Sponsorship accreditation

This page provides information regarding accreditation for standard business sponsors who sponsor overseas workers under the TSS visa.

Why apply for sponsorship accreditation

Sponsors who qualify for accredited status will receive priority processing of all TSS nomination and visa applications, with most applications processed in less than five days.

Certain low risk TSS nomination applications lodged by sponsors granted accredited status after 1 July 2016 will receive streamlined processing.

How to apply for sponsorship accreditation

You can apply for accredited status (using the same online forms) when you apply to become a standard business sponsor or when you renew your existing sponsorship.

If you do not meet the characteristics for accredited status, your application for standard business sponsorship will still proceed and be assessed in the usual way.

Who can apply for accreditation

To be approved for accredited status, you must meet standard sponsorship requirements, as well as the additional characteristics for one of the four categories listed below at the time of application:

CategoryRequired Characteristics
Category 1

Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies
  • have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia
Category 2

Australian Trusted Traders
  • have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia
  • engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract of employment that includes at least the minimum employment entitlements as required under the National Employment Standards (NES) (unless their occupation is exempt from this requirement)*
  • have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates for all occupations in their business*
Category 3

Low volume usage and high percentage of Australian workers (at least 85%)
  • have Australian workers comprise at least 85% of their workforce in Australia
  • are not a sole trader or a partnership**
  • have an annual turnover of at least AUD4M for the last two years***
  • have been a standard business sponsor for at least one year***
  • have nominations approved for at least one primary TSS or subclass 457 visa holder in the last year***
  • have a nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for the last year
  • have no adverse monitoring outcomes
  • have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates*
  • engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract that meets NES where they apply*
Category 4

High volume usage and medium percentage of Australian workers (at least 75%)
  • have Australian workers comprise at least 75% of their workforce in Australia
  • are not a sole trader or a partnership**
  • have an annual turnover of at least AUD4M for the last two years
  • have been a standard business sponsor for at least two years
  • have nominations approved for at least 10 TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders in the last two years
  • have a nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% for the last two years
  • have no adverse monitoring outcomes
  • have all Australian employees paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement or an internal salary table that reflects the current market salary rates*
  • engage all TSS and/or subclass 457 visa holders as employees under a written contract that meets NES where they apply*

*Additional evidentiary documentation must be provided against these characteristics

**The Department may approve accreditation for large partnerships in industries where this is a common business structure, and where the employer meets other criteria (for example, legal and medical practices). These will be assessed on a case-by-case basis where accreditation is requested by partnership and a submission is provided requesting special consideration.

***The Department may approve accreditation for start-up businesses who wish to apply for accreditation but do not meet these requirements where special circumstances apply (e.g. part of a government entrepreneurship program/award winner). These will be assessed on a case-by-case basis where accreditation is requested by a start-up business and a submission is provided requesting special consideration.

Can my accreditation be revoked

Yes. Your sponsorship accreditation status can be revoked if you no longer meet the required characteristics for accreditation. Where this occurs, you will no longer be eligible to access the benefits mentioned above. Your approval as a standard business sponsor will, however, remain in place until it expires.

Your sponsorship accreditation may also be revoked if:

  • you have provided your employee (or their dependants) a reference confirming that they are of good character and have not been convicted of any criminal offences for the purposes of not undertaking any police clearances from countries other than Australia and
  • your sponsored employee (or their dependants) are subsequently found to fail the character test.

More information in relation to the character reference is provided below.

Character references for TSS visa applicant(s)

Applicants who are sponsored by an accredited sponsor, are not required to obtain police certificates from countries other than Australia provided they attach a written reference from their accredited sponsor confirming that they are of good character and have not been convicted of any criminal offences. The applicants must still, however, provide any required Australian police clearances where applicable or when requested to do so. The reference must be on company letterhead, and include the:

  • names of the sponsor and the full name of the person signing the reference
  • full name(s) and date(s) of birth of visa applicant(s).

The reference pro-forma below should be used for this purpose.

Accredited sponsor name:

Sponsored person(s):

<<list sponsored persons – full names and dates of birth>>

I, << Insert full name of referee >>, as a representative of << Insert full name of accredited sponsor >>, with the authority to act on behalf of the business, confirm that:

  • I have read the information on the Department's website at www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/visa/char and understand the character requirements for the grant of an Australian visa
  • to the best of my knowledge, the visa applicant(s) listed above meet the character requirement for the grant of their visa(s)
  • I acknowledge that the accredited status of << Insert full name of accredited sponsor >> may be revoked by the Department in the event that the visa applicant(s) listed above are subsequently found to not satisfy the character test on the basis of information that was available to me when making this declaration.

Signature:

Position:

Date: