Recruitment Insights: The Reality Of Sponsorship In Australia for Civil Engineers


migration, recruitment, recruitment insights, Skilled Independent Visas, skilled migrants, sponsorship, TSS,


The number one question ConsultANZ Recruiters get from international engineering candidates is the possibility of being sponsored to work in Australia.

Unfortunately, getting a sponsorship job offer is not as simple as sending us a CV, even if it is an excellent one! Although Australia is suffering from engineering skills shortages and many companies are open to hiring international talent, Candidates who have successfully obtained their own full working visa (such as a Working Holiday Visa, Skilled Graduate Visa, Work and Holiday Visa, Skilled Independent Visa) are given a preference in the hiring process.

Why aren’t the employers more willing to sponsor international Engineering professionals?

Securing a sponsorship job in Australia can be challenging for several reasons. These complexities arise from both the regulatory environment and the practical considerations of employers. Here are some key factors that contribute to the difficulty:

  1. Stringent Immigration Policies: Australia has rigorous immigration laws and policies. The process for sponsoring an overseas employee involves various stages of approval, compliance with strict visa requirements, and proving that the job cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  2. Cost and Resource Implications for Employers: Sponsoring an overseas employee can be expensive and resource-intensive for employers. It involves not only visa application fees but also additional costs like legal fees, training levies, and sometimes salary thresholds that must be met.
  3. Labour Market Testing: Employers are often required to demonstrate that they have tested the local labour market and were unable to find a suitable Australian candidate before they can sponsor someone from overseas. This process can be time-consuming and complex.
  4. Skills and Occupation Lists: Australia maintains lists of skilled occupations that are eligible for sponsorship. If a candidate’s occupation is not on the list, obtaining sponsorship becomes significantly more difficult.
  5. Economic and Market Conditions: Economic factors and job market conditions significantly influence the availability of sponsorship opportunities. In times of economic downturn or high local unemployment, the focus on hiring local talent increases, reducing the opportunities for overseas candidates.
  6. Preference for Local Experience: Some Australian employers prefer candidates with local work experience and familiarity with the Australian work environment, making it more challenging for overseas applicants to compete.
  7. Competition: There is often high competition for sponsorship positions, particularly in popular and highly skilled professions. Overseas candidates must not only be qualified but also stand out among both local and international applicants.
  8. Regulatory Changes: Immigration policies and sponsorship regulations can change, sometimes making the process more restrictive or altering the list of eligible occupations.
  9. Complex Application Process: The visa application process can be complex and daunting, requiring careful documentation, adherence to strict criteria, and often lengthy processing times.
  10. Cultural and Language Barriers: For some candidates, cultural and language differences can pose additional challenges in both securing and adapting to a sponsored role in Australia.

Sponsoring an employee has always been a lengthy, costly and complicated process for employers. Also, there are too many candidates potentially interested in relocating, but then not going through with it.

What is the solution?

If you are seriously considering moving to Australia to work as an engineering or construction professional, obtaining a visa that gives you full working rights is a priority. There are many types of visas you might be eligible for depending on your country of origin, age, experience, education, etc.  You can explore visa options here:

Are there any sponsorship options at all?

The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa program came into effect on 18 March 2018, at
which time the Temporary (Work) Skilled (subclass 457) visa program ceased for new applications.

This visa enables employers to address labour shortages by bringing in skilled workers where employers can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker. An employer must be an approved sponsor or have at least lodged an application to become a Standard Business Sponsor to be able to lodge a nomination application for a Candidate they want to bring over.

To find out more click here

Can ConsultANZ offer a sponsorship?

ConsultANZ has a small number of clients who are an approved Sponsor and therefore can bring selected Candidates from overseas. However, the majority of our Clients require Candidates to have their own full working visa.

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