If you’re not a citizen of the country, you need to hold a relevant visa in order to work in Australia. There are a number of different working visas available, each designed for a specific purpose, and with its own unique requirements for those looking to apply.
For the unfamiliar, Australia’s working visa system can seem a complex and messy thing. So to help you make sense of it all, let’s take a look at everything a potential visa holder needs to know.
Why work in Australia?
Australia is a land of opportunity. As a developed first-world nation it offers workers high pay and a great quality of life. What’s more, this island continent is a joy to experience, full of unique landscapes, cultures and experiences.
The question is less ‘why work in Australia’ than it is ‘why not?’
Am I eligible for an Australian work visa?
Generally speaking, Australia’s work visa system is based on skills and demand. The government identifies areas in which skills are lacking, then prioritises workers who can bring those skills to the country. Another key factor is employer demand – an organisation can choose to sponsor an individual, bringing them over on a specific visa to do a specific job.
For the most part, work visas are granted to those who tick one or more of the following boxes:
- Skilled, specialised and experienced workers
- People participating in specific activities
- Investors and businesspeople
- Trainees (on a short-term basis)
Types of Australian work visas
There are dozens of different Australian work visas, but they can be broadly grouped into the following categories:
- Regional migration visas: These visas are designed to attract migrants to underserved rural communities, and often have a lower barrier to entry.
- Innovation visas: These visas are designed to attract the world’s brightest minds.
- Short stay work visas: These cover working holidaymakers, seasonal workers, and those undertaking short-term and specialist activities.
- Temporary work visas: A slightly different category to short-term visas, temporary visas are often more open-ended, and may provide a pathway to a more permanent visa.
- Permanent work visas: Holders of a permanent work visa are classed as permanent residents. Permanent visas are granted on a regional, skilled migration, business investment or global talent basis.
- Skilled work visas: Skilled workers are highly valued in Australia, and are granted their own visa category. Those who have skills found on the official government list are offered one of the simplest and smoothest paths to approval.
What are the requirements for an Australian work visa?
The requirements will depend on the type of visa you apply for. The bar is far lower for the Working Holiday visa than it is for the Skilled Occupation or Innovation visa, for example. Requirements may include:
- Having the skills and/or experience necessary to do the job you’re applying for.
- Matching the requirements found on the skilled occupations list.
- Being nominated by an Australian employer.
- Meeting health and character requirements.
- Having the necessary English proficiency.
- Being of a certain age or from a certain country.
What is the Australian work visa application process?
At its most basic, the Australian work visa application process can be boiled down to the following six steps:
- Determine the category of work visa you’re eligible for.
- Ensure you meet all of the necessary requirements.
- If necessary, ensure your employer completes the sponsorship/nomination before you apply.
- Fill in the online application form.
- Submit the application along with all relevant supplementary documents.
- Pay your application fee.
The turnaround time for approval will depend on the visa you apply for, and can be anything from days to months.
What is the cost of an Australian work visa?
As above, the cost of a visa application will vary depending on the visa for which you apply. In some instances of sponsorship your employer may pay the fee for you. It’s also important to note that visa fees can change at any time, and you may even be asked to pay extra if fees rise during your application process, as these price rises sometimes apply to applications that have been lodged, but not yet approved.
Remember too that the application fee is just that – an application fee. If your application is declined and you’d like to apply again, you’ll need to pay the fee again. It is therefore vital to check that you meet all requirements and supply all relevant information the first time around. Take our Visa Assessment to find out your eligibility.
Visa and immigration laws are complex, confusing and constantly changing. But if you manage to navigate the system, you could be offered the chance to work in one of the safest, most beautiful and highest-paying countries on earth.
And if you’d like to maximise your chance of Australian work visa success, our team at Four Corners is ready to help!