Employer Sponsorship

Before you read on, there is no substitute to talking to us about Employer Sponsorship, every case is different and you need to make sure you and your employer have a reasonable chance of success. While the information on this page and other sites is useful, the best way to find out whether you qualify, and what your options are, is to talk to us directly.

Please also note, we do not find employers who can sponsor you, that’s up to you. We have plenty of work keeping up to date with changes in migration law, assessing cases, preparing supporting documents, lodging visas, and answering requests for further information!


There’s three main types of employer sponsorship commonly used in Australia.

  • The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
  • The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186)
    • Temporary Residence Transition stream
    • Direct Entry stream
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (Subclass 187)


The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

Please note, due to changes on July 1st 2017, the 457 pathway has now split significantly into two main paths:

For those with occuapations on MLTSSL they can have a 4 year visa, and after 3 years with the employer they can apply for PR through the employer (on the 186 transitional visa pathway). You can check out the MLTSSL here.

For those with occupations on STSOL they can only have a 2 year visa, which they can extend once, and have no pathway to PR through the employer. For those effected we are looking at either 186 Direct Entry, or 187 RSMS, or other visa’s altogether.

There’s three key steps for a 457:

  • The employer needs to be an approved sponsor. If they are not we can usually get them approved.
    • To be approved an employer needs to be legally trading & operating, and to either already be, or commit to, spending 1% of payroll training Australians.
  • The position nominated needs to be on the MLTSSL or STSOL, meet minimum salary ($53,900 + Super) and market rates, and depending on the position the role may need to be advertised.
  • The applicant for the 457 will need either relevant qualifications or work experience (the level of qualification or amount of work required depends on the occupation nominated), and unless exempt will need to prove their level of English meets the DIBP requirements (e.g. IELTS 5).

The process takes varying lengths of time, but as a guideline 2-4 months is fairly normal.

Once an applicant is approved their visa usually lasts for 4 years (depending on which list their occupation is from), and is tied to the company through the nomination. The employee can quit, and the employer can fire the employee, but if that happens the employee cannot simply jump to another company, they have to find a new sponsor to nominate them in that position.

While the process is relatively straightforward, there are a large amount of supporting documents needed, and we know of cases where the business has tried to do it themselves and it has either resulted in refusals, or has taken far longer than if it had been done through a professional migration agent.

The most common area of problem on a 457 application is the Nomination, which can be refused on the grounds that the position is not genuine, or the business does not require the role.

When Stellar Migration are working on a 457 we first look at the business, checking if its approved already, and if not assessing the chances of them being approved. Next we look at the nominated position, does it make sense, are the salary requirements being met, is there anyone else in the role, etc. Finally we check the employee, whether they meet the required qualification or work experience, and IELTS.

Like all Visas, every 457 is unique, so every case needs to be assessed in detail. Some companies are start ups, others have been in business for 30 years. Some positions are much riskier than others (e.g. Market Specialist, Customer Service Manager). Many people have overseas qualifications which may not be accepted as being equivalent to Australian qualifications, and we need to assess work experience to see if it’s relevant.

If you want an assessment to see if you qualify then please contact us through our phone, email, or contact page.


The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) – (temporary residence transition stream)

If the employee stays in the same position with the same employer for 2 years they can then apply for Permanent Residence through the the Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) , IF the employer approves it.

The calculation of the 2 years of work is based from the date the employee started working on the 457 (so not counting previous work), and does not include periods of unpaid leave.

If the employee quits or gets fired then this will reset the count of 2 years (you cannot work 1 year in one position, 1 year in another position (or company), and then apply for PR on the 186).

The fact that the 457 can lead to permanent residence through the 186 visa is one of the main attractions for people for being sponsored on a 457.

From the employers point of view one advantage of offering someone PR at the end of the 2 years is that they will no longer need to keep meeting the training requirements, and the salary requirements. Another is that if they sponsor more than one person and don’t offer PR to someone when they qualify the other 457 holders will most likely start looking for another sponsor.


The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) – (Direct Entry stream)

There is another path to getting the 186 visa, which is called Direct Entry.

This is much less common in our experience, as while in theory the employee is tied to the company once the visa is approved, in practice the employee could quit once the visa is granted, so employers are less keen to do it.

Direct Entry on a 186 has different requirements than a 457.

  • The applicant will need to have a valid skills assessment for the occupation they wish to apply for.
  • The applicant will need to have competent English (e.g. IELTS
  • The applicant will need to have 3 years of relevant experience.


Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (Subclass 187)

Often shortened to RSMS, this option is designed to encourage people to get sponsored in the Outback (well, outside of the big cities at least). RSMS is available for a list of specific occupations, but only if a regional certifying body certifies there’s a shortage of local workers in that occupation (which in the Outback is often the case!).

The main advantages or RSMS are that the applicants can get PR from the beginning (so unlike the 457 they don’t need to work for 2 years first), but perhaps more importantly RSMS is available for some occupations which are not listed on MLTSSL or STSOL, such as Retail Managers, Security Consultant, or Practice Managers.