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Visa options to live and work in Australia

Posted on December 24, 2019
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live and work in Australia

Australia has become a popular destination for people wanting to make a career. It has a robust economy and has plenty of job opportunities in multiple sectors.

It is a choice destination for overseas workers owing to its employee-friendly policies, an environment of social harmony and an attractive lifestyle.

Added to this, companies here are always on the lookout for skilled workers owing to the growing economy. They are open to hiring immigrants from other countries.

When you opt to work here, you enjoy basic rights and the same workplace protection rules as other local employees. The standard of living and employee wages are high by international standards. You can avail social benefits like free healthcare and other social benefits.

All of this makes Australia an attractive destination to make a career.

Work visa options:

The Australian government has a range of conditions and clauses for foreigners seeking a job here. There are different types of visas available, it can be based on your skills or the type of employment you are looking – permanent or temporary.

Before we get further into the details about an Australian work visa, we will tell you about two common misconceptions about Australian work visas.

  1. Companies can easily sponsor individuals for work visas:

Many countries have a straightforward process for processing work visas applications. Qualifications of both employees and employer are considered, fees are fixed and paid, and the application is then processed.

It is not so easy for Australian employers. They will first have to give valid reasons on why they are considering an overseas employee and prove that they have attempted to fill the job with local Australian employees by training them to fill the roles first.

Australian employers will also have to prove that they have allocated a certain percentage of their payroll to train local employees in the last 12 months.

  1. You can get a job without a visa:

Considering the general and additional requirements required to become a sponsor for work visas, employers will not consider applications from overseas workers unless they have valid working rights.

It is not easy to get a job in Australia without a work visa because most employers would prefer you to apply for a work visa first by applying through a skilled migration program.

Requirements to work in Australia:

The requirements for the work visa may vary depending on the visa you are applying for. However, there are certain eligibility requirements common to all visa applications:

  • You must have the relevant certification to prove your proficiency in the English language such as the IELTS exam
  • You must have the 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 should be assessed by a Skill assessing authority in Australia
  • You will have to meet the health and character requirements for your visa

What are the work visa options you can consider?

If you are thinking of working in Australia, then as mentioned above it is best to apply for a work visa before you start your job hunt in Australia. There are five work visa options available, two of them are temporary and lets you stay in the country for a limited time, the other two options can lead the way to permanent residency.

Temporary work visa options:

TSS visa (Temporary Skill Shortage):  Under this visa, individuals can work between two to four years depending on the employee’s requirement. To issue this visa, companies will have to prove that they are facing a skills shortage.

Applicants should have a minimum of two years’ work experience and should be below 45 years. Companies taking employees on this visa must pay them the market salary.

Working holiday visa: This visa is open to people in the age group of 18-30 to encourage them to take up short-term employment in Australia while they are on a vacation there. The validity is for 12 months. You will have to adhere to a certain character and health requirements and not have any dependents with you while on your holiday.

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

Permanent work visa options:

  1. Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Subclass 186): 

With this visa, you can be nominated by an employer. The condition is your occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations and the list must be relevant to your skills. This visa lets you live and work in Australia on a permanent basis.

Employers can also sponsor overseas workers who are on a 457, TSS or working holiday visa. This visa can lead to permanent residency

In case an employer is not willing to nominate you, then you can submit your application through the SkillSelect program. Through this program, your details will be available to employers and state and territory governments and some might choose to nominate you. When you submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect program, you are letting the government know that you are keen to work in Australia.

To send an EOI your occupation must be on the Skilled Occupations List. Once your EOI is received, you will be ranked based on a points test. Apart from ranking above other applicants, you must score at least 60 points to receive an invitation.

If you qualify through the SkillSelect program, you can apply for the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189).  You can apply for this visa, even if an employer does not nominate you.

  1. Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189): 

Before submitting your application under this category, you must give an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. This can be done within or outside of Australia.

The applications are by invitation only, for this you should:

Have Experience in a nominated occupation on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List

Get a skill assessment report by a designated authority for that occupation

  1. Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190):

You qualify for this visa if you are nominated by an Australian state or territory. The privileges in this visa are the same as the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189)

The application requirements are similar except that you should have experience in a nominated occupation on the Skilled Occupations List.

Processing time and cost of work visas:

The processing time will vary based on the visa you are applying for. The processing time will include the time taken to verify your details and to provide an additional detail requested by the authorities. The average time can vary between 6 to 12 months to process your visa.

The cost depends on the visa you have applied for. The fees tend to get updated regularly. So, it is better to review the fees before submitting your application.

If you are planning to work in Australia, it is better to consult an immigration expert to know about your work visa options and the right option for you.

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