Despite the common perception that they require sponsorship, international students have the right to be employed – sponsorship free – by an Australian employer, thanks to the Temporary Graduate Visa. This makes it just as easy to employ an international graduate as it is to hire a local one.
Hiring an international graduate in Australia
Most international students have the right to employment post-study under the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).
There are two streams that fall under this visa: graduate work and post-study. The graduate work stream is for those who have graduated with skills that are related to an occupation on the in-demand list over the medium to long term. For graduates on this stream, the visa is valid 18 months from the date it's granted.
The post-work stream is open to anyone with a higher education degree, irrespective of the field of study or skill set. For the post-work stream, the length of stay depends on the kind of qualification the graduate has gained:
- Bachelors Degree, Bachelors with Honours, Masters by coursework or Masters (extended) Degree – two years,
- Masters (by research) Degree – three years,
- Doctoral Degree – four years.
Sponsorship not needed
With the 485 visa, sponsorship is not required. So long as the graduate in question meets all the other requirements that the visa demands, they shouldn't have any trouble having it granted.
It's important, however, that if you're thinking of employing an international graduate you start your search early. Students must have been studying in the six months before they lodge their application, and applications take some time to be processed. In the post-study works stream, 90 per cent of applications are processed within 78 days, whereas in the graduate work stream the same percentage is done by the five-month mark, according to the Department of Home Affairs.
What are the options for long term employment?
Once the 485 visa has expired, there are options available to continue employing the graduate you've invested in. You may be able to:
- Nominate them for permanent residency,
- Apply for a Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa, if you're unable to find an Australian or permanent resident to fill the role,
- Ask the employee to apply for a skilled independent visa (subclass 189) themselves.
Are you looking to recruit a international graduate to your SME? If so, contact the team at Monash Talent to learn more about how we can help.