When it comes to employer sponsorship for international professionals working in Australia, understanding which visa to use and why is a crucial aspect for all employers looking to grow their teams. As a migration strategy agency, our role is first to seek to understand your organisation, how it works, and the roles needed in each location. We can then come up with a strategy and clear pathway to follow that provides a win-win for both the company and your international team member.

Australia’s migration system allows for companies to sponsor people from overseas to work in Australia for between five years depending on the visa and occupation. However having a clear plan for both you and your new team member, is the key to success and longevity in the role.

Which visa and why?

Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa

The most common Visa in the Employer-Sponsored migration program is the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 Visa. Depending on your occupation, this visa allows a team member to stay in Australia for a period of two years (short-term list) or four years (long-term list).  With occupations on the long-term list providing a pathway to permanent residency after three years. Unfortunately, under the 482 program, there are a lot of occupations that don’t qualify for the pathway to residency.

In order to qualify for this reason, the team member would need to have a qualification and a minimum of two years of full-time experience in the occupation. If they don’t hold the relevant qualification then three or five years of experience may be required.

Subclass 494 Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (SESR) Visa

he Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional 494 Visa was introduced in 2019. The benefit of this Visa is it provides a wider variety of occupations and the ability to be sponsored on to a five-year visa that will enable the individual to the pathway to permanent residency after working for the company for three years full time.

This visa is open to any organisation that has an office outside of Sydney Brisbane or Melbourne and can provide a strong win-win scenario for companies hiring and retaining team members (3+ year tenure) along with a win for the team member with a secure pathway to residency

Subclass 186 – Employer Nominated Stream (ENS) Visa

The 186 Employer Nominated Stream (ENS) visa is a permanent residency visa. This means, when granted, the candidate has permanent residency and is no longer bound to the organisation.

There are 2 streams for this visa:

1. Temporary Transition Stream: this is for candidates who have worked for 3 years on a 482 (TSS) visa and can transition to permanent residency through 186 sponsorship.

2. Direct Entry Stream: this is for candidates who are sponsored directly for permanent residency. They may or may not work for the company prior to this sponsorship.

This visa is predominately used for 482 visa holders whom Accor wants to transition to permanent residency and can be used in non-regional areas (i.e. Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne).


At  EMSA we are specialists in helping the companies we work with find the best strategy to suit their needs along with communicating this to their team members.

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