Corporate Consultation

For those who seek to hire or have hired overseas workers, have certain obligations and compliance requirements.

Standard Business Sponsorship

Standard Business Sponsor Approval

When you become a standard business sponsor you can sponsor someone to work for you on a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Subclass 482; or Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 494.

How long the Sponsorship Lasts

Once a business is approved as 'Standard Business Sponsor', then this sponsorship approval lasts usually for 5 years from the date of approval, unless revoked by the 'Department of Home Affairs'.

Standard Business Sponsor Obligations

When you are approved as a 'Standard Business Sponsor' and nominate skilled workers who are not Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents, then you will have certain obligations that you will be required to meet. This ensures that overseas skilled workers are protected from exploitation; and TSS and SESR visa programs are being used to meet genuine skilled shortages.

Accredited Sponsor Status

Once you are approved as 'Standard Business Sponsor', its highly recommended that you should apply for 'Accredited Sponsor' status. It has significant benefits over and above what are available to a business as 'Standard Business Sponsor'. As an 'Accredited Sponsor' you receive priority when the 'Department of Home Affairs' (DOHA) process your Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) (TSS) or Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 494) (SESR) nominations and visa applications.

Standard Business Approval Application Processing Time

SBS Approval times will vary depending upon the business applying.

Application Cost

Base Application Charge: A$420.

Obligation to Keep Records

Introduction

You must maintain records to show to the Department of Home Affairs your compliance with your sponsoring obligations. All records must be in reproducible format and some of them must be capable of verification by an independent person.

Examples of Records that are required to be kept

- Written requests for payment of travel costs for the employee or their family, including when the request was received.
- How and when you paid the travel costs, how much you paid, and who you paid it to.
- Any event you need to report to us, including the date and method of notification and where the notification was provided.
- Tasks performed by the employee in relation to the nominated occupation and where the tasks were performed.
- Earnings paid to the sponsored visa holder (unless the sponsored visa holder earns AUD250,000 or more).
- Money applied or dealt with in any way on behalf of, or as directed by, the employee (unless the sponsored visa holder earns AUD250,000 or more).
- Non-monetary benefits provided to the employee. Record the agreed value and the time at which, or the period over which, those benefits were provided (unless the sponsored visa holder earns AUD250,000 or more).
- If there is an equivalent worker in your workplace, the terms and conditions of the equivalent worker, including the period over which the terms and conditions apply (unless the sponsored visa holder earns AUD250,000 or more).
- The written contract of employment you engage each employee under; and the records you need to keep as party to a work agreement, if applicable.
- How you are complying with the training obligations if you were lawfully operating a business in Australia when we approved your standard business sponsorship or the terms of your approval as a standard business sponsor were varied.
The obligation starts the day your sponsorship is approved or the employee you nominated starts working for you. This obligation ends two years after your sponsorship or the work agreement end; and you no longer employ a sponsored visa worker.

Provide Records and Information When Requested by Home Affairs

- You must provide records or information if requested by a departmental officer in the manner and time frame requested by the DOHA. The records or information will be those that: you are required to keep under Commonwealth, state or territory law, or you are obliged to keep as a sponsor.
- The records and information will be used to determine whether: a sponsorship obligation is being or has been complied with, and other circumstances in which the Minister might take administrative action exist or have existed. This obligation starts on the day your standard business sponsorship is approved, or a work agreement starts; and this obligation ends two years after: your sponsorship or the work agreement ends and; or you no longer employ a sponsored visa holder.

Obligation to Pay Costs

Sponsoring Business Must Assume all Costs Associated with Sponsorship

The sponsoring business must assume costs associated with sponsorship, recruitment process, any travel costs, and locating and removal of unlawful non citizen who was previously sponsored by the business (if required).

Examples of Costs

-You must pay and assume all of the following costs yourself such as: cost of becoming a sponsor, nomination charges, migration agent costs associated with sponsorship and nomination applications.You must also pay and assume all costs associated with the recruitment process including: recruitment agent fees; migration agent fees; advertising; screening, short listing, interviewing and conducting reference checks of candidates; salaries of recruitment or human resource staff; outsourcing background checks, police checks and psychological testing; responding to queries from potential candidates and advising unsuccessful applicants; travelling nationally or internationally to interview and/or meet applicants.
-You must not, or attempt to, transfer or charge these costs to another person such as a sponsored visa holder or their sponsored family members. This obligation starts on the day we approve your standard business sponsorship or the work agreement starts; and ends two years after: your sponsorship or the work agreement ends; and you no longer employ a sponsored visa holder.

Travel Costs

-You must pay and assume all of the following costs yourself such as: cost of becoming a sponsor, nomination charges, migration agent costs associated with sponsorship and nomination applications.You must also pay and assume all costs associated with the recruitment process including: recruitment agent fees; migration agent fees; advertising; screening, short listing, interviewing and conducting reference checks of candidates; salaries of recruitment or human resource staff; outsourcing background checks, police checks and psychological testing; responding to queries from potential candidates and advising unsuccessful applicants; travelling nationally or internationally to interview and/or meet applicants.
-You must not, or attempt to, transfer or charge these costs to another person such as a sponsored visa holder or their sponsored family members. This obligation starts on the day we approve your standard business sponsorship or the work agreement starts; and ends two years after: your sponsorship or the work agreement ends; and you no longer employ a sponsored visa holder.

Pay costs to locate and remove an Unlawful Non-Citizen

If your sponsored employee or any of their sponsored family members becomes an unlawful non-citizen, you might have to repay the costs incurred by the Commonwealth in relocating and/or removing them from Australia.
If required, you must pay the difference between the actual costs incurred by the Commonwealth (up to a maximum of AUD10,000) less costs you might have already paid under your obligation to pay travel costs to enable sponsored people to leave Australia.
This obligation starts on the day your sponsored employee or family member becomes an unlawful non-citizen; and ends five years after they leave Australia. That is, we might require payment up to five years after your sponsored employee left Australia.

Obligation in relation to Nominated Occupation

Employee Must Work in Nominated Occupation

Your sponsored employee must work only in the occupation you nominated them for, and If you want them to work in a different occupation, then you will have to lodge a new nomination.

- If you are sponsoring them under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS) Subclass 482 or the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (SESR) visa Subclass 494, the employee will also need to apply for and be granted a new visa.
- This obligation starts: on the day your nominee is granted visa or; on the day the nomination is approved, if the nominee is already working for you.
- This obligation ends on the day (whichever is the earliest): your employee has a nomination approved for a different approved sponsor; your nominated employee is granted a visa that is not a TSS or SESR, bridging, criminal justice or enforcement visa; or your employee leaves Australia and their TSS or SESR visa (or any subsequent bridging visa) is no longer in effect.
- If you are a standard business sponsor, you must employ the person you have sponsored under a written contract of employment.
- Unless the nominated occupation is exempt, you cannot supply or be involved in recruiting or hiring the sponsored employee to another business unless: you were lawfully operating a business in Australia when your standard business sponsorship is approved, or when the terms of your approval were last varied; and the business is an associated entity.
- This obligation ends on the day your employee is granted visa that is not a TSS or SESR, bridging, criminal justice or enforcement visa. This obligation continues if your employee is granted another TSS or SESR visa, and continue to work for you.

Equivalent Terms and Conditions of Employment

If you are a standard business sponsor: the annual earnings of the employee must be at least the same as those stated on the nomination application when we approved the application; the employment conditions of the employee must not be less favourable than those of an equivalent Australian worker.
- This obligation: applies only if the annual earnings of the employee is less than AUD250,000; and also applies to labour agreement sponsors unless otherwise stated in the labour agreement.
- This obligation: starts on the day your sponsored employee is granted TSS or SESR visa; or when your nomination is approved, if the employee already holds the TSS or SESR visa.
- This obligation ends: the day the nominated employee stops working for you; or your employee is granted a visa that is not a TSS or SESR, bridging, criminal justice or enforcement visa. This obligation continues if your employee is granted another TSS or SESR visa and continues to work for you.

Obligation to Report Certain Events

Events or Changes to Circumstances to Report

This obligation starts on the day your standard business sponsorship is approved, or the work agreement commences; and ends two years after: your sponsorship or the work agreement ends; or you no longer employ a sponsored visa holder.

For Businesses: Inform the 'Department of Home Affairs' (DOHA) within 28 calendar days if:
- the visa holder’s employment ends or is expected to end (the sponsor must tell us if the end date changes).
- there are changes to the work duties carried out by the sponsored visa holder.
- you have paid the return travel costs of a sponsored visa holder or any of their family members in accordance with the obligation to pay return travel costs.
- you have become insolvent within the meaning of subsections 5 (2) and (3) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and section 95A of the Corporations Act 2001.
- your business ceases to exist as a legal entity.
For Companies: Inform the DOHA within 28 calendar days:
- if a new director is appointed; or if an administrator is appointed for the company under Part 5.3A of the Corporations Act 2001.
- the company resolves by special resolution to be wound up voluntarily under subsection 491(1) of the Corporations Act 2001.
- a court has ordered that the company be wound up in insolvency under Part 5.4, or on other grounds under Part 5.4A, of the Corporations Act 2001.
- a court has appointed an official liquidator to be the provisional liquidator of the company under Part 5.4B of the Corporations Act 2001.
- a court has approved a compromise or arrangement proposed by the company under Part 5.1 of the Corporations Act 2001.
- the property of the company becomes subject to a receiver or other controller under Part 5.2 of the Corporations Act 2001.
- procedures are initiated for the de-registration of the company under Part 5A.1 of the Corporations Act 2001.
- a restructuring practitioner for the company is appointed under Part 5.3B of the Corporations Act 2001.
For Partnerships: Inform the DOHA within 28 calendar days if: a new partner joins the partnership; and any of the events listed for an individual or a company occurs.
For Unincorporated Associations: Inform the DOHA within 28 calendar days if:- a new member is appointed to the managing committee of the association; and any of the events listed for an individual or a company occurs.
Individuals: If you operate your business as an individual, You will need to inform the following within 28 days if:
- you enter into a personal insolvency agreement under Part X of the Bankruptcy Act 1966; or you enter into a debt agreement under Part IX of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
- a sequestration order is made against your estate under Part IV of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
- you become a bankrupt by virtue of the presentation of a debtor’s petition under Part IV of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
- you present a declaration of intention to present a debtor’s petition under Part IV of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
- a composition or scheme of arrangement is presented in relation to you in accordance with Division 6 of Part IV of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.

Documents Checklist

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