Visa essentials for working in Australia

Visa essentials for working in Australia

Among the most popular countries for expats, Australia has always been the destination of choice for students and young professionals from all over the world. The country’s natural beauty, singular flora and fauna, and relaxed lifestyle attract people looking for a new and better life in another country.

Whether you are planning to move to Australia on an expat assignment, have a job offer in hand, or are looking for a career challenge, the country offers lots of opportunities. Australia is also actively encouraging the immigration of skilled professionals. There is a strong demand for expatriates who can contribute to the economy.

For working professionals, particularly for those under 45 years of age, there is a range of temporary and permanent skilled visas available. Australia also accepts migrants with relatives already in the country under the Family Stream Migration program.


Skilled Independent Migration visa

For those hoping to move to Australia to seek employment, the country offers the Skill Select Program. Australia has been facing a skills shortage for the past couple of decades. The skilled visa program works to fulfil the skills’ requirements of the economy and offers new opportunities for expatriates in Australia. While you do not need a sponsor, proof is required that the skills and qualification you possess are on the Australian Skilled Occupations List. Listed on the official Migrations Occupations in Demand are Anaesthetists, Civil Engineers, Dentists, Hospital Pharmacists, etc. For a complete list, visit:

Once it has been determined your skills are currently in demand in the Australian labor market, you will be required to fill an Expression of Interest (EoI). You will also undergo a test and will be allotted points based on:

  • Level of English language skills
  • Specific work experience or professional qualifications
  • Skills your partner might bring to Australia

There’s an immigration quota for various occupations and the government invites people with the highest number of points to petition for a visa. Your application enters the Skill Select database which is accessed by state government and individual employers who want to support you as a potential visa candidate. Even if the visa is not granted immediately, your petition remains in the database for two years.


If you would like to find out more about moving your career to Australia then read our article, ‘Career Hotspots for 2014: Australia’ and learn more about this fascinating expatriate location!



Employer Sponsored Migration Visa

People with a job offer in Australia can apply for this visa. It is the quickest way to get a visa; it takes as little as 4 weeks and having a job saves you the stress of waiting and job hunting. There are two categories: temporary and permanent visas. The potential employer will apply for either of these visas on your behalf.

  • Business (Long Stay) visa 

For a temporary visa, the employer will sponsor a skilled worker for a maximum period of four years. While you are bound to that one employer, you are free to change positions within the company. This visa is difficult to obtain, but a good English-level and experience in the required field can ease the process.

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa

Within trades, there is a shortage of apprentices and home-trained skilled workers. If you are exceptionally skilled, this is a good visa option for individuals aged 45 or over. This is a permanent visa, used by companies to fill vacancies with highly skilled professionals from overseas or to convert temporary visa holders in Australia.

  • Working Holiday Visa

The Australian Working Holiday Visa is a great opportunity to discover the wide range of Australian lifestyle options for the young and adventurous. Only available to those between 18 and 30 years of age, the visa allows you to work for up to 12 months in total and up to 6 months per employer. For those who have worked at least 3 months in farms, you can reapply for a second working holiday visa. If your primary reason for going to Australia is to take up employment, this might not be the best option for you.

As with all visa types, ask for advice and keep an open mind. Giving detailed information about the nature of your experience, background, and knowledge of your skills as well as qualifications – formal or informal – can ease the process.


Basic requirements

All applicants must fulfil these criteria, no matter what category of visa they seek:

  • English language proficiency

Expatriates whose native language is not English are required to undertake a language proficiency test. They must achieve a certain specified score, depending on their visa category. Alternately, they are required to sign up for English classes in Australia before arrival.

  • Health

Depending on their profession, temporary visa applicants must adhere to certain health requirements, as listed in the visa application form. These are mandatory for permanent visa applicants. Expatriates must consult with the nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate to obtain a list of government-approved doctors for the health examination.

  • Skills, qualification and/ or experience

The applicant must possess relevant skills and/ or work experience in an occupation nominated on Australia’s Skilled Occupation List. Alternately, there must be an employer who is willing to sponsor you.

  • Character

Applicants’ character is assessed and you may have to provide a penal clearance certificate as well.

  • Australian Values Statement

All expatriates need to sign this statement, declaring they are willing to accept the Australian way of life and obey the local laws.

As a permanent resident in Australia, an expat can apply for Australian citizenship after 4 years of residence in the country.


If you would like to find out more about moving your career to Australia then read our article, ‘Career Hotspots for 2014: Australia’ and learn more about this fascinating expatriate location!




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