Employer Hub

Employing foreign nationals in Australia

If the person you are wanting to employ is a foreign national, already in Australia, you must check that the person is travelling on a visa that gives them the right to work legally here. For more information about employing legal workers, see Employing legal workers.

Employer Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all employers to employ workers who can legally work in Australia. This includes employees you source through a contractor, or labour hire company; for both paid and unpaid work.

Employers could face penalties for engaging an illegal worker even if they didn’t know the worker was not allowed to work in Australia.

Note: Providing a tax file number (TFN) is not proof of permission to work in Australia.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand citizens are legally allowed to work in Australia.

Australia visa holders can also be legal workers, however, some visas do not allow people to work.

Visas can have various work restrictions, such as:

  • Not being able to work at all
  • Working for a certain employer
  • Working for a specific number of hours and/or
  • Working for a specific time period.

Foreign nationals who don’t have a valid visa are not allowed to work in Australia. This includes people who have cancelled and expired visas. To check whether a potential worker is allowed to work, you can register with the Department's free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system.

You can also ask the foreign national to email his or her current visa details directly from the VEVO website or the myVEVO app.

For more information about employing legal workers, visit the Employing legal workers webpage to access an employer guide and fact sheet.

First-time employer or sponsor of a foreign national

Employer and/or sponsor responsibilities are outlined in specific visa packages. Specific visa information is available from Work in Australia.

Existing employer or sponsor of a foreign national

It is important that you continue to meet your responsibilities as an employer and/or sponsor. Information about your responsibilities is available on the specific visa package that your employee is granted. Specific visa information is available from Work in Australia.

Visa Options

The visa option tables provide a comparison of visa options for businesses to consider when employing foreign nationals.

Assistance with your application

Registered migration agents can assist with your immigration requirements. The Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) has a list of registered migration agents.

Sponsoring foreign workers

Refer to the below visas for information on how to sponsor foreign workers and the requirements that must be met by approved sponsors for:

Note: The person that you want to sponsor could already be in Australia.

Useful links

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