Overseas workers and your business
As an employer, you can sponsor a worker from overseas if you can't find someone in Australia with the skills or experience you need.
You may be able to sponsor an overseas worker for a visa specific to the Northern Territory (NT), or one that is used across Australia.
Employers must be able to show that an Australian/Australian permanent resident worker with suitable skills can’t be found.
Find out more about labour market testing on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs sponsoring workers website.
Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Program
You can sponsor an overseas workers on a TSS (subclass 482) visa.
Each of the below streams has a list of eligible occupations. There are two standard streams to choose from:
- short term
- medium term.
Only medium term TSS visa holders have a defined pathway to permanent residency.
If you can't sponsor a worker under the TSS Subclass 482 visa, you may be able to sponsor them under the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement.
Find out more about how long skilled workers can stay and visa costs on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs temporary skills shortage website.
Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA)
If you can't sponsor a worker under the short or medium term streams of the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa, you may be able to sponsor workers under this agreement.
NT DAMA fits under the labour agreement stream of the TSS visa.
For more information on eligibility of employers under this scheme, go to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade website.
You can also consider sponsoring workers under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (Subclass 187). This is a permanent residence visa.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Program and Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) Program
Regional employers can sponsor skilled overseas nationals to fill genuine, full-time positions through the RSMS Subclass 187.
All of the Northern Territory is considered regional for migration purposes. Subclass 187 is a permanent residence visa.
RSMS has two program streams.
Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream
This stream is for sponsoring workers who hold a subclass 457, TSS or related bridging visa.
Employees must have worked for their sponsoring employer for at least 3 years full time.
Direct Entry (DE) stream
If an employee has not worked for the sponsoring employer for at least 3 years, employers can apply for the DE stream.
Use the DE for sponsoring workers who do not meet the requirements of the TRT stream.
Before the visa application is processed by the Department of Home Affairs, employers must get a Regional Certifying Body (RCB) assessment.
Find out more about the RSMS visa on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs regional sponsor migration scheme visa website.
Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186
Use this scheme for employers to sponsor skilled overseas nationals to fill genuine, full-time positions.
This is not a specific regional visa but can be used by regional employers. The subclass 186 is a permanent residence visa.
ENS has three program streams.
- TRT stream
- DE stream
- Labour Agreement (LA) stream
The LA stream is only for employers who are party to a labour agreement with the Australian Government. This includes NT DAMA.
This stream allows such employers to sponsor a worker who currently works, or will work, for their business.
Find out about other visas that may meet your requirements.
Subclass 407 Training visa
You can sponsor an overseas worker for a temporary workplace based occupation training or professional development under a Training visa (Subclass 407).
Find out more about the training visa on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs subclass 407 training visa website.
Pacific Labour Scheme
For information about helping meet business demand of rural and regional Australia go to the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pacific labour mobility website.
Seasonal Worker Programme
Find out about seasonal workers on the Australian Government's Department of Jobs and Small Business information for employers website.
Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
Find out about temporary work visa for work in specific circumstances on the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs temporary work 403 webpage.
You can also contact the Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory who have a dedicated staff member to discuss these programs.
The NT Government can nominate highly skilled professionals and tradespeople under the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 or Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa programs.
The worker must not be able to be sponsored by an NT business.
Read more about the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 or Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 nomination application process on The Territory's skilled nominated visas website.
Skilled workers can also apply for a Skilled Independent (Permanent) Subclass 189 visa. This visa does not require NT Government nomination.
Find out about Subclass 189 on the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs skilled independent 189 website.
Skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer may be nominated by the NT Government.
Read more on The Territory's skilled nominated visas website.
Skilled workers may also apply for a Skilled Independent (Permanent) visa.
Help with visa options
For information about visa options for recruiting people to the NT, contact Migration NT at the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade.
Read more about skilled migration options on The Territory's migrate to work website.
Last updated: 02 February 2022
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