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The Reality of Sponsorship in Australia

One question our international candidates often ask our Global Opportunities team is if our clients are willing to sponsor their Australian work visa? Since changes in the 457 visa scheme were introduced in 2013, which include labour market testing and higher application fees, sponsorship opportunities have definitely decreased. In addition, the strong employer’s market over the past two years means there has been a lot of local talent to choose from, so there is no reason to sponsor an overseas candidate.

However, 2015 could be the year where we see employment sponsorship make a come-back. As most of the changes imposed on the 457 visa have now been lifted as the market improves, our consultants across various disciplines in Australia are requesting us to locate offshore candidates for specific client needs. To secure that ideal candidate coming from overseas, some employers are more than willing to sponsor them. Across Australia at the moment, there are certain “windows” of skills shortages opening up in areas including digital marketing, e-commerce, FMCG, buying and merchandising and senior-level opportunities across sectors where employers are open to hiring international talent. For other candidates, getting sponsored is easier after taking on an initial contract role when they first arrive Australia. A contract position allows overseas candidates to gain local experience and prove themselves in the role and company. We see a lot of candidates coming to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, working their first six months with an employer and then getting sponsored by that employer.

Yet it is not as simple as sending a CV to a recruiter in the hope that they will find you a job as well as a visa! Generally, it is easier for us to assist international candidates once they have already obtained a work visa and ideally have a confirmed arrival date in Australia. Without these two key requirements there are simply too many candidates to compete with in the current market. If obtaining a visa prior to relocating is too hard, the next best option is to request an international transfer with a company that has offices in Australia. This is definitely a good way to get a foot in the Australian market and also have all your visa administration handled by the internal HR team. Also, candidates can look out for sponsorship opportunities our consultants advertise directly through our UK and other international PageGroup websites.

For information regarding ways to obtain a working or residency visa for Australia, please visit or contact the nearest Australian High Commission or an immigration consulting firm in your home country. Please note that PageGroup is not able to assist in any way with immigration advice, sponsorship or visa applications.

If you, a friend or a colleague have a work visa and relocation plans already in place and need assistance with job searching, please get in touch with our Global Opportunities team in Australia by visiting our website and emailing us at [email protected]