By Sophie Alcorn and Valerie Dagama Pereira
How can visas in the Land Down Under benefit U.S. companies?
Australia offers a few visa options, including a pilot program that began last month, aimed at attracting specialized workers, established companies, and startups. U.S. employers could use these options to transfer foreign workers who cannot renew or otherwise obtain U.S. visas, such as those who were not selected in the H-1B lottery, to work in or open an Australia office. Companies could also hire foreign workers outright to work in Australia.
Later, the company can sponsor the engineers or other highly-skilled workers for a U.S. visa.
Australia’s New Visa
The Global Talent Scheme Pilot visa is:
• A one-year pilot program that began in Australia in July and runs through June 2019.
• An option that enables companies—both established ones and startups—who help grow the business and create jobs in Australia to sponsor highly skilled and specialized workers.
* Enables companies to access Australian capital as well.
• Requires companies with an office or subsidiary in Australia to give preference to Australian workers first, but allows companies to sponsor a foreign worker for a visa for up to four years.
Australia’s 400 Visa
Also known as the Short Stay Specialist visa, the 400 visa:
• Enables an overseas company to send key executives to explore the Australian market and workplace environment before making a decision to open a local office and registering a legal entity.
• Is valid for up to 6 months.
Australia’s 482 Visa
Also known as the Temporary Skill Shortage visa, the 482 visa:
• Allows companies to sponsor key employees to work in Australia to explore the market or open a subsidiary to sponsor overseas workers.
• is valid anywhere from two to four years.
U.S. Visa Options
After an employee works in Australia for at least one year, the company can sponsor the employee for one of the following U.S. visas:
- L-1 visas, which include the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Managers and Executives and the L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge Workers.
- EB-1C Green Card for Multinational Managers and Executives,
- E-3 visa for Australian Professionals, if the worker eventually applies for and receives Australian citizenship.
We Can Help
Contact Alcorn Immigration Law for more information. Our team closely monitors immigration developments in the U.S. and abroad. We can help you, your company or your employees utilize the new visa pilot program in Australia to your advantage. We can also assist you in determining other options for individuals, companies, and families. Contact us for a strategy session.
About the Authors
Sophie Alcorn is Alcorn Immigration Law’s founding attorney. She is the only certified specialist in immigration and nationality law in Silicon Valley.
Valerie Dagama Pereira is the Principal lawyer at Da Gama Pereira and Associates Pty Ltd and an Accredited Specialist in Australian immigration law. Da Gama Pereira and Associates is based in Melbourne, Australia, and San Jose, Calif.