How to get employer sponsorship for 494, 186, and 482 Visas


How to get employer sponsorship

Securing an employer sponsorship for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) 482 visa, Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) 494 visa, and Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 visa is a three-stage process.

This guide provides detailed explanations of the process for both employers and nominees, including work experience requirements and nomination fees.

Step 1: Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS)

What is SBS? The first step for employers is to become an approved Standard Business Sponsor (SBS).

This approval is valid for five years and allows the business to nominate skilled workers for visas.

We have a detailed article on how to get a SBS approval.

Requirements for SBS

  • Legally Operating Business-The employer must prove that their business is legally established and actively operating in Australia. This involves having a valid ABN or ACN and being registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).​The business should be actively engaged in business activities and must not have any adverse information against it by the Department of Home Affairs, such as sanctions or compliance issues.
  • Good Business Record-The business should maintain a good record without any sanctions or bars by the Department of Home Affairs. This ensures the legitimacy and credibility of the sponsoring business.

Step 2: Nomination

Nominating the Position

  • Eligible Occupation-The position must be listed on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). This list ensures that the occupation is recognized as needed in Australia. Different visa subclasses may have specific occupation lists.
  • Genuine Need of Position-Employers must demonstrate a genuine need for the position within their business. This can be shown through business activities, contracts, and organizational charts. They must provide evidence such as financial statements, business contracts, and organizational charts to show the necessity of the role​. You also must write a genuine position statement.
  • Market Salary Rate-The salary offered to the nominee must be at the market rate, ensuring the nominee receives the same remuneration as an equivalent Australian worker. Employers need to provide documentation that supports the salary rate, such as industry salary surveys or payroll records. We have detailed blog on how to write a salary justification report.

Labour Market Testing (LMT)

  • Proving Local Shortage-Employers must advertise the position to show that they could not find a suitable Australian candidate. This involves posting job advertisements and providing evidence of these efforts, such as screenshots and detailed information about the job ads placed​. Please read our blog on how to do a labour market testing.

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)

What is TSMIT? The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) is the minimum salary that must be paid to a skilled worker under the employer-sponsored visa programs.

This threshold ensures that visa holders earn enough to support themselves and maintain a reasonable standard of living in Australia.


  • As of the latest update, the TSMIT is set at AUD 70,000 per annum​ which is increasing to $73,150 per annum from 1st July 2024.
  • This amount is reviewed regularly and may be adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of living and other economic factors.

Employment Contract

  • Terms and Conditions-The employment contract must clearly outline the job terms, including duration, salary, and conditions. The terms should be equivalent to those offered to local workers. This includes detailing the job responsibilities, salary package, and working conditions in the contract​.

Step 3: Visa Application

Once the nomination is approved, the nominee can apply for their visa.

Requirements for Nominees

  • Age-Generally, nominees must be under 45 years old. However, there can be exceptions for certain high-skill positions or if the nominee is already working in Australia under another visa subclass​.
  • Skills and Qualifications-Nominees must have relevant skills and qualifications for the position. This includes having their skills assessed by a recognized authority, holding necessary qualifications, and having sufficient work experience in the nominated occupation​.
  • English Proficiency-Functional English is required, though Competent English proficiency may be needed for 186 and 494 visa. Nominees may need to provide evidence of their English language ability through tests such as IELTS or equivalent​. 482 visa require IELTS 5.0 bands or equivalent whereas 186 visa and 494 visas require IELTS 6.0 bands or equivalent.
  • Health and Character-Nominees must meet health and character requirements as stipulated by Australian immigration authorities. This involves undergoing medical examinations and providing police clearance certificates​.

Work Experience Requirements

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa 482

  • Work Experience- Applicants must have at least two years of relevant work experience in their nominated occupation. This experience should be recent and relevant to the job duties they will perform in Australia​.
  • Duration- Typically 1 to 4 years.
  • Streams- Short-Term, Medium-Term, and Labour Agreement streams, depending on the occupation and employer’s needs​.

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa 494

  • Work Experience- At least three years of relevant full-time work experience is required. The experience must be in the nominated occupation or a closely related field​​.
  • Duration- Up to 5 years, with a pathway to permanent residency after 3 years of working in a regional area
  • Requirements- The nominee must work in a designated regional area, and the position must be full-time. This visa aims to address skill shortages in regional Australia​​.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa 186

  • Work Experience- For the Direct Entry stream, applicants must have at least three years of relevant work experience. The experience must be in the nominated occupation and be highly relevant to the duties they will perform​.
  • Permanent Residency- This visa offers a direct pathway to permanent residency.
  • Streams- Direct Entry, Labour Agreements, and Temporary Residence Transition, each with specific criteria based on the nominee’s current visa status and work history​​.

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy

What is the SAF Levy? The SAF Levy is a mandatory payment made by employers when nominating a position. This fund supports the training and upskilling of Australian workers.

SAF Levy Payment

Visa SubclassBusiness SizeSAF Levy Payment
TSS 482Small Business (annual turnover less than $10 million)AUD 1,200 per year per nominee
TSS 482Large Business (annual turnover of $10 million or more)AUD 1,800 per year per nominee
ENS 186Small Business (annual turnover less than $10 million)AUD 3,000 one-time payment
ENS 186Large Business (annual turnover of $10 million or more)AUD 5,000 one-time payment
SESR 494Small Business (annual turnover less than $10 million)AUD 3,000 one-time payment
SESR 494Large Business (annual turnover of $10 million or more)AUD 5,000 one-time payment

Employer Nomination application fees

Visa SubclassNomination Fee
TSS 482AUD 330
ENS 186AUD 540
SESR 494AUD 540


Employer Documents- Proof of business operations, financial viability, and genuine need for the position. This includes business registration documents, financial statements, and proof of business activities​​.

Nominee Documents- Proof of identity, skills assessment, qualifications, employment history, and English language proficiency. Nominees may also need to provide evidence of their health and character status​.


Navigating the employer nomination process for the 494, 186, and 482 visas requires thorough preparation and understanding of both employer and nominee requirements.

By following these steps and ensuring all criteria are met, employers can successfully sponsor skilled workers to help meet their business needs while supporting Australia’s economic growth.

Why Use Ultimate Migration?

At Ultimate Migration, a renowned migration firm based in Perth, we offer comprehensive services to guide both employers and nominees through the complex visa nomination process.

Our expertise ensures that all legal requirements are met efficiently, reducing the risk of application delays or rejections.

With a team of experienced migration agents, we provide personalized support, ensuring that each case is handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

Our proven track record and in-depth knowledge of Australian immigration laws make us a trusted partner for anyone navigating the employer-sponsored visa process.

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