Acquiring a visa to enable you to migrate to Australia can be a complicated process, and will be predominantly be determined by your qualifications or skillset, and whether it matches any of the several skill shortages in Australia.
Depending upon the subclass of visa you are applying for, the process of obtaining a visa as a skilled professional can be a long, tiresome process that can take months, if not years. It can be especially stressful waiting in the queue, not knowing if the outcome of your visa application will be successful or not.
However, there is an alternative to long waits and uncertain outcomes; finding sponsorship jobs in Australia and consequently, applying for an Employer Sponsored Visa. This is by far a quicker and more defined pathway to obtaining a skills-based visa that can lead to Permanent Residency and eventually Australian Citizenship.
You may be questioning “How do I start the process of finding a sponsorship job in Australia?” Unfortunately, many people don’t know the correct strategies for finding sponsorship jobs in Australia. They will spend hours on end looking for jobs in the wrong places and ultimately, they are left believing that gaining a sponsorship job in Australia is too difficult and that there are no companies in Australia willing to sponsor your visa to Australia.
Whilst finding an Australian employer willing to sponsor people from overseas can be challenging, thousands of people get sponsored by an Australian employer every year, and by following the steps in the below guide you will be able to gain the skills needed for finding a sponsorship job in Australia and be on your way to making your dream of emigrating down under become a reality.
Temporary Sponsored Visas vs Permanent Sponsored Visas: What are the key differences?
An Australian Temporary Sponsored Visa and a Permanent Sponsored can be differentiated by a few main characteristics; length of stay and benefits and rights.
As the name implies, a Temporary Sponsored visa, such as the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TTS) Subclass 482, permits the visa holder to reside in Australia for a limited time with some restricted working conditions. When the visa ends, the visa holder is required to leave Australia or apply for another visa.
On the contrary, a Permanent Sponsored visa, such as an Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa, gives the visa holder Australian Permanent Residency, allowing them to reside in Australia permanently with unrestricted working conditions. Providing the visa holder fulfils certain specified requirements, a permanent residency visa holder can apply for Australian Citizenship after 4 years of residing in Australia.
As a general rule, permanent visas in Australia offer more rights than temporary visas. For instance, a permanent residency visa holder has unrestricted work conditions and are also entitled to government payments such as benefits, childcare and school costs. Whereas, temporary residents have limited working conditions and cannot claim any government payments.
Many people don’t want to consider a temporary sponsored visa, due to the limited timescale that you can stay in the country, however, this is a mistake.
Australian companies are much more likely to provide temporary sponsorship in the first instance, before offering a permanent sponsorship visa. This is predominantly because there are stricter criteria a sponsoring company must meet, as well as additional paperwork and cost to sponsor an employee permanently rather than temporarily.
With a temporary visa, you have up to four years to prove to your Australian employer that you are worth investing in and thus they will be more likely to continue your sponsorship to a permanent sponsorship visa such as Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (subclass 186). What’s more, many expats start the process with their Australian employer to obtain their permanent residency after 2 years of working for them. A common pathway from a Temporary Visa would be; Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TTS) Subclass 482 to Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (subclass 186), which is a permanent residency visa.
If your end goal is permanent sponsorship it may be worth asking your Australian employer from the outset whether they would consider doing this in the long term.
The Working Holiday Visa provides a great stepping stone to finding a sponsorship job in Australia. A Working Holiday Visa will give you 12 months to find (and work for) an employer who would be willing to sponsor you to remain in Australia either temporarily or permanently.
Do you qualify for Australian Sponsorship?
From March 2018, the 482 visas, also known as the Temporary Skills Shortage visa (TSS) was introduced to replace previous temporary visa schemes (subclass 457).
The Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS) subclass 482, will allow you to work as a skilled worker, from one to four years at a time, depending on your occupation and visa stream. To be qualified for any stream in this visa subclass, you are required to have a minimum of two years’ work experience in the same profession that you will be sponsored in. This may delay your plans to immigrate to Australia until you meet the work experience requirement. This is a new requirement from March 2018.
On the Australian Department of Home Affairs website, you will find skilled occupation lists for this visa and other skilled professional visas. These lists detail the occupations that are in high demand in Australia and therefore are eligible to gain a visa. Occupations on these lists are dependent on the needs of the Australian market and therefore added and removed without warning, at any time. With limited exceptions, the job you are being sponsored for must be on a Skilled Occupation List.
You should firstly ensure that your occupation is either on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STOL), Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or on the Regional Occupation List.
Depending on your qualifications and how much relevant work experience you have, you may be eligible for the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) or the Regional Migration Sponsorship Scheme (subclass 187), both these visa types allows you to reside in Australia permanently.
To be eligible for these visas, you must meet specific criteria such as having 3 years of relevant work experience in your chosen field. You may also be required to undertake a skills assessment in your nominated occupation, this will show to a government body that you retain the requisite skills for the job that you are being sponsored for in Australia.
#1 Research Sponsored Visa Opportunities in Australia
From the outset, it is important to realise that you will not often find advertisements from Australian employers on online job search engines specifically stating that they are looking to sponsor someone from overseas. This is because it is easier and more cost-effective for Australian employers to employ candidates already in Australia.
Jobs advertised on major job search websites are often placed by recruiters who need to fill positions quickly and are not likely to wait around for a sponsorship visa to get approved. You could be the perfect candidate for the job, but if the company are not willing to wait and sponsor you your resume will be dismissed.
However, in many industries such as trades, it can be challenging to find the right person in Australia, which compels companies to explore the prospect of sponsoring an employee from overseas.
As previously mentioned, most skills-based visas specify that you must have 3 years of relevant work experience, therefore, it is important to begin working in the field you wish to be sponsored in as soon as possible. This ensures that by the time you look for sponsorship opportunities and begin to approach companies, you will have attained the relevant work experience.
Another important realisation is that for some visa types, such as the 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Visa, an Australian employer must show evidence that they can’t find a suitable Australian worker to fill the vacancy, this is called “labour market testing”. The employer is then scrutinised to ensure that job opportunities for Australians are being prioritised. This diminishes the likelihood of the role being advertised as a sponsored job in Australia, on websites such as seek.com.au.
Similarly, it is doubtful that an Australian employer would go through a recruitment agency to advertise a job for overseas workers. Unless the job advertisement stated that they were willing to provide sponsorship for the right candidate, move on, you will be wasting your time.
We recommend starting by researching large Australian companies for job sponsorship opportunities, as the accompanying costs that come with sponsoring an employee from overseas can be limiting for smaller companies. Also, a company has to meet the threshold for minimum turnaround annually and obviously, some smaller companies won’t meet this threshold and therefore been ineligible to sponsor employees from overseas.
Don’t completely rule out smaller companies, just be mindful that finding a sponsorship job in Australia with a smaller company may be very limited.
A good tool for finding sponsorship jobs in Australia is Yahoo Companies Directory. The benefit of using this tool is that it divides the companies into categories so it will make it simpler for you to find what type of company you are after. Contact the companies you are interested in and that you have suitable work experience for, then send them your resume and enquire if they provide sponsorship job opportunities in Australia.
Most companies will have a “careers section on their website where you can search for any current vacancies and submit your resume/CV. If the company does not have current vacancies find out if you can submit your resume to the companies database so that they can contact you should future vacancies become available.
#2 Consider Global Companies
An effective way to enhance your likelihood of finding a sponsorship job in Australia is to seek out global companies which are based in both your home country and Australia.
Quite often large companies will offer transfer programmes to their employees. Unfortunately, this method would most likely require you to spend a significant period working at the company in your home country.
That being said, it would be beneficial In the long run if it meant you could immigrate to Australia through a company who you have experience working for. It is also impressive for future employers to see that you have worked for a global company.
If you are not currently an employee at the company, don’t be afraid to ask if global opportunities are available in the future should you be successful in your post.
#3 Keep a Record of Companies Contacted
Finding sponsorship jobs in Australia will firstly require you to create a list of all the companies that interest you, as well as match your skillset. We would then recommend speaking to the manager of the department you would like to work in, or if they are not contactable, you could try speaking with the company’s Human Resource department. Query whether the company would be willing to sponsor someone from a different country with the right skill-set.
To make this process more organised, keep a record of all the dates you have applied for jobs, and aim to follow up with these companies regularly. This shows you are keen and committed to working for them.
Find out how often they will keep your resume on file – most companies in Australia will hang on to resumes for 3-6 months before destroying them, so to be sure, you can check in with the company every 3 months to let them know you’re still interested in a position.
#4 Plan a Trip to Australia
Once you have made a list of companies you would like to work for, you should plan a trip to Australia to meet the prospective employer face to face. This is a really important step when finding sponsorship jobs in Australia.
Even if some potential employers are unable to make an appointment to meet you, you should still make an effort to visit the company to hand in the most up-to-date resume and try and speak with the manager of the department or Human Resources manager.
By making this vital, personal connection with an Australian employer will encourage them to consider sponsoring you to work in Australia, more so than if they had not met you at all. They will be able to see your personality and enthusiasm for the company, which is hard to portray sitting in a different country.
#5.Volunteer /Work Experience in Australia
Whilst you are in Australia, try to gain some experience in your professional field by volunteering. This will look impressive on your resume and will be advantageous when finding sponsorship jobs in Australia.
Australian companies most likely to accept volunteers are those that are charities or not-for-profit organisations. You can research potential companies before you arrive in Australia to ensure you have enough time to fit it in. Whilst most volunteering/ work experience is great in general, it is even more beneficial if it is in the particular field you are looking to gain sponsorship.
“Probono Australia” has a comprehensive list of not-for-profit and charitable organisations in Australia. You can search for opportunities by state/ region or town as well as the type of work. If you are contemplating gaining valuable work experience to make finding a sponsorship job in Australia more easily, then Probono Australia is a great place to start.
#6 Build Strong Networks
There are a plethora of networking sites, industry-specific groups and social media groups to make acquaintances in the right places and get yourself noticed. Use these networks to make connections with the right people in Australia.
The networking platform, LinkedIn is the most obvious choice for professionals. It will not only allow you to connect with employers all over Australia, but they will also be able to connect with you if your profile catches their eye. Joining Australia-focused groups or industry groups on sites such as Facebook will help grow your network.
Groups specifically aimed at Australian expats can be a valuable asset when finding a sponsorship job in Australia as lots of members will have been through the sponsorship process and hence know which companies are likely to sponsor overseas employees.
The more you endeavour to build your professional network, the higher your chance of success in finding sponsorship jobs in Australia. By exploiting your own network and then people that they might have in their network, you are widening the pool for potential employers willing to offer sponsorship jobs.
Be clear from the outset that you are specifically looking for sponsorship opportunities in Australia and, ask if they know anyone who could assist you. The key principle to creating strong and successful professional networks is to ensure you are connecting with the right people in the first instance.
#7 Study in Australia
Another pathway you could explore to finding a sponsorship job in Australia is to discover if there are any relevant courses in your field or further education you could enrol in in Australia. If eligible, an Australian student visa will allow you to gain valuable skills and knowledge whilst working part-time, up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time.
If you have limited work experience then this is a great route to begin working in the field you are interested in. At the end of your studies, you may be eligible to apply for sponsorship jobs in Australia.
Undoubtedly, to be currently residing in Australia is a massive advantage when finding sponsorship jobs in Australia, as you are available for face to face interviews and thus building a more personal connection with employers.
#8 Self-Marketing: The Key to Finding Sponsorship Jobs in Australia
Getting employers to sponsor you from overseas will very much depend on how well you sell yourself. Think of it like this, if no one knows what the product is and how it could benefit them, they’re not going to buy it, right? To be successful at self-marketing you must provide prospective employers with a realistic view of your skillset and learn how to highlight your natural capabilities.
Good self-promotion stems from personal self-confidence. You need to believe in your own qualifications and experience and convince employers that you are not only an ideal candidate but the best candidate for the job.
If you are serious about finding sponsorship jobs in Australia, you should allocate a reasonable amount of time to updating your resume/CV and ensuring it is in the correct format. Australian resumes can look different to that of other countries. Also, make sure that for every resume you hand out, you write an accompanying high-impact cover letter that will entice an employer to read your resume. Try to make the cover letter as personable to the company and the advertised job as possible, generic cover letters tell a company that you are handing out your resume to anyone and everyone.
To help you prepare for face to face interaction, such as networking opportunities or job interviews, you should master your own personal pitch. You might have 3 seconds with an employer to hand in your resume or you might have 3 minutes. It is important that within this time you give them a nutshell about what you’re all about and what you will bring to the company. Practice saying this verbally so you come across as confident when speaking to potential employers.
#9 Get a Professional Visa Assessment
*It is important to state that I am NOT a migration agent, I am not selling any services nor can I provide immigration advice. This article is purely for information purposes only*.
Reaching out to an immigration agent who is registered with MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority), can be really beneficial in finding sponsorship jobs in Australia.
Firstly, an agent can look at your qualifications and skill set and assess if fit the criteria for obtaining sponsorship in Australia. If you don’t use an agent and go-ahead to apply for a sponsorship visa in Australia, you will not be refunded the application fee if your application is refused due to not meeting the required criteria.
Interestingly, it was only by going through our MARA migration agent, that we found our sponsorship job in Australia. We were originally going through the Skilled Independent Points Tested steam, however, we’re struggling to gain the points we needed. It was recommended that we go for an Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186DE). Our agent was incredible and found us a sponsorship job in Australia with a previous employer.
Lastly, MARA migration agents do this so often, that they may perhaps know companies who will be willing to sponsor you. It is definitely worth investing in if you are serious about finding sponsorship jobs in Australia.
Finding a sponsorship job in Australia will require you to research the Australian job market and build networks with Australian employers, don’t rely only on online search engines as sponsorship job opportunities are rarely advertised there.
If you are committed to finding a sponsorship job in Australia, you should start your research as soon as possible as certain visas now need a minimum of 3 years of work experience to be eligible.
You should plan a trip to Australia to build strong relationships with Australian employers, this will make you stand out from the crowd and an employer more likely to sponsor you.
If you do not have enough work experience to apply for a skills-based sponsored visa, you should consider studying in Australia, and thus gaining valuable skills and qualifications that will be beneficial in the long term.
By following the above steps, you will be certain to increase the probability of finding a sponsorship job in Australia.