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When you employ people from overseas, the process is slightly different from hiring Australian citizens or permanent residents or New Zealand citizen. You can employ an overseas worker in two ways:

  • employ a  non-citizen who is already in Australia whose visa allows them to work, such as an international student or a  working holiday visa holder 
  • sponsor a skilled worker who lives overseas or temporarily in Australia for a work visa on a permanent  or temporary basis

The Department of Home Affairs manages and administers work visas for overseas workers.

If you’re considering hiring someone who already holds an Australian visa, check out the Hiring someone in Australia step-by-step guide on the Home Affairs website. 

Alternatively, if you’re thinking of sponsoring someone for a work visa, learn about the visa options for workers, how much it costs and how to sponsor someone.

For professional advice, talk to a registered migration expert. You can search for an agent on the Home Affairs website. 

Employer obligations

As an employer, it's your responsibility to make sure your employees are eligible to work in Australia:

  • Use the free online service Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) to check if your employees are eligible to work in Australia. 
  • Check the conditions of your employees' visas for any requirements you need to meet as the employer.

It is important to note that even if a non-citizen has work rights in Australia, there may be restrictions on the amount and type of work they can undertake. For example, student visa holders can generally only work up to 40 hours in a fortnight, and working holiday visa holders can generally only work for the same employer for six months.&nbsThere are also additional reporting obligations for employers who sponsor overseas workers for a work visState and territory resources

Each state or territory has information that will help you sponsor and/or employ an overseas worker:

Want more?

Find out how to recruit and induct new employees.

Learn more about equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace.