Sponsorship Accreditation Overview
Australian businesses seeking to sponsor overseas employees may apply for approval to become an Accredited Sponsor to access priority processing of temporary skill shortage nomination and visa applications.
Sponsor Accreditation Process
To qualify for accreditation, a sponsor must meet the requirements outlined for at least one of the four categories provided for below.
Category 1: Commonwealth, state or territory government agency
Category 2: Trusted Traders
Category 3: Low-risk sponsor with low volume usage and a high percentage of Australian workers
Organisations seeking approval as a low-volume usage sponsor must meet the following:
- Australian workers comprise at least 85% of the workforce in Australia
- Company or Trust structure, limited partnerships
- Annual turnover of at least four million for the last two years, unless exempt as an acceptable start-up or due to corporate restructuring
- Standard business sponsor for at least one year, unless exempt as an acceptable start-up or due to a corporate re-structure
- No adverse monitoring outcomes, unless reasonable to disregard
- Nominations approved for at least one primary 457/482 visa holder in the last two years
- Nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for last two years
- All 457 and/or 482 visa holders are engaged as employees under a written contract that meets National Employment Standards where they apply
- All employees are paid current market salary rates as evidenced by an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates
Category 4: Low-risk sponsor with high volume usage and medium percentage of Australian workers.
Organisations seeking approval as a high-volume usage sponsor must meet the criteria outlined for low-volume users above, except that the business may have up to 75% of the workforce comprised by Australian workers, have been a sponsor for at least 2 years and with at least 10 primary applicants 457/482 sponsorships over the past 2 years.
Category 5: Major Investment in Australia
Existing sponsors and new start-ups with special circumstances may be considered under this category where they have made a major investment in Australia (of at least AUD50M) which has generated Australian employment.
The Department of Home Affairs public statements on their website provide that a major investment may include the following:
- Financial investment of at least AUD50M which has directly generated Australian employment OR
- Options for measuring a major investment may include:
- a lasting contribution to Australia, including: the value of the investment, the company’s pattern of investment, jobs created, export outcomes generated, tax contribution
- innovative business practices or technologies, including: introducing new skills and capabilities, setting up research activities in Australia or collaborating with Australian research institutions, commercial partnerships (MoUs or JVs)
- supporting exports and the expansion of Australian industry within global supply chains, particularly in high value-add areas.
Organisations seeking approval may also be required to meet many of the criteria outlined for low-volume users above unless special circumstances apply.
Priority Processing of 482 applications for Accredited Sponsors
Accredited Sponsors will receive priority processing of nomination and visa applications in accordance with Ministerial Direction No. 77 (in effect from 18 March 2018).
The Ministerial Direction establishes the following order of priority in allocating subclass 482 nomination and visa applications:
(a) nomination applications lodged by approved sponsors with Accredited Status and related visa applications;
(b) nomination applications lodged for positions that are located in a regional Australia (as defined in subregulation 5.19(16) of the Regulations) and related visa applications;
(c) nomination applications lodged under the Labour Agreement stream of the TSS visa program (subclass 482 visa);
(d) all other nominations and visa applications lodged under the TSS visa program (subclass 482 visa).
Simplified or Streamlined Processing
Accredited sponsors also receive streamlined processing of certain low-risk nomination applications.
Streamlined processing will mean that certain nomination requirements are able to be satisfied on the basis of a certification on the nomination form, in conjunction with additional documentation and information collected as part of the sponsorship accreditation approval process. This avoids the need for Accredited Sponsors to provide usual supporting documentation in support of the following criteria:
- Annual market salary rate criterion
- Genuine position criterion
- Written contract of employment provision
Nominations lodged by sponsors granted Accredited Status after 1 July 2016 will receive streamlined processing if:
– the nominated occupation is ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2; AND
– the nominee’s annual earnings are equal to or greater than AUD $180,001; OR
– AUD $90,000 and the occupation is not one of the following:
- Accountant (General) (ANZSCO 221111)
- Café or Restaurant Manager (ANZSCO 141111)
- Chef (ANZSCO 351311)
- Chief Executive or Managing Director (ANZSCO 111111)
- Conference and Event Organiser (ANZSCO 149311)
- Corporate General Manager (ANZSCO 111211)
- Corporate Services Manager (ANZSCO 132111)
- Customer Service Manager (ANZSCO 149212)
- Facilities Manager (ANZSCO 149913)
- Management Accountant (ANZSCO 221112)
- Management Consultant (ANZSCO 224711)
- Marketing Specialist (ANZSCO 225113)
- Sales and Marketing Manager (ANZSCO 131112)
- Recruitment Consultant (ANZSCO 223112)
- Supply and Distribution Manager (ANZSCO 133611)
- Taxation Accountant (ANZSCO 221113)
- Transport Company Manager (ANZSCO 149413)
Nomination applications that fall into the above categories MAY be auto-approved by the system.