By Albert Fang, Migration Manager 

The excitement surrounding the opening of Australia’s international borders early next year isn’t only being felt by those needing a holiday but also by Australian employers who are competing fiercely for onshore talent in an increasingly tight market. The recruitment market has rarely been as competitive as it is now, with businesses preparing for a new beginning in a post-pandemic world.

With businesses unable to fill jobs that once attracted overseas skilled migrants, they’re now turning to onshore talent. So what happens if you find the perfect fit but the candidate has an existing sponsorship? In this article, I explain  the five essential steps that businesses must follow to ensure they complete the process of taking over an existing sponsorship lawfully.

These steps are a timely reminder that the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa is relatively portable meaning many businesses are looking inwardly for existing TSS visa holders to fill their vacancies. Given the risks and timing considerations to taking over sponsorship, the following five steps must be done with great care and diligence:

Step 1: Searching for the right fit

Before posting advertisements for a vacant position, always assume that there’s a possibility that the business will receive interest from a candidate who’s already sponsored under an employer-sponsored temporary visa. This means you should be running your hiring campaign in a manner that’s compliant with the Labour Market Testing (LMT) regime. Unless exempt, this will necessarily require advertising on at least three platforms including a mandatory one on the Commonwealth Government’s JobActive website.

If you need some more information on LMT, you’re in luck! Get your FREE best-practice LMT guide from our Smart Visa team today – just get in touch with the FCB Smart Visa team.

Step 2: Conduct a standard candidate interview process

Like every recruitment process, you need to go through the standard candidate screening and interview process and conduct a right to work check. Verifying and confirming the immigration status of the expatriate candidate you’ve shortlisted can be done using FCB Smart Visa Check or VEVO through the Department of Home Affairs.

Step 3: Confirm visa validity

Obtain a copy of the candidate’s current TSS visa grant letter to confirm the balance of the existing visa validity, as well as determine the visa holder’s nominated occupation.

Step 4: Negotiate terms

  • If the LMT adverts have already been running for at least 28 days, a Letter of Offer can be executed and used for the TSS Nomination application.
  • If the LMT adverts are still within the 28-day period, you can still settle on terms, but the Letter of Offer to secure the candidate should only be executed afterthe 28-day advertising period has lapsed.
  • Be careful if you seek to incorporate a bond to recover costs – seek advice as to what is, and what isn’t lawfully recoverable if a candidate leaves pre-term.

Step 5: Acceptance

If the transfer is based on the candidate’s current sponsored occupation, they’ll be able to commence work for you when the new TSS Nomination is approved (i.e., no associated visa application is required to be lodged or granted until closer to their current visa expiry).

On a final note, although your business may have technically taken over the sponsorship of the candidate, they’re lawfully able to serve out any remaining notice period they may have with the outbound sponsor. To minimise the risk of delays (or refusal), businesses are encouraged to seek qualified assistance to manage the transfer process.

If you have any questions about the TSS visa or the process of transferring sponsorships, please reach out to our FCB Smart Visa team.

FCB Smart Visa Check is a cost-effective software solution powered by vSure, that can verify and confirm the visas status of thousands of workers in a matter of seconds.

Albert Fang has been a Migration Agent with FCB Smart Visa since 2018. He has extensive experience in assisting successful entrepreneurs and executives to obtain Australian visas and permanent residence status through employer-sponsored and business migration channels. He has 10 years’ experience in professional services and is particularly skilled in assisting both individual and large corporate clients to achieve positive migration. outcomes.