On 14 December 2015, new criminal and civil penalties and visa cancellation provisions were introduced as part of a 'paying for visa sponsorship' framework that allows for sanctions to be imposed on a person who asks for, receives, offers or provides a benefit in return for visa sponsorship or employment (that requires visa sponsorship). 

For further information, please see: Work visa scams.

Employing skilled workers from overseas

Lawfully operating Australian employers can:

  • Sponsor and employ skilled workers from overseas, if the worker has recognised qualifications and skills/or experience in a particular occupation required in Australia

See > Visa Options

Visa options for overseas skilled workers

Skilled workers can come to Australia with:

  • An employer sponsored visa, or
  • A General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa

See > Skilled visas for Australia comparison chart

Labour agreements to recruit skilled workers

A labour agreement is a formal arrangement between an employer and the Australian Government that allows the employer to recruit an agreed number of overseas skilled workers on a permanent or temporary basis.

Employers need to negotiate labour agreements individually with the Australian Government.

See > Labour agreements

Identifying a workers occupation – ANZSCO

When a person applies for a skilled migrant or employer sponsored visa, they need to identify their occupation as listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

See > Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

Employing legal workers

It is the responsibility of all Australian businesses to employ legal workers.

A person is a legal worker if they are:

  • An Australian citizen
  • An Australian permanent resident
  • A New Zealand citizen, or
  • A foreign national with a visa with permission to work in Australia

See > Employing legal workers

Checking a person’s visa entitlements – Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)

You can check a foreign national’s visa status and entitlements (including if they have permission to work in Australia) online using Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

See > Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)

Connections – An employer’s guide to working with migrants and refugees

“Connections – An employer’s guide to working with migrants and refugees” provides information about:

  • The benefits of working with migrants and refugees
  • How the skills and experience of migrants and refugees can help you as an employer and business owner to:
    • Enhance customer service
    • Strengthen existing market share
    • Expand into new markets
    • Tips and resources to help you and your employees work together and understand each other better

See > Connections – An employer’s guide

Skills Australia needs – Events

The Australian government attends skilled migration events around the world. The events provide information to skilled workers on what it is like to work in Australia.

Australian employers can participate in the events and meet people with the skills and experience needed to fill job vacancies in Australia.

See > Skills Australia needs