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How to Become a Standard Business Sponsor in Australia

In this article, we will explain how to become a Standard Business Sponsor in Australia, including the application process, the processing times, fees, and the documents required for the application process.

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Having the ability to sponsor overseas nationals is an invaluable tool for businesses when there is a lack of domestic workers with suitable skills. Despite its vast size, with a population of just over 25 million people, Australia is reliant on migrant workers to fill skilled roles and occupations for which there is a shortage of suitable candidates. Not all businesses in Australia can sponsor overseas workers, however. Before being able to recruit from overseas, businesses first need to be added to the list of Australian companies willing to sponsor. In this article, we will explain how to become a Standard Business Sponsor in Australia, including the application process, the processing times, fees, and the documents which must be provided.

What Is A Standard Business Sponsor In Australia?

Businesses given the status of a Standard Business Sponsor by the Australian Government can nominate and sponsor staff from overseas in skilled occupations. Standard Business Sponsors can nominate overseas staff through visa schemes such as the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) and the Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494).

How Long Does A Standard Business Sponsorship Last?

Standard Business Sponsor status is typically granted for a period of five years, after which it must be renewed.

Standard Business Sponsorship Application Process

To apply for a Standard Business Sponsor status, you will first need to gather the necessary documents to prove you have a legally established business and that it is currently operational (see the list of documents below). The next stage is to complete the online application process on the Department of Home Affairs website, as follows:

  • Log in or create an ImmiAccount
  • Complete Standard Business Sponsorship form (482, 494)
  • Attach documents
  • Pay the sponsorship application fee.
  • Note the Transaction Reference Number (TRN).

What Documents Do I Need For Sponsorship?

To show you have a legally established business, you will need to upload the following with your online application (the exact documents you need to provide depends on the type of business):

  • an Australian Business Number (ABN) registration certificate if you are an Australia-based employer
  • an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) registration certificate if you are an overseas business registered to operate in Australia
  • evidence of registration in the country you operate in if you do not currently operate in Australia
  • copy of the Business Names Details extracts from Australian Securities and Investment Commission's (ASIC) business name register.
  • an Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) company extract (listing registration details for the Australian Company Number)
  • an Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listing registration (if applicable)
  • a trust arrangement
  • franchise agreement
  • joint venture arrangement

You will also need to provide documentation to prove the business is operational:

  • profit and loss statements
  • annual report for the most recently concluded financial year
  • tax returns for the most recently concluded financial year
  • recent business activity statements (BAS)
  • recent bank statements
  • contracts to provide services to the business
  • business bank statements covering the period of operation
  • contract of sale relating to the purchase of the business where settlement has occurred
  • lease agreement relating to business premises
  • evidence of employment of staff
  • business activity statements (BAS) for each complete quarter from the commencement of operations
  • a company or business expansion plan
  • an agreement to enter into a joint venture
  • a contract between you and a party in Australia

You will also be asked to attest that you have a strong record of or a demonstrated commitment to employing local labour and that you will not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices

How Long Does It Take To Become An SBS?

The end-to-end process of applying to become a Standard Business Sponsor in Australia depends on the complexity of your case and the extent to which you have provided all of the information required in the initial application. Some applications may be processed in as little as one week, whereas some can take up to two months.

How Much Does The SBS Sponsorship Application Cost?

The current application fee to become a Standard Business Sponsor is AUD$420.

How Can Overseas Skilled Workers Get An Employer Sponsorship?

Suitably skilled overseas workers will need to apply for a visa through either the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) or the Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) routes. Before they can apply, you, as their prospective employer, will need to nominate them for their visa application and have this approved. They will also need to meet the eligibility requirements for the visa they are applying for; for the 494 visa, these include:

  • being nominated by your business to work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • having at least three years of relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
  • having a relevant positive skills assessment, unless an exemption applies
  • being under 45 years of age, unless an exemption applies
  • meeting minimum standards of English language proficiency

How Do I Renew My Standard Business Sponsorship?

The Australian Department of Home Affairs recommends that businesses apply to renew their sponsorship two months prior to the expiry of their current sponsor status. If you are unsure when your sponsorship permission runs out, you can check this by logging into your online immigration action (ImmiAccount).

If your application for renewal is successful, the new status will commence from the date of approval. The guidance states that before completing a renewal application, businesses need to inform the Department of Home Affairs if there have been any significant changes since the current sponsorship was granted using a notification of sponsorship change form (e.g. if your business location has changed).

If your sponsorship runs out prior to a decision being made on your renewal, the Department of Home Affairs will stop processing any pending applications for nomination until approval is given. If you allow your sponsorship permission to lapse before applying for renewal, a fresh application is then required. To renew your sponsorship, you will need to:

  • Log in to ImmiAccount
  • Complete Standard Business Sponsorship Renewal application form (482, 494)
  • Attach documents
  • Pay the AUD420 sponsorship application charge. We will not process your application until you pay the charge.
  • Note the Transaction Reference Number (TRN)

Final Words

Compared to some other sponsorship systems, the Australian Standard Business Sponsor scheme is relatively simple and easy to apply for. As long as you have a legally established business that is operational and there is no adverse information that may count against your application, you can be very confident of receiving a positive outcome. If you need any assistance with your application, speak to an immigration lawyer who can guide you through the process.

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"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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