Do you know their rights and your obligations?

Hiring new employees can be tricky for any small business. The task becomes even harder when you are hiring overseas workers on visas. Here is all the information you need to help you get it right the first time.


Who can I hire?

If you are looking to hire an overseas worker, you must ensure that they are holding the correct visa, and that the conditions of their visa are strictly followed.

You must also be able to prove that the position you are offering cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or resident before you can look to hire overseas.


What type of visa must the future employee hold?

There are many different types of visa’s that people use to gain employment in Australia. Some of these are: Temporary Work (Skilled) visa 457; Employer Nominated Scheme visa 186; Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme 187.

A person can also apply for a working holiday visa. There are two types of working holiday visas: the Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462) and the Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417). Which visa a person holds will depends on the country they are from. Both of these visas contain restrictions as to how long the person can be employed at one company, and what kind of work they can complete. For more information, visit the Working Holiday Making Program.


What are your obligations as an employer?

Every person that works in Australia is protected by employment law. As an employer, you must provide any overseas workers with the same terms and conditions of employment as you would an Australian employee. Any costs associated with employing an overseas worker must be covered by the employer, and cannot be transferred to the employee or any other party. You must also ensure that you keep records to show that you are complying with the workers’ sponsorship obligations and provide those records to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection if requested.

One of the main things to keep in consideration when hiring an overseas worker is that your human resources processes are in order. Will you need to change anything to accommodate for employees that are not permanent residents? Are there any forms, policies or procedures that will need to be updated to ensure that their workplace rights are taken into account? Make sure that you review all your policies and procedures to protect both the employee and your business.

For more information on overseas workers and your obligations to them, contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or

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