Skilled migrants can legally work in Australia under a range of visas including employer sponsored options.
Skilled migrants are entitled to the same basic workplace rights and protections as Australian workers.
It is important that employers ensure the skilled migrant they are employing is legally entitled to work in Australia. They must also ensure that the worker's basic workplace rights and protections are met, and that they comply with any specific employer obligations that may be associated with their employee’s visa type.
Under the Migration Act 1968, it is a criminal offence for a person to knowingly or recklessly employ an illegal worker, or refer an illegal worker to another business.
Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) is a free online tool for employers to check the visa entitlements and status of a potential employee.
Employers can also call the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Employers' Immigration Hotline on 1800 040 070 for enquiries about a visa holder's work rights.
More information about employer obligations when hiring overseas workers is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.
As with Australian workers, employers must meet the basic workplace rights and protections of all skilled migrants they employ, regardless of whether they are sponsored or not.
These obligations include:
The Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman website has information about the national Fair Work system, National Employment Standards and employers’ obligations to workers.
In addition to meeting the basic rights and protections of their workers, employers who sponsor skilled migrants must meet specific visa obligations and compliance requirements.
If an employer is sponsoring a skilled migrant, they must ensure they are aware of, and comply with, any specific employer requirements for their employee's visa type. Detailed information about employer sponsored visas and employer obligations is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website in the Employer Hub
If employing a skilled migrant who has been awarded a visa under the General Skilled Migration program, employers need to ensure their new worker has the same basic workplace rights and protections as Australian workers (see Basic workplace rights).
Skilled migrants may also have specific obligations depending on their visa category. While visa holders are responsible for meeting these obligations it is also useful for employers to be aware of the visa requirements of employees.
Detailed information about visa pathways under the General Skilled Migration program is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.