The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa allows employers to sponsor overseas workers to live and work in Australia on a temporary basis. The visa is designed to assist employers who are unable to meet their skilled Australian workforce needs from the local labour market. This visa is valid for a maximum of either two or four years, depending upon the nature of the skilled position. The minimum requirements for the visa are as follows:



The business seeking to employ you must:

  • be actively and lawfully operating in Australia, and meet the required benchmarks for training its Australian employees (or, if it is less than 12 months old, have a plan to meet those benchmarks)


  • be actively and lawfully operating overseas (not in Australia), and be bringing you to Australia either to establish a business operation, or to fulfil contractual obligations

NOTE: To meet the required training benchmarks, during the 12 months before lodging the application (or alternatively, during the most recent financial year) the business must have spent the equivalent of at least 1% of its payroll on training its Australian employees OR contributed the equivalent of at least 2% of its payroll to an industry training fund.

Nominated Position

The position to be filled must:

  • be a genuine position within the business
  • be included:
  • as an eligible occupation on the current Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), which allows for a four-year term of employment OR
  • on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), which allows for a two-year term of employment

NOTE: certain occupations on these lists will be subject to additional requirements (e.g. work experience, regional location, type of business operated by sponsor). Please contact us for further details based on your particular circumstances.

  • have a base salary of more than $53,900 per year

be subject to terms and conditions of employment (which includes the wage/salary) that are no worse than those provided to Australians working in the same occupation for the business (or in the same local area, if there are no equivalent positions with the business)

Visa Applicant

As the visa applicant, you must (unless a specific exemption applies in any case):

  • have the required level of English proficiencye.
  • an IELTS overall test score of at least 5.0 (with a minimum of 4.5 in EACH test component) OR
  • an OET test score of at least B in EACH test component OR
  • a TOEFL iBT overall test score of at least 36 (with a minimum of 3 for listening, 3 for reading, 12 for writing and 12 for speaking) OR
  • a PTE overall test score of at least 36(with a minimum of 30 in EACH test component) OR
  • a CAE test score of at least 154 (with a minimum of 147 in EACH test component)

NOTE: In each case, the test must have been undertaken within the last three years (with the exception of the CAE test, which must be dated on or after 1 January 2015)

  • have skills (qualifications and/or work experience) that match those required for the nominated position. Depending upon your circumstances, you may also be required to undertake a qualification and/or skills assessment to determine your eligibility
  • meet any mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership requirements

have made adequate arrangements for health insurance during your stay in Australia.


Stage 1: Sponsorship Application   

This application is lodged with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on behalf of your employer. The main criterion is that the business meets the requirements referred to above. During the sponsorship period (generally five years following approval), the business is able to nominate overseas workers for Temporary Work (Skilled) visas.

Stage 2: Nomination Application

The nomination application is lodged with the DIBP on behalf of the employer, either at the same time as the sponsorship application, or within the sponsorship validity period. The main criterion is that the nomination meets the requirements listed above. An Australian employer must show that the position is within its business or an associated entity. An overseas employer may only employ nominees within its business.

Stage 3: Visa Application

Your visa application is lodged with the DIBP either at the same time as the nomination application, or before the nomination expires (generally within 12 months of approval). The main criterion is that you fulfil the above requirements, along with the standard health and character checks.

Once the DIBP has approved all three applications, you will be granted a temporary visa. You may be in Australia or outside Australia when your visa is granted. Your visa will be valid for up to two or four years, depending upon the nature of your position and your employer’s requirements.

PLEASE NOTE: We estimate that it may take several weeks to prepare and lodge your application, with the time taken largely dependent on how promptly you (and your sponsor, if applicable) provide us with the necessary supporting information and documents.

The time that it takes the DIBP to process your application is dependent upon its processing time service standards, and may also vary due to a number of other factors, including the complexity of your case, perceived risk factors and processing priorities. Please contact us for current information regarding likely processing timeframes for this type of application.


Businesses who are approved to sponsor overseas workers for Temporary Work (Skilled) visas must comply with certain obligations imposed by the DIBP. These obligations are designed to protect overseas workers from exploitation, and to ensure that the visa program is used correctly.

In particular, please note that after being approved as a sponsor, an employer must not attempt to recover any of the costs associated with applying for sponsorship (including migration agent costs), or any costs directly associated with recruiting overseas workers for nominated positions. Businesses may however be able to recover GST and/or claim a tax deduction for payment of fees and costs associated with applying for sponsorship, and we recommend that independent tax advice is sought in this regard if relevant.

Please book consultation with our registered migration agent for further information, including a full list of sponsorship obligations, visa application requirements and eligibility assessment.