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Labour agreements: Sponsoring skilled employees to work in Australia

labour agreements sponsoring skilled employees to work in australia immigration lawyers

October 2021

Spotlight: On-hire Industry Labour Agreement

Under the Temporary Skill Shortage visa program, businesses generally cannot sponsor an overseas skilled worker for the purpose of providing on-hire services to third parties, as a nominated overseas skilled worker must be employed to work in a position in the sponsor’s business. Similarly, a sponsoring business cannot nominate a position that is for on-hire purposes under the Employer Nomination Scheme visa program, as the nominated position must be under the sponsoring employer’s direction and control.

The On-hire Industry Labour Agreement is a work agreement between businesses and the Department of Home Affairs, allowing businesses to sponsor skilled overseas workers who can be assigned to work for a third party, with the business still remaining the direct employer.

Once executed, the On-hire Industry Labour Agreement will be valid for a period of five (5) years, during which the approved businesses can sponsor a specified number of overseas workers for temporary visas, in accordance with the nomination ceiling (“ceiling numbers”) determined in the Agreement. An application to vary these ceiling numbers can be made to the Department of Home Affairs where there is a business case which supports this.

What visas can you apply for under the On-hire Industry Labour Agreement?

Under the On-hire Industry Labour Agreement, approved businesses are able to sponsor skilled overseas workers for a Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa, for up to four (4) years.

Does the On-hire Industry Labour Agreement provide a pathway to permanent residence?

The On-hire Industry Labour Agreement does not provide skilled overseas workers with a pathway to permanent residence.

What occupations are there available under the On-hire Industry Labour Agreement, and what qualifications and work experience do I need?

Skilled overseas workers can be sponsored in any occupation available for the Subclass 482 visa programme, under the current legislative instrument, subject to any relevant caveats for the nominated occupation.

Skilled overseas workers must have at least two (2) years of work experience in the nominated occupation, in addition to the qualification and experience requirements as outlined in ANZSCO.

Are there any concessions available in relation to salary requirements, English language requirements and/or age requirements?

Under the On-hire Industry Labour Agreement, Skilled overseas workers must be employed on a full-time basis, paid by the sponsoring employer and not the third party, and their annual earnings for a standard 38-hour work week must not be less than AUD 65,000. A skilled overseas worker’s proposed annual earnings also cannot be less than what the equivalent Australian worker at the same location is being/ would be paid.

Under the On-hire Industry Labour Agreement, skilled overseas workers must also be able to demonstrate an overall IELTS band score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the test components, or equivalent. The usual English language exemptions would apply to Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and United States of America passport holders, as well as where a skilled overseas worker can demonstrate completion of at least five (5) years of full-time study in a secondary education institution or higher education institution, where the instruction was delivered in English.

Under the standard employer sponsored visa programs, there is no age requirement for the Subclass 482 visa program.

What else should I be aware of?

The processing and execution of Labour Agreement requests can often be a lengthy and complicated process. As such, a Labour Agreement request and the associated nomination and visa applications should be lodged in a timely and complete manner, so as to avoid processing delays caused by poorly documented applications.

View Link: Sponsoring Skilled Workers in Australia

To speak with an experienced, specialist immigration lawyer regarding your Australian visa application or options, please contact us on +61 3 9329 8744 or by email at

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