Within Australia, it is becoming more common for businesses to hire temporary foreign workers if they have a skill set that is in short supply. Usually, Australian employers will hire foreign workers by sponsoring them under the temporary skill shortage visa (subclass 482) (TSS visa). If you are a skilled worker and are looking to work in Australia temporarily, you may be eligible for the TSS visa. This article will discuss how you can find a sponsor under the TSS visa and the key issues that you should consider.

Overview of Process

Applying for the TSS visa is usually a three-stage process where the:

  1. employer applies to be a sponsor;
  2. employer nominates the applicant for a skilled occupation position; and
  3. applicant applies for the visa.

Can Your Proposed Employer Nominate You?

Before an employer can nominate you, they must apply to be an approved sponsor. There are three types of approved business sponsors:

Type of Sponsor Employer Profile
Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) When your proposed employer is based in Australia.
Overseas Business Sponsor (OBS)

When your employer is based overseas and wants you to work in Australia for a particular role.

Note: the employer can apply to be an SBS once an Australian branch of their business is established.

Accredited Business Sponsor (ABS) When your proposed employer is based in Australia, is already an approved SBS and meets the accreditation criteria.


Your employer will need to provide relevant documentation and evidence to support their application. These might include registration and financial documents.

Is Your Proposed Occupation on the Approved List?

To meet eligibility requirements for the TSS visa, your proposed occupation must be on the approved list under the relevant stream. This table provides an overview of the three streams under the TSS visa:

Stream Eligibility Stay Period Option for Permanent Residency? Eligible Occupations
Short-term Your proposed occupation must be on the short-term skilled occupation list (STSOL). Up to two years with a renewal option for a further two years. No. You should check the STSOL, which contains 215 eligible occupations.
Medium-term Your proposed occupation must be on the medium and long-term strategic skills list (MLTSSL) or regional occupation list (ROL). Up to four years. Yes (after three years). You should check the MLTSSL and ROL, which contain 293 eligible occupations combined.
Labour agreement Your proposed employer must have a current labour agreement with the Australian government. Up to four years. Yes. This stream is only used in exceptional circumstances where:

  • there is a proven labour need that the Australian labour market cannot meet; or
  • the standard visa options are not suitable.


Do You Have the Relevant Skills and Experience?

Once you have determined that your proposed occupation is eligible, you must also ensure that you have:

  • the required skills and qualifications for the nominated occupation; and
  • at least two years’ post-qualification work experience in the nominated occupation.

You must support these claims with documentation and evidence.

For example, you may need to provide your resume, work references and any appropriate certificates.

Depending on the occupation that you are applying for, you may also have to complete a formal skills assessment with the relevant skills assessing authority. You can check to see what skills and qualifications are required for your nominated occupation by searching the relevant Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) code.

For example, if your nominated occupation is ‘web developer’, you will find that this is on the STSOL with a corresponding ANZSCO code of 261212. The code outlines the skills and qualifications that you must have and the tasks that are usually performed within this role.

You will also need to demonstrate that you:

  • genuinely intend to stay in Australia temporarily and work in your nominated position;
  • meet English language requirements; and
  • meet health and character requirements.

How Do I Find an Employer to Sponsor Me?

If you believe that you may be eligible for the TSS visa, you will need to secure a job offer. To do this, you should consider the common pathways for finding employment, like:

  • applying online through employment websites in Australia, such as SEEK, LinkedIn, and Indeed;
  • applying through employment recruitment agencies; and
  • following up on any personal contacts or networks that you have in Australia.

When applying for a job, make sure that you have the relevant documents ready to support your application, such as a:

  • cover letter;
  • resume;
  • education transcript;
  • letter of recommendation; and
  • any certifications.

Sponsorship Considerations

When applying for the TSS visa, your proposed employer must demonstrate that the nominated occupation is genuine.

For example, a business cannot create a position merely to bring a family member to Australia or facilitate a migration pathway.

Further, there are serious consequences for those who offer or receive a benefit in exchange for sponsorship.

For example, this can occur where:

  • you provide the employer money in exchange for the sponsorship; or
  • your employer asks you for money in exchange for their sponsorship.

If you do this, your visa might be cancelled, and your employer might face significant court fines.

Key Takeaways

If you are a skilled worker looking to work in Australia, you may be eligible for the TSS visa. When checking your eligibility, ensure that:

  1. your proposed employer can nominate you;
  2. your proposed occupation is on the approved list; and
  3. you have the relevant skills, qualifications, and experience to meet the criteria under your selected nominated occupation.

When looking for a potential sponsor, you should consider the usual pathways for finding employment, like applying online or following up on personal contacts in Australia. If you have any questions about the TSS visa, contact LegalVision’s immigration lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.
Graci Chen

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