How to hire international employees

Compliance with immigration laws

Hiring international employees involves several steps to ensure compliance with Australian immigration and labour laws. Here's a general overview of the process.

Determine eligibility

Ensure that the international employee you wish to hire is eligible to work in Australia. They may need a valid work visa or other authorisation, depending on their nationality and the nature of the job.

Choose the appropriate visa

Identify the most suitable visa category for your international employee. Common work visas include the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482), Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186), and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187). The specific visa will depend on the employee's skills, qualifications, and the type of work they will be doing.

Sponsorship as an employer

To hire international workers on certain visas, you must be an approved sponsor. This involves applying for and obtaining approval as a Standard Business Sponsor through the Department of Home Affairs. Your business must meet specific criteria and comply with various obligations.

Job advertising

In some cases, you may need to demonstrate that no suitable Australian candidates are available for the position by advertising the job locally. The advertising requirements vary depending on the visa subclass and the nominated occupation.

Nominate the employee

You will need to nominate the specific international employee for the position. This involves lodging a nomination application with the Department of Home Affairs, detailing the position and the employee's qualifications.

Employee visa application

The international employee should apply for the relevant work visa after you've nominated them. They will need to meet the visa requirements, which can include health and character checks.

Visa processing

The Department of Home Affairs will assess the employee's visa application. Processing times can vary depending on the visa category and the applicant's individual circumstances.


As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that you and your international employee comply with visa conditions. This includes providing the terms and conditions of employment specified in the nomination application.

Ongoing obligations

Stay informed about your obligations as an employer of international workers, which can include reporting changes in employment conditions and ensuring that the employee maintains the required visa status.

Monitor visa expiry

Keep track of your employee's visa expiry date and assist with visa renewals or extensions if necessary.

It's crucial to consult with immigration experts or lawyers who specialise in Australian immigration to navigate the complex visa and sponsorship process accurately. Australian immigration laws and requirements can change, so it's essential to stay updated on the latest regulations and policies.

Please note that this information is a general guideline, and the process may vary depending on individual circumstances and changes in Australian immigration policies. Always consult with the Department of Home Affairs or a qualified immigration professional for the most up-to-date and specific guidance.

How to hire international employees

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