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 employment by the University. This visa replaced the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) effective from 1 March 2018.
  • Permanent Residency - Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186). This visa allows the University to sponsor highly skilled staff for a permanent visa, subject to the staff member meeting the criteria as outlined in the University's guidelines for employer sponsored permanent residency.

Temporary Skill Shortage visa

Temporary Skill Shortage visa

From 18 March 2018, the 457 visa was abolished and replaced with the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) 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 University Lecturers (suitable for Research Associate or Research Fellow) are on the MLTSSL. For more information, refer to the combined current list of eligible occupations.

Conditions of the TSS Visa include:

  • Full time work only (no part-time or fractional appointments)
  • Applicants will need to demonstrate at least two years of relevant work experience.  Note that academic teaching and research undertaken by PhD students may be counted towards the work experience requirement.
  • Labour market testing is mandatory (with a few exceptions).
    • The position must be advertised in Australia, in at least two places (e.g. Seek and the MQ website) for a period of at least three weeks.
    • The advertising must have been placed within six months of lodging the visa.
  • English language testing required for full-time positions 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 mandatory 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.

Alternative working visa options

  • The Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408) may be suitable if the primary purpose 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.

Skilling Australians Fund (expected to be implemented in June 2018)

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 your circumstances for 457 and 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 90 days if your visa was granted before 19 November 2016) or before your 457 or 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 or citizenship
  • a change in your personal circumstances
  • a change to your position
  • resignation from Macquarie University.

Permanent residency

Employer Sponsored Permanent Residency

The University is introducing guidelines on the criteria an employee will need to meet in order to be eligible for employer sponsored permanent residency.

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

  • Temporary Residence Transition Scheme (TRTS).
    There are two options within this stream:
    • If you held a 457 visa on or before 18 April 2017, you must have worked for the University, in the same occupation, for at least two years (excluding any time spent overseas for work and all periods of leave without pay).
    • If you held a 457 visa or TSS visa after 18 April 2017, you must have worked for the University, in the same occupation, for at least three years (excluding any time spent overseas for work and all periods of leave without pay).
  • Direct Entry Stream (DES). This stream is for people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia; or for temporary residents who do not qualify for the TRTS Scheme.

Criteria for the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186 ENS)

  • Employee must meet the University Employer Sponsored Permanent Residency Guidelines.
  • The staff member (and their accompanying family members) must meet all the Department of Home Affairs eligibility requirements for the relevant nominated Employer Sponsored Permanent Residency (ENS PR) 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).  Note that the occupation of University Lecturer is on this list.
  • At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required.
  • Applicants must be under 45 years of age (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 (expected to be implemented in June 2018)

Employers nominating a worker for a TSS 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 immigration matters including 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 Australian visa options for workers visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

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