How to apply for Australia work visa?
Posted on July 23, 2020
Australia is a good overseas career destination. If you choose to work here, you will enjoy basic rights and the same workplace protection rules like other local employees. The standard of living and employee wages are high, this makes Australia an attractive destination to make a career.
As for the work visa options for Australia, the Australian government offers different types of visas. The visa option can be based on your skills or the type of employment you are looking for – permanent or temporary.
Here are more details about the different work visa types, their eligibility requirements and the application process.
Before that here are the basic requirements you must meet to work in Australia. You must have:
- Relevant certification to prove your proficiency in the English language such as the IELTS exam
- Relevant skills and experience relevant to the occupation that you have chosen for nomination
- Your nominated occupation must be in the relevant Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
- Your skills assessed by a Skill assessing authority in Australia
- The health and character requirements for your visa
Work visa options
There are various work visa options, three work visa options can lead to permanent residency while two of them are temporary and lets you stay in the country for a limited time.
Permanent work visa options
1. Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Subclass 186): Employers can nominate you for this visa. The requirement is that your occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations and the list must be applicable to your skills. This visa lets you stay and work permanently in Australia.
Applicants for this visa must:
- Be below 45 years
- Have competent English skills
- Complete a skills assessment for their nominated occupation from the relevant assessing authority which is less than three years old
- Have a minimum of three years of work experience
- Must have a license or registration or be a member of a professional body if it is required in the state or territory the applicant wishes to work in
- Meet the required health and character requirements
The Employee Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa is a permanent residency visa. With this visa, you can:
- Work and study in Australia without restrictions
- Stay in Australia for an unlimited period
- Subscribe for Australia’s universal healthcare scheme
- Apply for Australian citizenship
- Sponsor eligible relatives for temporary or permanent visas
Obligations under the Subclass186 visa
Visa holders and their families must obey all Australian laws and should be ready to work for their nominating employer for at least two years. Those who get the visa must be ready to begin employment within six months of their entry into the country if they got the visa when they were outside Australia or from the date of the visa if they are inside the country.
Employers may also sponsor individuals who are on a 457, TSS or working holiday visa. This visa can result in permanent residency.
Skill Select program: When an employer doesn’t want to appoint you, then you can apply your application through the Skill Select program. Through this program, your information will be made available to employers and governments of the states and territories and they can decide to nominate you. When you send an Expression of Interest (EOI) via the Skill Select program, you let the government know you ‘re interested in working in Australia.
To submit an EOI your occupation must be on the List of Skilled Occupations. After getting your EOI, you’ll be ranked based on a points test. If you have the required points, you qualify for the Skill Select program.
2. Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189)
Before submitting your application under this category, you must give an Expression of Interest through Skill Select and have the required points. You can apply for the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) even though you may not be nominated by an employer.
- Experience in a nominated occupation on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List
- Get a skill assessment report by a designated authority for that occupation
3. Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
If you are nominated by an Australian state or territory you qualify for this visa. This visa has the same privileges as the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189).
The eligibility requirements are also the same.
Temporary work visa options
1. TSS visa (Temporary Skill Shortage): Individuals can work between two to four years under this visa, depending on the requirement of the employee. To obtain this visa for hiring employees, Australian businesses would have to show they are facing a shortage of skills.
Applicants should have previous work experience of at least two years and should be under 45 years. Organizations that hire workers on this visa have to pay them the market salary.
2. Working holiday visa: This visa is available to people in the 18-30 age group to enable them to take up short-term jobs in Australia while on a holiday there. The period is twelve months. You will have to stick to the mandatory health and character requirements while on a holiday and not have any dependents with you.
With the working holiday visa, you can:
- Enter and stay in the country for six months
- Leave and re-enter the country multiple times
- Work for up to six months with an employee
- Choose to study for four months during the visa duration
Moving to Australia without a job offer
The Australian government has the SkillSelect program to help individuals move to Australia without a job offer. Under this program you can move to Australia to find a job there. The program helps you to prove that you have the required skills and qualifications required to work in Australia.
The SkillSelect program was devised to assess applicants with skills under a point-based system so that migrants with the right skills can be selected. The applicants are given points under the following criteria:
Age- Scores are given based on the age group the applicant belongs to. Those between the ages of 25 and 32 score the most points while those above 45 do not gain any points.
English language proficiency- Applicants are required to take the IELTS test. If you score 8 bands or more, you get 20 points.
Skilled employment- If you have experience in a skilled occupation that is listed in the Skilled Occupations List you will get points based on the years of experience. 20 is the maximum points you can gain in this criterion.
Educational qualification- Points are given based on your highest educational qualification. To get points, your qualification must be related to your nominated occupation. The highest is 20 points if you have a doctorate while a bachelor’s or master’s degree will give you 15 points.
Australian qualifications- You can get five points if you have an Australian qualification from an Australian educational institute. You should have done the course from an Australian institute while you were in Australia. And you should have studied for at least two years.
Regional study- You can gain an additional 5 points if you have lived and studied in regional Australia in a place with a low population.
Community language skills- You will gain another 5 points if you have translator/ interpreter level skills in one of the country’s community languages. These language skills must be recognized by Australia’s National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
Spouse/partner skills and qualifications- If you have included your spouse/partner in the application and he/she is not an Australian resident/citizen, then their skills are eligible to be counted towards your total points. You will gain an additional five points if your spouse/partner must meet the basic requirements of the Australian General Skilled Migration like age, English language proficiency and nominated occupation.
Professional year program- You will stand to gain another 5 points if you have completed a Professional Year in Australia in the last five years. In a professional year, you will undergo a structured professional development program that will combine formal training with on-the-job experience.
The Australian government provides visa options for those without a job offer. The visas are:
1.Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189)
2. Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
3.Family Sponsorship program
Skill assessment is integral to the work visa application process. One must select an occupation which is listed in the Australia’s Occupational Demand List. This list will mention occupations that face a skill shortage in the country. Every occupation in the list has its own skill assessing authority. The ACS (Australian Computer Society) assesses occupations under IT and computers. Trade occupations are assessed by the TRA (Trade Recognition Australia) or the VETASSESS (Vocational Educational and Training Assessment Services).
If an applicant must move to the next stage of the visa application process, he must get a positive skill assessment.
To get their skill assessment done candidates must meet the required conditions outlined by the assessing authority which is evaluating their occupation. The candidate should have the related qualifications and experience to get a positive assessment.
The first requirement for a positive skill assessment is that your occupation must be related to your work experience. If there is a mismatch, then you will not get the required points.
Apart from this you must submit all the required documents. They must be authentic and complete and any small discrepancy in your documents can lead to a negative assessment. You will have to submit every additional detail requested by the assessing authority. The documents should support your qualifications and experience claims.
Factors considered by the assessing authority:
- Occupation in which you nominated yourself
- Your qualifications
- Your work experience
- Relevance of your work to your occupation
- Visa category under which you are applying
Apart from this, proof of undergoing a language assessment test such as IELTS or PTE is required by the skill assessment bodies.
You must also submit proof of your work experience, these can include:
- Pay slips
- Employer reference letters
Recent bank statements that show salary credits
Processing time and cost
The processing period varies according to the visa you are applying for. The processing time will include the time taken to check the information and include additional details that the authorities are demanding. The average time it takes to process your visa will range from 6 to 12 months.
The cost depends on which visa you apply for. Fees are revised regularly. So, check on the fees before submitting your application.