Medical Practices and hospitals are involved in the immigration process as they sponsor or are seeking to sponsor overseas trained medical professionals to address labour shortages they may be experiencing.
The Employer Sponsored Visa Types available to International Medical Graduates (IMGs) include subclass 482 TSS Visa, Subclass 186 Visa and Subclass 494 Visa.
The Subclass 482 Visa is a visa pathway for businesses who wish to sponsor a skilled worker where they cannot source an Australian citizen or permanent resident to perform the required work duties. Prior to the visa applicant making an application for the Subclass 482 Visa they are required to be nominated. The Department of Home Affairs requires that the skilled worker/visa applicant works for an Employer Sponsor, either an Australian Business Sponsor or an Overseas Business Sponsor.
Therefore, Employers must lodge a nomination application for the visa applicant prior to prospective employees initiating their visa application. An employer must be an approved sponsor to do this, and the employer/sponsor must provide the visa application with the Transaction Reference Number for the Department to cross-reference the two applications.
To be eligible to become a Standard Business Sponsor, businesses must meet the following criteria:
There are costs associated with becoming an approved Standard Business Sponsor. There is an application fee of $420.00 to the hospital/medical practice.
Once approved, the Standard Business Sponsor status is valid for 5 years from the date of approval.
As a Standard Business Sponsor, there are obligations that apply to the operation of your hospital/medical practice. To maintain or renew your status as a Standard Business Sponsor, you must ensure that your hospital/medical practice continues to uphold the sponsorship obligations. It should also be noted that some of these obligations extend beyond the term of sponsorship i.e. more than 5 years.
The Department of Home Affairs monitors the Standard Business Sponsor and their compliance with the sponsorship obligations throughout the approval period and up to five years after their sponsorship status ends. The Department of Home Affairs has the power to take enforcement action against businesses that fails to meet their sponsorship obligations.
Medical Professionals who are seeking to remain in Australia through a permanent residency pathway can do so through an employer-sponsored pathway.
All general skilled migration categories require that visa applicants are under 45 years of age at the time of invitation to apply. However, there are two exemptions that may be relevant to health practitioners: Regional Medical Practitioner Exemption and High Income Exemption.
Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Visa allows for an exemption to the age limit requirement for Regional Medical Practitioner Applicants if they meet the following criteria:
Visa holders of Subclass 482 who earn an income that is above the High Income Threshold are exempt from the age requirement. The current high-income threshold for 2022 is $158,500. The earnings that contribute to the high-income threshold are wages, fringe benefits and salary sacrifice amounts. This does not include superannuation. The following criteria must be met for the visa applicant to meet the high income exemption: