Australian companies that require overseas talent for their businesses are currently facing the headache of long processing times for Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage Visas, with the average processing time being 8-15 months. And while the new immigration minister, Andrew Giles has promised to address these delays, the $875m cut to the Home Affairs’ migration budget would suggest otherwise.

This means that for the foreseeable future, visa processing times are unlikely to significantly decrease, leaving Australian companies in the difficult position of waiting many months for employees to begin working in Australia, placing significant stress on the processes and existing employees of the company.

One commercial strategy that the migration team at Snedden Hall and Gallop has been considering is for prospective employees to enter Australia on a Business Visitor visa (Subclass 600), and to apply for the Subclass 482 visa onshore.

While a Visitor visa generally means that the prospective employee would not be able to work for 3 months, on a Business Visitor visa, the prospective employee could still ‘investigate, negotiate, and review business contracts’ (without actually doing the job for which they have been hired). It does also mean that once those 3 months end, the employee would automatically be transferred to a Bridging Visa A, affording them full working rights until their Subclass 482 visa is processed.

This strategy carries the obvious cost of effectively paying for your employee not to work for 3 months. However, if an employee is required to work urgently, this option may be preferable to the risk of applying for the visa offshore, and possibly waiting over 15 months for the visa to be processed.

Whether this strategy is right for your business will depend on your company’s individual circumstances and the urgency with which you require your employees to begin work. We would be happy to chat to discuss the best option for you and your business.

How Can We Help?

Snedden Hall & Gallop have extensive experience advising visa holders about their rights and responsibilities in Australia. If overseas employees are needed urgently for your business and you would like to explore this strategy further, please contact our Migration Team on 02 6285 8000 or by email and we would be happy to assist.