First of all the business needs to sign up to become an approved sponsor, usually by applying for a Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS), which involves the business showing that they are actively and lawfully operating in Australia, have no adverse information against the business and be able to meet the training benchmark. While most businesses are able to show that they are lawfully operating and have no adverse information, many businesses fall down on meeting the training benchmark.
The training benchmark is a great way for the government to ensure that Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents in the business are being looked after. The training benchmark requires a business to meet one of the following benchmarks:
Benchmark A: At least 2% of the total payroll of the business is allocated to an industry training fund operating in the same industry as the business.
Benchmark B: At least 1% of the total payroll of the business is allocated to the internal or external training of Australian citizens or Permanent Resident employees.
If the business can satisfy this requirement they can generally apply for an SBS.
During the application process, the business makes a number of commitments to the Department of Immigration that are activated once the SBS is approved. Over the life of their sponsorship they are required to abide by nine primary obligations including:
- Cooperate with inspectors – including Department of Immigration agents and Fair Work agents.
- Ensure equivalent terms and conditions of employment – ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract are no less favourable than those offered to an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- Pay travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia – If the applicant requests in writing then the sponsor is obliged to pay for an economy flight back to the applicants’ country of origin.
- Pay costs incurred by the Commonwealth to locate and remove unlawful non-citizen – the sponsoring business may be required to pay costs incurred by the Commonwealth in locating and removing sponsored applicants who have become unlawful. .
- Keep accurate records – Records must be kept showing your compliance with your sponsorship obligations .
- Provide information to Immigration when certain events occur – including when employment ceases, a change of work duties, change of sponsor contact details or complying with other sponsorship obligations.
- Ensure primary sponsored person works or participates in nominated occupation – The applicant must work in the nominated occupation. If you require the applicant to work in a different occupation then a new nomination must be done.
- Not to recover, transfer or take actions that result in another person paying for certain costs – The sponsoring business cannot seek to recover costs that relate to the recruitment or sponsorship of the primary sponsored person.
- Provide training to Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents – The sponsoring business must maintain either training benchmark ‘A’ or ‘B’ for every year that they sponsor an applicant under their SBS.
If you would like to discuss either becoming a Standard Business Sponsor or ensuring compliance with one of the above mentioned obligations, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or one of our other friendly Registered Migration Agents by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 7 3212 2200.