Teacher Shortages and Immigration Law 

No doubt you are aware of the nationwide teacher shortages. Schools across the country are experiencing immense difficulty filling staff vacancies and the pressure doesn’t seem to be relenting any time soon. In light of this, many schools are taking steps to engage overseas educators to teach in their schools. Recently, leaders from Ballarat and Sandhurst dioceses travelled to Ireland to lure Irish teachers to Victoria.

If this is an option you are looking to explore, would you know what to do once you have found the perfect overseas candidate to fill your vacant position? How can you get that skilled teacher to Australia so that they can start working for your school as soon as possibility to avoid disruption and uncertainty? You may even have non-citizen staff members at your school already, working under a permanent or temporary visa.

Whenever you are working with an international staff member, it is imperative to you ensure that they hold a visa with full permission to work or else you are at risk of substantial fine for hiring illegal workers.

Work-Related Visas 

Any person who is not an Australian citizen must hold a valid visa with working rights to be able to live and work in Australia. Australia’s migration legislation, regulations and associated policies can be extremely complicated and the process can be drawn out. Accordingly, it is very important to seek legal advice early so that the requirements can be met.

There are different avenues under which educators can migrate to Australia. Some work-related visas involve the employer acting as a sponsor and nominating the worker to fill their vacant position (Employer Sponsored Migration). Under this pathway, the employer facilitates the worker’s migration to Australia but must meet certain requirements to be eligible to sponsor and also has strict obligations to meet whilst acting as a sponsor. Other work-related visas involve the worker coming to Australia on their own volition based upon merits of their workplace skills and history, independent of and without the need for an employer sponsor (General Skilled Migration). There are also options whereby an overseas skilled worker can be nominated to Australia by a State or Territory Government – particularly relevant for rural and regional areas.

No matter what avenue utilised to get teachers into Australia, the teacher needs to demonstrate to the Department of Home Affairs that they have the necessary skills, qualifications, registrations and experience to work as a teacher in Australia, and must also pass public interest criteria requirements (identity, health, character and exhort checks).

How can Brennan Law Partners assist?

Brennan Law Partners have solicitors with extensive experience dealing with Australia’s migration legislation. We recently assisted a Catholic Secondary School in Melbourne to sponsor a valued staff member for permanent residence. This allowed the teacher and her family to remain living in Australia indefinitely and most importantly to continue their full-time employment with the School. With the help of Brennan Law Partners, the visa was granted well short of the usual wait times, allowing the School to plan ahead for the 2023 school year with confidence.

Whether it is staff members who need work visas, pupils who need student visas or even your own personal immigration matters, Brennan Law Partners has the expertise to handle any migration matter. Give us a call now to arrange a free consultation appointment.

If you have any queries relating to this brief, or require assistance to respond to something happening at your school, please contact us.

This is meant as a guide only and should not be taken as legal advice.

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