Accredited Sponsorship status is granted to those employers who meet specific criteria set out by the Department of Home Affairs (Department). Accredited Sponsors receive preferential treatment from the Department resulting in faster turn-around times and less scrutinised applications. Read more below to determine whether your organisation can meet the necessary criteria.

What does sponsorship accreditation grant an employer?

There are substantial benefits for Accredited Sponsorship including:

  1. sponsorship is valid for six years (instead of standard 5 years);
  2. sponsors will receive priority processing of all nomination and visa applications;
  3. sponsors, afforded Accredited Sponsorship status on or after 1 July 2016, also receive streamlined processing of certain low-risk nominations – with certain nomination provisions able to be satisfied on the basis of a certification on the nomination form, in conjunction with additional documentation and information collected “upfront” as part of the sponsorship application/accreditation approval process; and
  4. applicants who are nominated by an Accredited Sponsor, are no longer required to obtain police certificates from countries (other than Australia)provided they attach a written reference from their Accredited Sponsor confirming that they are of good character and have not been convicted of any criminal offences.

So, what are the requirements for Accredited Sponsorship?

To be approved for Accredited Sponsorship status, an employer must meet standard sponsorship requirements, as well as the additional characteristics for one of the four categories listed below at the time of application:

 
Requirements
Evidence required
Category 1
Commonwealth State and territory government agencies

 

(1) Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia

No additional evidence required.

 

Category 2
Australian Trusted Traders

(1) Have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia

No additional evidence required.

(2) Engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (NES) (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement)

A copy of a template employment contract used for this purpose.

 

 

(3) Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business

 

A copy of the Enterprise Agreement or internal salary table must be provided, as well as description of how the business used the evidence to determine that the salary rates contained in the document reflect the current market salary rates for occupations in their business (for example: Awards, remuneration surveys, job advertisements, the Job Outlook)

Category 3
Low volume usage and high percentage of Australian workers (at least 85%)

 

 

(1) Have Australian workers comprise at least 85% of their workforce in Australia

No additional evidence required.

 

(2) Not be a sole trader or a partnership

No additional evidence required.

 

 

(3) Have an annual turnover of at least AUD4M for the last two years

No additional evidence required.

 

(4) Have been a standard business sponsor for at least one year

No additional evidence required.

(5) Have nominations approved for at least one primary TSS or subclass 457 visa holder in the last year

No additional evidence required.

(6) Have a nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for the last year

No additional evidence required.

(7) Have no adverse monitoring outcomes

No additional evidence required.

(8) Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates

 

A copy of the Enterprise Agreement or internal salary table must be provided, as well as description of how the business used the evidence to determine that the salary rates contained in the document reflect the current market salary rates for occupations in their business (for example: Awards, remuneration surveys, job advertisements, the Job Outlook)

(9) Engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract that meets NES where they apply

Copy of a template employment contract used for this purpose.

Category 4
High volume usage and medium percentage of Australian workers (at least 75%)

(1) Have Australian workers comprise at least 75% of their workforce in Australia

No additional evidence required.

(2) Not be a sole trader or a partnership

No additional evidence required.

(3) Have an annual turnover of at least AUD4M for the last two years

No additional evidence required.

(4) Have been a standard business sponsor for at least two years

No additional evidence required.

(5) Have nominations approved for at least 10 TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders in the last two years

No additional evidence required.

(6) Have a nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for the last two years

No additional evidence required.

(7) Have no adverse monitoring outcomes

No additional evidence required.

(8) Have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates

A copy of the Enterprise Agreement or internal salary table must be provided, as well as description of how the business used the evidence to determine that the salary rates contained in the document reflect the current market salary rates for occupations in their business (for example: Awards, remuneration surveys, job advertisements, the Job Outlook)

(9) Engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract that meets NES where they apply

A copy of a template employment contract used for this purpose.

How to apply for sponsorship accreditation?

An employer can apply to become an Accredited Sponsor as part of their application to become a standard business sponsor or to renew their sponsorship. A business can apply for Accredited Sponsorship at any time and does not have to wait until expiry of their existing sponsorship.

Can sponsorship be lost?

Yes. Accredited Sponsorship status can be revoked if an employer no longer meets the required characteristics for accreditation. Where this occurs, an employer will no longer be eligible to access the benefits mentioned above. Approval as a standard business sponsor will, however, remain in place until it expires.

Sponsorship Accreditation may also be revoked if:

  • an employer has provided an employee (or their dependants) a reference confirming that they are of good character and have not been convicted of any criminal offences for the purposes of not undertaking any police clearances from countries other than Australia; and
  • the employee (or their dependants) are subsequently found to fail the character test.

Recommendations

Given the significant delays experienced during visa processing across the board in Australia, any organisation eligible for accredited sponsorship should immediately consider eligibility to take advantage of the priority and streamline processing services will be of significant benefit.

Should any organisation wish to consider their eligibility for Accredited Sponsorship, please contact us directly on (+61 3 9016 0484) or by mail ([email protected]).

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