Working in Australia - Visas

As a place to live, Australia pretty much has it all - exceptional lifestyle, great weather, an educated workforce, political stability and a healthy economy.

Any skilled professional considering the move to Australia should spend some time formulating a visa and entry strategy to suit their overall objectives.

There are two types of visas available to global professionals - Permanent Visas and Temporary Visas.

Permanent Visas

As part of the Australian Government's initiative to encourage economic growth and manage labour supply, over 53,500 places have been made available under the Independent and Skilled Australian-Linked (SAL) categories this year.

Under these categories people are selected on their skills, education and work experience. These migrants are not sponsored by family or companies.

This visa category offers global professionals an opportunity to take proactive action with their entry strategy as it frees them from having to depend on a particular company or individual. This visa also offers unrestricted work rights without a professional having to risk compromising their home country citizenship.

The Australian Department for Multicultural and Indigenousness Affairs (DIMIA) has nominated a number of key occupational categories in need of skilled workers including:

  • IT&T professionals.
  • Teachers.
  • Radiographers.
  • Hairdressers.
  • Accountants.
  • Nurses.

Immigration consultant Assyl Haidar from LIVE IN told CareerOne that many overseas professionals made the mistake of applying for a job BEFORE determining their eligibility.

"Most professionals make the mistake of seeking employment before they secure a visa with the result that their job application is usually ignored," explains Mr Haidar.

"The key is to arrange an immigration strategy first as this substantially increases a candidate's employment prospects," he says.

LIVE IN offers a Free Online Assessment of your visa eligibility. To access the service click here

For general information on the Skilled Migration to Australia program click here.

Employer Nomination Scheme

This scheme focuses on people who are nominated by an employer as having specific skills the employer cannot find locally.

If you are offered a sponsorship opportunity by an Australian employer, you will have the right to permanent residency in Australia.

Amongst other criteria, the following conditions apply to the proposed employment:

The working conditions, wages and terms of employment must be in accordance with Australian industrial laws.

The sponsor must be willing to offer the entrant a minimum of three years employment. (This may be waived for occupations in demand).

An application for Permanent Residence through Employer Nomination can be made either off-shore or within Australia.

However this does not apply to all temporary visas. For example, tourist (visitor) visa or short stay business visa holders would have to wait until they were outside Australia to apply.

Regional Sponsor Nomination Scheme
Recruitment of people from overseas due to a regional shortfall of a particular skill.

Labour Agreements
This is a negotiated agreement with an employer where an agreed number of migrants are recruited under certain conditions. These are permanent and temporary visas to meet certain market shortfalls of labour.

For more information regarding these categories click here.

Business Skills Migration

Another migration strategy may be to apply for a visa under the Business Skills Migration Category. It is open to both business owners and senior executives.

Applications for both business owners and senior executives are assessed using criteria that includes level of proven success, experience, expertise, training and education.

click here to apply under this category.

Established Business in Australia

If you already have a significant ownership interest in an Australian business, and would be willing to take-up residence in Australia for at least nine months in order to take an active role in the management of that business, click here.

Regional Established Business in Australia

If you are temporarily in Australia and an owner or part owner of a business in a designated area of Australia click here.


If you are experienced in making business investments, have access to substantial capital and are willing to make a substantial investment in an Australian Government Security for a fixed term click here.

Temporary Visas

The Working Holiday Visa is a popular way for people to get a taste of living and working in Australia.

If you are between the age of 18- 30, and are a citizen of either Canada, Ireland, Japan, The Republic of Korea, Malta, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom or Germany, you can live and work in Australia for up to 12 months as part of the Working Holiday Maker Program.

You must be either single or married without children and need to demonstrate sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket and support yourself until you find work.

Holders of this visa must also show that their main reason for coming to Australia is for a holiday and that they intend to leave Australia at the end of their authorised stay.

This visa can only be granted once and is valid for twelve months from the date of first entry. During this time, holders may leave and re-enter Australia any number of times.

Work is permitted under this visa, however you may not remain with the same employer for longer than three months.

The WHM also allows for up to three months of training or study in Australia.

How do I apply?

Working holiday visas must be applied for from outside Australia. In particular, you cannot come to Australia on a visitor/tourist visa and then apply for a visa under this program. Citizens of Japan, Korea, Malta or Germany must apply from within their own country.

Temporary Residence Program

This program is designed to give entry to people who can offer a special benefit to Australia.

The successful applicants could be a diplomat, social or cultural expert/commentator, entertainer, media professional, film maker, sports person or religious figure.

For general information regarding Temporary Sponsorship Visa's to Australia click here.

Employment news in particular industries

The best way to keep up with what is happening in your particular professional area regarding employment is to keep checking our News & Views industry channels. You can also search for jobs this way.

After you have clicked on the link above, just select the industry that most interests you from the list and click.

Industries include: Accounting & Finance; Administration; IT &T; Call Centre; Education; Engineering; Executive; Graduate; Government; Health; Hospitality, Tourism & Travel; Sales & Marketing; Trades & Services and Legal.

You can also search for jobs from these specialist Channel areas. CareerOne also allows you to build your resume BUT Australian employers do not want to hear from you unless you have immigration clearance and are ready to go.

There are many recruitment firms that talk to clients about coming to Australia. By reading through stories in our Channel areas, you will come across the names of firms that may have offices in your country.

Please do not apply for a job unless you have a right to work in Australia.

Story by CareerOne, 2002.

Article with thanks to


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