How to sponsor an employee for a work visa in Australia:A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Sponsor An Employee For A Work Visa In Australia: A Step-By-Step Guide 

It is one of the most common questions that our experienced migration agents receive almost on a daily basis.

We receive phone calls, emails or inquiries through the online contact form from overseas skilled professionals, temporary visa holders (particularly 408 and 417 working holiday visa holders) and Human Resource professionals, Talent Acquisition specialists, business owners wanting to know what they need to do to sponsor an existing employee or a skilled worker from overseas for a work visa.

We also receive inquiries from overseas businesses interested in setting up operations in Australia and transfer their senior executives or overseas employees to Australia. I have prepared the below step-by-step guide with the view to explain this process to you in the easiest possible way.

In this article, I have answered the main questions related to the TSS 482 Visa Process: 

  1. What is the process and requirements to sponsor an employee in Australia?
  2. What is the cost?
  3. How long does it take?
  4. How can Visa Lounge Australia assist?

TSS 482 Visa Requirements and Step-By-Step TSS 482 Visa Process 

The first step of the process is the STANDARD BUSINESS SPONSORSHIP application by the business.

This application is lodged with the Department of Home Affairs and upon approval, the business becomes an approved standard business sponsor.

This status enables Australian employers to address labour shortages and allows them to sponsor overseas skilled workers for various positions within their businesses.

Some of supporting documents and information required for this type of application include:

  • financial statements
  • letter of support from accountant
  • workforce profile
  • organisational
  • ABN, ACN registration documents
  • ASIC historical extract
  • Trust Deed if the business operates as a trust

In practice, the standard business application becomes very complex if the business operates as a trust, partnership or is part of a group of companies. There are situations where the business is a large organisation with thousands of employees operating from different locations and in this case it is important to establish the correct sponsoring entity, otherwise compliance issues may arise post-lodgement or post-approval.

It is highly recommended to seek professional advice from VISA LOUNGE AUSTRALIA if your business has a complex business structure and want to sponsor an employee under the TSS visa.

The second step of the process is the BUSINESS NOMINATION APPLICATION.

This application provides the Department of Home Affairs with critical information about the position to be filled and it can be one of the most complex applications in the whole sponsorship process.

I have seen many situations when the nomination application was refused due to very small or innocent mistakes made by employers who chose to do the application themselves without having knowledge of the TSS 482 business nomination requirements. If the nomination is refused, you will not receive your money back and the cost is quite significant.

Some of the supporting documents and information required for this type of application include:

  • Labour Market Testing (LMT) meaning proof that the position was advertised for minimum 28 days, unless an exemption applies
  • Employment contract signed by both parties
  • Organisational chart
  • Benchmark salary data to demonstrate that the proposed salary is in line with the market rate, taking into account the location of employment, the skill set of the applicant
  • Justification for the application also called ‘genuiness of the position’

And here is a TIP:

  1. If the applicant is offered a position with an associated entity of the business sponsor and the associated entity will also pay the salary, it is still possible to sponsor an employee under these circumstances as long as the ‘association’ can be established.
  2. The employment contract MUST BE SIGNED after the completion of the job advertising otherwise the nomination application will be refused.

The 3rd and final step of the process is the VISA APPLICATION by the nominated employee.

At this stage, the nominated employee must demonstrate that they have the required skill set to perform the role.

Some of the supporting documents and information required for this type of application include:

  • formal qualification
  • employment statement / reference letter
  • evidence of paid employment such as payslips, tax records
  • copies of personal identity documents
  • police checks
  • English language test (unless exempt)

Is it possible to lodge all three applications at the same time? Is there any risk? 

Yes, the standard business sponsorship application for the sponsoring entity, the business nomination application and the visa application can be lodged at the same time.

This is recommended if the nominee’s visa is about to expire, if the business requires the nominee to travel to Australia urgently, if there is a change in the legislation that would impact the eligibility of the sponsor or visa applicant and let’s not forget a very important fact, if there is no major risk associated with any of the applications.

If for any reason, the sponsorship application is refused, the nomination and visa applications can not be successful. Same thing, if the sponsorship application is approved but the nomination application is refused, the visa application will not be successful. This is one of the big risks associated with lodging all three applications at the same time.

What is the cost to sponsor an employee for a TSS 482 work visa ?

In order to estimate the financial implications of sponsoring a foreign employee, it is important to be aware of the lodgement fees associated with each step of the process. The process to sponsor an employee is very complex and there is no room for error.

By law the cost associated with the business obtaining the sponsor licence must be covered by the business and when we say cost, we refer to the lodgement fee and the professional fee charged by the migration agent or lawyer. Same requirement applies to the business nomination application. When it comes to the visa application, the cost can be covered by either the business or the visa applicant.

We have detailed the full cost of sponsoring an employee for a work visa in Australia in our article TSS 482 Visa Fees – Cost of sponsoring an employee

What is the processing time? How long does the TSS 482 visa process take? 

The processing time varies a lot depending on the visa stream type (medium, short, labour agreement), nominated occupation, nationality of the foreign worker, size of the business however the average processing times for all visas can be checked on the Department of Home Affairs website using their visa processing times guide and tool.

At present, 90% of the 482 visas lodged under the medium-term stream are processed in 80 days. For short-term, the processing time is a bit lower, 59 days. Labour agreement stream usually takes a while and at present, the processing time is 5 months.

Business nominations are processed a bit quicker, average of 25 days and the business sponsorship applications can take up to 59 days to process.

So as you can see, it is very important to plan in advance for the lodgement of an employer sponsored visa applications to ensure that the applications get processed without delays and the foreign worker can commence work as soon as possible.

How can VISA LOUNGE AUSTRALIA assist with the TSS 482 visa process? 


We specialise in corporate migration which encompasses all employment and skilled visas, including:

  • Inbound management and delivery of corporate visa programs (including temporary residence and permanent residence) under subclasses 482 / 400 / 494 and subclasses 186 / 191
  • Sponsorship applications including transitioning to Accredited status
  • Labour Agreements – industry specific, company specific
  • Business traveller management including business visitor visas and electronic variants
  • Visa Population Audit and Compliance with Sponsorship Obligations (full details of sponsorship obligations you can read in our article ‘Sponsorship Obligations – 482 and 494 Business Sponsors‘)

Contact us today if you require the services of a trusted immigration business partner, we can guide the business through the process and design & deliver the most efficient and cost effective immigration strategy to sponsor an employee for a work visa.

Published by Maddie Phillips

Australian Immigration Law Specialist with over 12 years experience, I provide high touch immigration solutions for businesses and individuals, all aspects of Australian immigration law. OMARA Licenced, Member Migration Institute of Australia and Australian Human Resources Institute.

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