The construction industry in Western Australia has been facing labour shortages, with not enough skilled workers to fill key trades and professional roles. To help attract more workers, the WA government recently announced the new Australian Construction Visa Subsidy program.
This initiative provides financial grants of up to $10,000 to help cover visa costs for skilled migrants looking to work in WA construction jobs.
The subsidy is available through two streams:
- Employer Sponsored Stream: Up to $10,000 per worker sponsored by WA construction employers
- State Nominated Stream: Up to $10,000 for skilled migrants who gained visas through the WA State Nomination Program
This new subsidy makes it more affordable for employers to sponsor overseas talent and for skilled migrants to relocate to fill shortage occupations.
The Employer Sponsored Stream
To participate in this stream, WA construction employers must sponsor skilled migrants in one of these visa subclasses:
- 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage
- 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional
- 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme
Employers can receive up to $10,000 per overseas worker they sponsor, paid out at three milestones:
- Milestone 1: $2,000
- Milestone 2: $4,000
- Milestone 3: $4,000
To be eligible, employers must:
- Be headquartered and doing construction work in WA
- Sponsor workers in eligible construction occupations such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians
The step-by-step process includes:
- Submit Milestone 1 claim form
- Find a migrant to sponsor
- Register as sponsor with Department of Home Affairs
- Assist migrant in applying for appropriate visa
- Submit Milestone 2 form when visa granted
- Submit Milestone 3 form when migrant begins work
The State Nominated Stream
Skilled migrants who gained visas through the WA State Nomination Program (subclasses 190 or 491) are also eligible.
Offshore applicants can receive:
- Milestone 1: $5,000
- Milestone 2: $5,000
Onshore applicants are eligible for reduced grants of:
- Milestone 1: $2,500
- Milestone 2: $2,500
To qualify, migrants must:
- Work for a WA construction employer
- Hold one of the approved occupations
The process involves:
- Gaining state nomination
- Finding a WA employer
- Lodging visa application
- Claiming Milestone 1 payment
- Claiming Milestone 2 payment after 6 months
Eligible Occupations for the Australian Construction Visa Subsidy
Skilled migrants must work in approved construction roles to qualify. These span trades like carpenters, electricians, and plasterers to professionals including architects, engineers, and project managers.
See the full occupation list in the Construction Visa Subsidy Program terms and conditions.
Employers and migrants must submit specified documents to support payment claims at each milestone, such as:
- Visa grant letters
- Signed employment contracts
- Pay slips
Learn more at the Construction Migration Office website, which has details on eligibility criteria and links to download the application forms.
The Australian Construction Visa Subsidy provides significant financial assistance of up to $10,000 to help employers sponsor overseas workers and skilled migrants to relocate to fill WA construction jobs. For workers in approved occupations, this grant can offset visa fees, relocation costs, and more. Determine your eligibility and apply today!