Work Visas Australia

Work and live
in Australia


Australia is a culturally diverse, racially tolerant society that welcomes and offers opportunity to those who wish to settle here. From the vast landscape and the exotic flora and fauna to the cosmopolitan cities, Australia is a beautiful and varied place of contrasts, and a vital destination for business development and growth in the 21st Century.

With Australia’s Work Visa program, or General Skilled Migration Program, individuals with specific skills and capabilities are encouraged to migrate to Australia, not only to improve the economy and the work force, but to give individuals from all over the world a chance to live the fun, yet hardworking lifestyle that Australia is renowned for.

Work Visas for Australia

The Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) is a permanent residency visa for individuals with qualifications and skills in demand. Applicants are required to pass a points test and do not require sponsorship.

Features

This visa is for points-tested skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government.

It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

Requirements

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if invited. When we sent your letter of invitation, you must also have:

  • nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • not yet turned 50 years of age
  • achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
  • at least competent English.

What is the skills assessment requirement?

To apply for a Points Tested Skilled Migration visa, at time of invitation you must nominate an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation lists. You must provide evidence that your skills have been assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority.

You must provide from the relevant assessing authority a full (permanent) skills assessment which must be used for Points Tested Skilled Migration. The criterion by which an assessing authority undertakes different types of skills assessments is determined by the assessing authority in accordance with relevant professional standards. A skills assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, or when a period of three years from the date of issue has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

Some assessing authorities issue a provisional or subclass 485 skills assessment for recent graduates of Australian educational institutions applying for a subclass 485 visa. The primary difference is that a subclass 485 skills assessment does not require employment in the applicant's occupation at the skilled level unlike a full or permanent skills assessment. A suitable provisional skills assessment issued for subclass 485 is not a suitable skills assessment for a Points Tested Skilled Migration visa.

For doctors, evidence of full registration is a suitable skills assessment for Points Tested Skilled Migration. We will accept one of the following certificates issued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency as evidence of full registration:

· full/unconditional/general medical registration

· conditional specialist registration - this registration allows you to practise only in your particular speciality, with no further training or supervision requirements.

For solicitors, evidence of admission to practice as a lawyer in the relevant Sate/Territory is a suitable skills assessment.

The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) allows skilled workers to come to Aust​ralia and work for an approved business for up to four years.

You must be sponsored by an approved business. A business can sponsor someone for this visa if they cannot find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the skilled work.

You can be in or outside Australia​ when you lodge your application.

Features

​​​​​​​​This visa lets a skilled worker travel to Australia to work in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor for up to four years. ​​

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if:

· you have been sponsored by an approved business

· you have the required skills to fill a position nominated by an approved business.

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

​​The Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) is a permanent residence visa for points-test skilled workers who want​​​​ to work and live in Australia after being nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency.

​​To be able to apply for this visa you need to submit an expression of interest and then be invited through SkillSelect to apply.

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is granted.

Features

​This visa is for points-tested skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory government agency.

It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

Requirements

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if you were invited. When we sent you your letter of invitation, you must also have:

· nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list

· obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation

· not yet turned 50 years of age

· achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test

· at least competent English

· been nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency.

The Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) is a provisional work visa for individuals who have the qualifications and skills required to address Australia's skill shortage, but cannot meet the pass mark required to obtain a Skilled Independent visa.
Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 60 points on a points assessment and must either obtain sponsorship from an eligible relative living in a Specified Regional Area of Australia or nomination from a participating State or Territory government.
The assessment is such that applicants are required to be under 50 years of age and be able to demonstrate that they possess a qualification or the skills of an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
Applicants for an Australian Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) must be prepared to live for two years and work for at least twelve months in a Specified Regional Area of Australia. A Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) is valid for up to four years and provides a pathway to permanent residence.


To be nominated by a State or Territory government, applicants must satisfy specific criteria, as set by the particular State or Territory. These may include: having an occupation on the skills shortage list in that State or Territory; or demonstrating specialised skills in an area of need. On 1 July 2012, the skilled migration program switched to a new online system called "SkillSelect" which will require prospective skilled migrants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Once an EOI is submitted, these details can be viewed by Australian employers, state and territory governments and by the Australian Government who have the ability to extend an invitation to lodge a visa application.

Features

This visa is for points-tested skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government.

It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

Requirements

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if invited. When we sent your letter of invitation, you must also have:

  • nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • not yet turned 50 years of age
  • achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
  • at least competent English.

What is the skills assessment requirement?

To apply for a Points Tested Skilled Migration visa, at time of invitation you must nominate an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation lists. You must provide evidence that your skills have been assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority.

You must provide from the relevant assessing authority a full (permanent) skills assessment which must be used for Points Tested Skilled Migration. The criterion by which an assessing authority undertakes different types of skills assessments is determined by the assessing authority in accordance with relevant professional standards. A skills assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, or when a period of three years from the date of issue has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

Some assessing authorities issue a provisional or subclass 485 skills assessment for recent graduates of Australian educational institutions applying for a subclass 485 visa. The primary difference is that a subclass 485 skills assessment does not require employment in the applicant's occupation at the skilled level unlike a full or permanent skills assessment. A suitable provisional skills assessment issued for subclass 485 is not a suitable skills assessment for a Points Tested Skilled Migration visa.

For doctors, evidence of full registration is a suitable skills assessment for Points Tested Skilled Migration. We will accept one of the following certificates issued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency as evidence of full registration:

· full/unconditional/general medical registration

· conditional specialist registration - this registration allows you to practise only in your particular speciality, with no further training or supervision requirements.

For solicitors, evidence of admission to practice as a lawyer in the relevant Sate/Territory is a suitable skills assessment.

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

​The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) allows skilled workers to come to Aust​ralia and work for an approved business for up to four years.

You must be sponsored by an approved business. A business can sponsor someone for this visa if they cannot find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the skilled work.

You can be in or outside Australia​ when you lodge your application.

Features

​​​​​​​​This visa lets a skilled worker travel to Australia to work in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor for up to four years. ​​

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if:

· you have been sponsored by an approved business

· you have the required skills to fill a position nominated by an approved business.

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

​​The Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) is a permanent residence visa for points-test skilled workers who want​​​​ to work and live in Australia after being nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency.

​​To be able to apply for this visa you need to submit an expression of interest and then be invited through SkillSelect to apply.

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is granted.

Features

​This visa is for points-tested skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory government agency.

It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

Requirements

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if you were invited. When we sent you your letter of invitation, you must also have:

· nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list

· obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation

· not yet turned 50 years of age

· achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test

· at least competent English

· been nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency.

Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa (subclass 489)

The Skilled-Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) is for skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in specified regional areas in Australia for four years.

There are two pathways for this visa:

· the Invited Pathway

· the Extended Stay Pathway – you must hold a provisional visa in subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496.

For family members who are included in your visa application (in either visa pathways), they must be a family member of someone who already holds this visa (subclass 489) or a provisional visa in subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496.

Features

This visa allows skilled workers to live and work in specified regional areas in Australia for up to four years.

For the Invited Pathway - Submit an Expression of Interest.

For the Extended Stay Pathway - Apply for a Skilled Regional (Provisional) Renewal (subclass 489) visa.

For family members of someone who already holds a subclass 489, 475, 487, 495 or 496 - Apply for a Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subsequent Entrant (subclass 489) visa.

Requirements

Invited Pathway

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if invited. When we sent your letter of invitation, you must also have:

· been nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area

· nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupations list

· a suitable skills assessment for that occupation

· not yet turned 50 years of age

· achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test

· at least competent English

Extended Stay Pathway

You can also apply for this visa if you hold a provisional visa in subclass 496, 495, 487 or 475.

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

​​The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) is for skilled workers who want to work in Australia. This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa programme.

This visa is a permanent residence visa. You can​ be in or outside Australia when you apply. If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.

The visa has three streams:

  • The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for two years, while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who is not subject to a labour agreement and who has lodged a valid nomination with us under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.



  • The Direct Entry stream is for:
    • people who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
    • people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or
    • temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.
  • The Agreement stream is for subclass 457 visa holders sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.

Features

​This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It allows you to work in Australia under one of three streams:

  • the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • the Direct Entry stream
  • the Agreement stream.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer
  • are younger than 50 years of age, unless you are exempt
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless you are exempt
  • apply under the stream for which you were nominated.

Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)

The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) is a temporary visa for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. It is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries.

First Working Holiday visa: You must be outside Australia when you apply for your first Working Holiday visa and when the visa is decided.

Second Working Holiday visa: If you apply in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted. If you apply outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

Working in Australia – six months with one employer: You can generally only work six months with one employer.

Features

This visa is for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • are at least 18 but not yet 31 years of age
  • do not have a dependent child accompanying you at any time during your stay in Australia
  • have a passport from an eligible country.

To apply for this visa, you must hold a valid passport from a country involved in the Working Holiday Program with Australia. Eligible countries are:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders)
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom.

The Work and Holiday (Temporary) visa (subclass 462) is for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year.

It is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries.

Working in Australia – six months with one employer: You can generally only work six months with one employer.

Features

​This visa is for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • are at least 18 but not yet 31 years of age
  • don't have a dependent child with you at any time during your stay in Australia
  • have a passport from:
    • Argentina
    • Bangladesh
    • Chile
    • China, People's Republic of
    • Indonesia
    • Malaysia
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Slovak Republic
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Thailand
    • Turkey
    • USA
    • Uruguay
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