By King & Wood Malldsons

Can foreign workers be employed in Australia?

Australia’s migration system is geared towards enabling individuals with highly valued skills to work in Australia.

There are a number of pathways available to ensure that businesses have the right expertise from around the world. These pathways fit into three different visa classes.

Short stay visas

A range of short stay visas enable individuals to come to Australia for limited work-related purposes. Depending on certain criteria, individuals can obtain short term visas to attend business visitor activities in Australia. There are also visas that assist individuals performing temporary activities in Australia (work or culturally related).

Temporary working visas

An array of temporary work visas exist to assist skilled individuals work in Australia. Skilled individuals may obtain a temporary working visa either as a sponsored employee or on an independent skilled basis. One of the most popular visa classes (the 457 visa or temporary skills shortage visa) requires a valid sponsor to nominate a position which is on the list of skilled occupations, to be filled by a specific skilled individual.

Permanent working visas

Australia’s permanent visas linked to work can be divided into two types: first, skilled permanent work visas which flow from skilled individuals having first held temporary working visas; and second, visas that have been specifically designed to attract distinguished skilled individuals and investors to Australia.

Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection: