Human Resources

Visas and citizenship: Visitors and prospective employees

Further information

  • Differences between visa types
  • Policy Relocation Expenses

The University must ensure that prospective employees are entitled to undertake employment in Australia in accordance with the guidelines established by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

In the case of staff recruited from overseas (usually academic), Human Resources will liaise with DIAC on behalf of the University.

Where staff are recruited from the domestic market, they must be eligible to work in Australia. A person in Australia on a visa will have an Australian Entry Visa in their passport. To determine their employment rights, a copy of this visa or entry permit is required.

Contact your Human Resources Adviser in Human Resources if you have queries regarding visa conditions.


Policy No.
Human Resources
Authoring Organisational Unit
HR Services - Human Resources
Date Approved
Revised 04/05/2017
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Immigration

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy outlines the requirement for all prospective international employees and visitors (invited guests) of the University, to hold a valid entry permit (Visa) before arrival in Australia.


"Approved Delegate" means a position with authority to act on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor with varied levels of authority in line with the University's Delegations and Financial Delegations and Authority.

"Business Unit" means a cost centre in the University. This covers all sections of the University, whether academic or administrative.

"Business Visitor" means a visitor who is an invited guest from overseas for the purposes of observing or attending the University to undertake business visitor activities. This does not include work of any kind.

"Country of origin" means the country for which the sponsored visa holder holds a passport and/or is the country of usual residence.

"Dependents" means a child or step child under 18 years old of the family head, their spouse or de facto partner or a dependent child who is over the age of 18 but not yet turned 23, or other relatives who lives with and who is fully or substantially dependent on the new appointee.

"DIBP" means Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

"Employee" means a person employed by the University who has an ongoing or fixed-term contract under the terms of the following Agreements (as amended or replaced from time to time): Academic Staff Agreement or Professional and General Staff Agreement.

"Family members" means a spouse or de facto partner and dependents.

"Nominator" is the organisation nominating an overseas employee to work in Australia.

"Partner" means a person who is a spouse, de facto or same sex partner.

"Preferred Immigration Service Provider" means the migration agent(s) as appointed and mandated for use by the University.

"Prospective Employee" means a person who has been offered an ongoing or fixed-term appointment with the University.

"Reciprocal Health Agreements" are Agreements signed by the Australian Government to cover the cost of essential medical treatment when visitors from certain countries come to Australia. Full details of entitlements under these Agreements are available from Medicare.

"Sponsor" is the organisation that has been approved as a standard business sponsor and/or is nominating the role or activity to be performed in Australia.

"Spouse" means another individual (whether of the same sex or a different sex) with whom the employee lives on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.

"Visa" is defined by the DIBP as the permission to travel to, to enter and/or to remain in Australia for a period of time or indefinitely.

"University" means The University of Western Australia.

Policy statement:

1 General Considerations

Prospective employees and visitors should consult the Preferred Immigration Service Provider for detailed information regarding visa requirements. Human Resources are available to provide assistance regarding appointments to the University.

Prospective University employees and visitors, who do not hold an Australian passport, are responsible for obtaining a valid visa to ensure they have the rights to conduct work or other activities for their time in Australia. In accordance with the requirements of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), failure to obtain the correct visa may result in serious consequences for both the individual and the University.

The prospective employee or visitor must have the appropriate visa in place prior to arrival in Australia. The visa will be dependent on the activities being undertaken, whether any remuneration is paid and the length of stay.

Visa queries will be directed to the University's appointed Preferred Immigration Service Providers to assist prospective and current employees.

A person holding a Business Visitor Visa (Subclass 600, 601, 651) will not be permitted to undertake any form of work, whether paid or unpaid, for the University. For instances where work is to be performed a 457 or 400 visa may be appropriate. The type of activity/nature of the work and duration need to be considered when determining the correct visa.

1.1 Change in Circumstances

Individual visa holders must notify their supervisor and Human Resources, if there are any changes to their circumstances, as these may impact on their visa conditions and obligations. Supervisors are required to notify Human Resources immediately if they become aware of any such changes, including but not limited to changes to:

  • job title and/or occupation;
  • duties of the role;
  • hours of work; and
  • change in relationship status with an accompanying dependent on the visa.

1.2 Employer Sanctions

Appropriate work verification checks must be conducted on each and every person providing services to the University to ensure they hold a visa with the appropriate work authorisation for their activities.

2 University Sponsored Visas

2.1 Eligibility Criteria

The University may choose to nominate a prospective employee for a visa in accordance with the below eligibility criteria:

  • Academic Staff - appointed for two (2) or more years.
  • Professional and General Staff - Level 8 position or above and for a period of two (2) or more years.

Research and/or externally funded employees who meet the above eligibility criteria may also be nominated, following approval from the appropriate Business Unit approved delegate.

In exceptional circumstances, University sponsorship may be approved outside the above arrangements, where a written application is made, to the Director, Human Resources for special consideration.

2.2 Costs

As the University is the Nominator for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457), Human Resources will pay the following reasonable costs related to visa sponsorship:

  • applicable nomination costs only;
  • travel from the sponsored persons' usual place of residence in their country of origin to Australia;
  • economy class air travel (or equivalent) from Australia to the nominated employee's (and sponsored family members) country of origin at the conclusion of their appointment should they remain holding a 457 visa under UWA sponsorship.

The individual will be responsible for the costs of return travel if permanent residency is obtained. If the individual accepts employment with another employer then the new employer will then become responsible for repatriation and other associated costs for the employee and employee's family members.

2.3 Sponsorship Obligations

As a temporary visa sponsor, the University must comply with certain obligations set out by DIBP. Most notably these obligations include ensuring:

  • terms and conditions of employment for foreign nationals remain no less favourable than those given to Australians;
  • the visa holder only performs duties or participates in their approved occupation/role; and
  • records are kept and DIBP is notified of certain changes of circumstance within their mandatory timeframe.

3 Permanent Residency (PR) Visa

The University may agree to support a PR visa where the employee meets the eligibility criteria outlined in 2.1 above and where the employee:

  • is currently working at the University on a UWA sponsored visa on a fixed-term or ongoing/tenured/tenurable appointment;
  • has successfully completed two (2) years' of service with the University and has completed a Staff Appraisal within the last six months with a minimum rating of meets expectations;
  • already has working rights for Australia and PR forms part of their employment offer and conditions with the University;
  • will have at least two (2) years' remaining on their University employment contract once the PR is approved and the contract does not expressly exclude the possibility of extending that employment; and
  • the request for PR has been instigated and approved by the Business Unit's approved delegate and Human Resources have been notified of the request in writing.

UWA will pay for the applicable nomination costs only.

4 Visa Types

The table below highlights the main differences between the various visa types available. This information is intended as a guide only and does not replace the expert advice which can be provided by the Preferred Immigration Service Provider(s).

Visa Type

600/601 ETA/651 eVisitor

Allows business visitor activities such as employment interviews, contract negotiations on behalf of an overseas organisation, participation in some training (not facilitation or delivery). NO WORK PERMITTED.


Allows highly specialised, non-ongoing work which will completed within a 3 month period, or in exceptional cases a 6 month period.


Allows work to be performed in an ongoing role. Limits the holder to working in the approved role and for the approved sponsor only. Visa period 1 day - 4 years.


Allows trainees to participate in an approved, structured on-the-job training plan for up to 2 years.


Allows those with the relevant background and invitation to participate or observe a research project for up to 2 years.


This employer sponsored PR visa allows the holder to remain permanently in Australia indefinitely (with unlimited travel facility for 5 years) and provides full work rights.

5 Tax

5.1 Employees are responsible for their financial situation and should seek independent financial advice.

Related forms:


TRIM File No:


Contact position:

HR Manager, Talent Acquisition

Related Policies or legislation:

Department of Immigration and Border Protection