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Immigration Lawyers Melbourne

Sponsoring Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement Program in Australia

Sponsoring Skilled Refugees in Australia Labour Agreement program

August 2021

From 1 July 2021, the Australian Government in collaboration with Talent Beyond Boundaries, is piloting a program aimed at providing skilled refugees with a pathway to live and work in Australia. Under this pilot program, endorsed business sponsors will be able to utilise the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement program to sponsor skilled refugees to work in their business, on a temporary or permanent basis.

Over the next two years, this pilot program aims to give one hundred (100) skilled refugees the opportunity to move to Australia with their families, for work.

What visas can you apply for under the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement?

Under the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement, endorsed business sponsors can sponsor a skilled refugee or displaced person for a Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa, a Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Subclass 494) visa, and/or an Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa.

Does the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement provide a pathway to permanent residence?

The Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement provides skilled refugees with a pathway to permanent residence, through the Direct Entry stream of the permanent Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa, and presumably through the Labour Agreement stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa, the latter which is available to persons who have worked for their sponsoring employer for the requisite period of time on their Subclass 482 visa.

Persons who are granted Subclass 494 visas under the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement program are also able to transition to the permanent Skilled Regional (Subclass 191) visa, after three (3) years of living and working for their sponsoring employer in regional Australia, and having had a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold for at least three (3) years, while holding the Subclass 494 visa.

What occupations are there available under the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement?

There are 103 occupations available under the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement, as follows:

Accountant (General) (221111)
Aged and Disability Carer (423111)
Agricultural Consultant (234111)
Agricultural Engineer (233912)
Agricultural Scientist (234112)
Agricultural Technician (311111)
Anaesthetist (253211)
Art Director (Film, Television or Stage) (212311)
Building and Engineering Technicians NEC (312999)
Butcher or Smallgoods Maker (351211)
Camera Operator (Film, Television or Stage) (212311)
Carpenter (331212)
Chef (351311)
Child Care Centre Manager (134111)
Child Care Worker (421111)
Civil Engineer (233211)
Civil Engineering Draftsperson (312211)
Civil Engineering Technician (312212)
Computer Network and Systems Engineer (263111)
Construction Estimator (312114)
Construction Project Manager (133111)
Cook (351411)
Dairy Cattle Farmer (121313)
Dairy Cattle Farmer (Dairy Herd Manager) (121313)
Dental Technician (411213)
Dentist (252312)
Developer Programmer (261312)
Diesel Motor Mechanic (321212)
Electrical Controls Engineer / Electronics Engineer (233411)
Electrical Engineer (233311)
Electrical Engineer Draftsperson (312311)
Electrical Engineering Technician (312312)
Electrician (General) (341111)
Enrolled Nurse (411411)
Environmental Consultant (234312)
External Auditor (221213)
Film and Video Editor (212314)
Fitter (General) (322311)
Fitter and Turner (322312)
Fitter-Welder (323213)
Gardener (General) (362211)
General Clerk (599214)
General Medical Practitioner (253111)
Health Diagnostic and Promotion Professionals nec (251999)
Hospital Pharmacist (251511)
Hotel or Motel Manager (141311)
Hotel Service Manager (431411)
ICT Business Analyst (261111)
ICT Project Manager (135112)
ICT Systems Test Engineer (263213)
Industrial Engineer (233511)
Interior Designer (232511)
Internal Auditor (221214)
Law Clerk (599214)
Maintenance Planner (312911)
Management Accountant (221112)
Management Consultant (224711)
Marketing Specialist (225113)
Mechanical Engineer (233512)
Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson (312511)
Mechanical Engineering Technician (312512)
Medical Technicians nec (311299)
Metal Casting Trades Worker (322114)
Metal Fitters and Machinists NEC (323299)
Metal Machinist (First Class) (323214)
Mixed Crop Farmer (121216)
Motor Mechanic (General) (321211)
Nurse Practitioner (254411)
Nursing Support Worker (423312)
Occupational Health and Safety Adviser (251312)
Occupational Therapist (252411)
Optometrist (251411)
Payroll Clerk (551311)
Personal Care Assistant (423313)
Physiotherapist (252511)
Plumber (General) (334111)
Poultry Farmer (121351)
Procurement Manager (133612)
Production or Plant Engineer (233513)
Registered Nurse (Aged Care) 254412
Registered Nurse (Child and Family Health) (254413)
Registered Nurse (Community Health) (254414)
Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
Registered Nurse (Developmental Disability) (254416)
Registered Nurse (Disability and Rehabilitation) (254417)
Registered Nurse (Medical Practice) (254421)
Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
Registered Nurse (Surgical) (254424)
Registered Nurses NEC (254499)
Resident Medical Officer (253112)
Retail Pharmacist (251513)
Sheet Metal Trades Worker (322211)
Small Engine Mechanic (321214)
Software Engineer (261313)
Solicitor (271311)
Structural Engineer (233214)
Supply and Distribution Manager (133611)
Systems Administrator (262113)
Systems Analyst (261112)
Therapy Aide (423314)
Veterinarian (234711)

For assistance with your application, or to speak with one of our immigration lawyers, call (03) 9329 8744 or email us at

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

Skilled refugees who are sponsored under the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement have access to a number of concessions, including:

  • Waiver of skills assessment and minimum work experience requirements
  • Reduction of up to 10% of the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) for certain specified roles
  • Reduction of minimum English language requirements to a Functional English level
  • Waiver of labour market testing requirements
  • Increase in age requirements allowing sponsorship of people up to 50 years of age for the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) and the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Subclass 494) visas.

What else should I be aware of?

Talent Beyond Boundaries’ operations are currently limited to refugees and asylum seekers residing in Jordan and Lebanon, and they have hopes to expand across the region shortly. Refugees/asylum seekers in Jordan or Lebanon who are interested in international employment should sign up with Talent Beyond Boundaries by creating a profile on its Talent Catalog:

Employers who wish to sponsor a skilled refugee or displaced person under the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement must register their interest with Talent Beyond Boundaries, for endorsement. Talent Beyond Boundaries will then work with the endorsed business sponsor to identify potential candidates, and once a job offer has been made and accepted, the employer will need to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a company-specific labour agreement, prior to sponsoring the person for a skilled visa.

Applications lodged through the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement pilot program are given priority, and Talent Beyond Boundaries estimates that the immigration process will take approximately three (3) months.  

Under the current COVID-19 travel restrictions, skilled visa holders under the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement program will still need to apply for a travel exemption to travel to Australia, with the exception of permanent visa holders such as Subclass 186 visa holders

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

Phone Erskine Rodan & Associates
+61 3 9329 8744
Fax Erskine Rodan & Associates
+61 3 9328 4191
Email Erskine Rodan & Associates
Erskine Rodan & Associates
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