Working rights and visas

Working rights and visas

Working at Macquarie University requires the right to work in Australia. Learn about your visa options and obligations.


Staff who are not Australian or New Zealand citizens or permanent residents must have an Australian visa with work rights. Macquarie University regularly checks that its employees have the right to work via the Department of Home Affairs Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). As a visa holder you can also use VEVO to check your current visa details and conditions.

Overseas applicants for highly qualified academic positions and specialised professional staff positions may be eligible for an employer sponsored visa.

The two employer sponsored visas are:

  • The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) is the most commonly used temporary work visa and is primarily used for international skilled overseas workers who are offered full-time employment by the University in a specified nominated occupation.
  • Permanent Residency - Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186). This visa allows the University to sponsor highly skilled staff for a permanent visa.

Temporary Skill Shortage visa

Temporary Skill Shortage visa

There are two streams available under this visa program:

  1. Short-Term Stream – this is for employers to source genuine temporary overseas skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum period of two years.
  2. Medium-Term stream – this is for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills in occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) for up to four years.

Note that the occupation of University Lecturer (suitable for a Lecturer Research Associate or Research Fellow) is on the MLTSSL. For more information, refer to the combined current list of eligible occupations.

Conditions of the TSS Visa include:

  • Applicants will need to demonstrate at least two years of relevant work experience.
  • Labour market testing is mandatory (with a few exceptions).
  • English language testing required unless exempt.  Exemptions apply if the visa applicant holds a passport from an English speaking country or if they have completed at least 5 years of full-time study where all instruction was in English.
  • Police clearance certificates will be required for the visa applicant and their accompanying family members (over the age of 16) for every country they have lived in, for 12 months or more, in the past 10 years.

Skilling Australians Fund

Employers nominating a worker for a TSS Visa will be required to make a payment of $1800 per year of the visa to the Skilling Australians Fund (SFF). Please refer to the Visa Cost table for further information.

Changes in circumstances for TSS visa holders

If you cease your employment or if your employment ends, you will need to either find another employer to sponsor you, be granted a different visa or depart Australia. You must do this within 60 days or before your  TSS visa expires, whichever is the earliest.

Please advise your HR Client Team of any change in your visa status or type, and circumstances including:

  • obtaining Australian permanent residency
  • a change in your personal circumstances
  • a change to your position
  • resignation from Macquarie University.

Alternative working visa option

  • The Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408) may be suitable if the primary purpose of the appointment is to observe or participate in an Australian research project.

    This visa is suitable for:
    • A recently qualified (must have qualified overseas within the last 12 months) researcher; or
    • A senior academic with a significant record of achievement in their field.

    This visa may be granted for up to two years.

Permanent residency

Employer Sponsored Permanent Residency

The Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa class has two streams:

  • Temporary Residence Transition Scheme (TRTS).  This is the University's preferred stream.  This may be offered if the staff member has completed three years of full-time employment in their nominated position within the previous four years under the Subclass 482 visa.
  • Direct Entry Stream (DES). This may be offered on a case by case basis if the staff member or candidate does not meet the criteria for the TRTS.

Criteria for the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186 ENS)

  • The staff member (and their accompanying family members) must meet all the Department of Home Affairs eligibility requirements for the relevant Employer Sponsored Permanent Residency stream
  • Continuing contract of employment (or a fixed term contract of at least 3 years at the time of lodgement of the permanent residency visa application)
  • An occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) (unless transitional arrangements apply).
  • At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required.
  • Applicants must be under 45 years of age unless exempt (note that University Lecturers, appointed at Level B - E positions, are age exempt).
  • Applicants (and their accompanying adult family members) must meet the English language requirements

Skilling Australians Fund

Employers nominating a worker for a Permanent Residency Visa will be required to make a payment of $5000 to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF). Please refer to the Visa Cost table for further information.

Need help?

Karen Geldard, our in-house immigration and relocation consultant, is on hand to provide advice and support on the above working visa options, eligibility, application processes, costs and requirements. Contact Karen by phone on +61 (2) 9850 9744 or at visa@mq.edu.au

For information on visa options visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

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