A federal government scheme to expedite work visas is being expanded with more businesses being invited to participate in it. Under the scheme, skilled visas are approved in five business days.
The Federal Government is expanding a scheme under which skilled visas are processed much faster, by including businesses that have made major investments in Australia – a move the government claims will benefit businesses and the economy.
The Accredited Sponsor Scheme, under which Temporary Skills Shortage visas are processed within five business days compared to an average 42 days for other TSS applicants, will be expanded to include more businesses that have invested at least $50 million in the Australian operations in the last five years.
The investment must have directly created Australian jobs or generated export activity.
The scheme currently has 900 businesses and government organisations. The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman says this number is expected to grow to 2,500 by the end of the year.
“Extending the scheme to reputable businesses that have invested $50 million in Australia will ensure those businesses can access the skilled workers they need, and they can continue to contribute to the economy through further investment, job creation and innovation,” Mr Coleman said.
“I have also instructed the Department to establish a new dedicated team to proactively identify and invite eligible employers to join the Scheme,” Mr Coleman added.
He says this will create “more certainty and confidence” for businesses that they will have the required workers necessary to their operations.
In order to participate in the scheme and become an accredited sponsor, businesses must be able to demonstrate an unblemished track record of compliance with the migration and employment laws.
Before the businesses can sponsor workers from overseas, they will be required to demonstrate that they couldn’t source workers from within Australia, by way of labour market testing.
“Our first priority must always be to fill available jobs with Australian workers,” Mr Coleman said.
“However, where skills are unavailable in Australia, we must ensure businesses can access the global pool of skilled workers so they can continue to thrive and generate the best economic contribution for Australia.”
Visa nominees must meet security and character and health requirements, besides under the TSS, receiving a minimum annual salary of $53,900 once they start working for their sponsoring employer.