areas. The entire State of South Australia, including the Adelaide metropolitan area, is covered under the SSRM definition. They aim to attract young, skilled, English speaking migrants to areas of Australia where they are most needed. They receive priority processing and rely on sponsorship by regional employers or State and Territory governments. This enables State and Territory governments and regional employers to influence the number and profile of skilled migrants settling in their areas in line with their skill needs and development objectives.
The South Australian Government is a supporter of the SSRM and actively encourages skilled workers to migrate to this State. The Defence Teaming Centre works closely with the South Australian Government and is pursuing further mechanisms to enable employers to gain access to skilled migrants arriving under the SSRM.
To access the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's webpage describing the SSRM, please click here
To link to the South Australian Government’s Immigration website, please click here
What are registered migration agents?
Employers are able to deal directly with DIAC and complete and lodge all employer sponsorship papers.
Alternatively, should an employer seek assistance in completing application forms or in managing the complete sponsorship/application process, there are registered migration agents who offer such a service for a fee. There are some companies who outsource their migration work to agents as they find it a more efficient use of their time to do so; that is a business decision that employers are able to make.
Employers considering using a migration agent are strongly urged to use a registered
migration agent. Registered migration agents are regulated by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority and are required to adhere to professional standards of conduct.
• Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) is the registration authority for migration agents giving advice in Australia. Employers should note that overseas based agents are not currently required to be registered and so the quality of their work is not subject to these arrangements. To link to MARA, click here
Where is there further information?
If you require further information, please contact the Outreach Officer for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, hosted by the Defence Teaming Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org