Working in Australia: Requirements and Procedure

Australia, with its vibrant cities and ever growing economy, attracts individuals from all corners of the globe seeking exciting work opportunities. If you’re one such individual, navigating the path to obtain working visa seems to be a little difficult. Don’t panic, this blog post will equip you with the vital information you need on the requirements and procedures for securing your Australian work permit.

Understanding the Work Visa Landscape

Australia offers a diverse range of work visas, each catering to specific circumstances. Here’s a glimpse into the most common ones:


1. Skilled Work Visas: This category caters to individuals with skills and experience in occupations listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Popular options include:

    • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa: For occupations facing skills shortages, sponsored by an approved employer.
    • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189): Permanent residency visa based on points awarded for skills, age, English proficiency, and other factors.

2. Employer Sponsored Visas: These require sponsorship from an accredited employer in Australia. Examples include:

    • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa: For skilled occupations, sponsored by an employer in specific locations.
    • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa: Encourages skilled migration to regional areas, with similar requirements to ENS.

Working in Australia: Visa Types

Australia’s work visa system offers a variety of options depending on your skills, experience, and career goals. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common types:

Skilled Work Visas:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482): Perfect if your occupation is on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and you have an approved employer sponsoring you for a position where there’s a lack of qualified Australians. This is a temporary visa, typically valid for up to four years.

  • Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189): This visa grants permanent residency and is ideal for skilled professionals with qualifications in high-demand occupations on the SOL. You’ll be assessed on a points system based on factors like age, work experience, English language proficiency, and qualifications.

Employer Sponsored Visas:

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (Subclass 186): This permanent residency visa requires sponsorship from an accredited employer in Australia for a skilled occupation on the SOL. This option is often used when your skills align perfectly with a specific employer’s needs.

  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa: Similar to the ENS visa, but aims to encourage skilled migration to regional areas of Australia. It generally has more relaxed requirements compared to the ENS.

  • Working Holiday Visa: This temporary visa allows working holidays for up to one year, with opportunities to extend under certain circumstances. It’s a great option for young people who want to experience working and traveling in Australia.

  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (Subclass 188): This visa caters to entrepreneurs and investors who want to establish or invest in a business in Australia. It can lead to permanent residency.

Working in Australia: Visa Requirements

While specific requirements vary by visa type, some general benchmarks apply:

  • Skills and Experience: Possessing relevant skills and experience in an occupation listed on the SOL is often mandatory.
  • Age: Most visas have an age limit, typically capped at 45 years old, with exceptions.
  • English Language Proficiency: Demonstrating sufficient English language ability through tests like IELTS or PTE is essential.
  • Health and Character Requirements: Meeting health and character requirements, often involving medical examinations and police checks, is mandatory.

The Application Process:


The application process typically involves these steps:

  1. Research and choose the appropriate visa: Carefully assess your skills, experience, and circumstances to determine the most suitable visa category.
  2. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect: This online system expresses your interest in migrating to Australia and allows the government to assess your eligibility.
  3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA): If your EOI meets the criteria, you’ll receive an ITA for a specific visa subclass.
  4. Apply for the visa: Gather supporting documents, pay the application fee, and submit your application electronically.
  5. Visa processing and decision: The Department of Home Affairs assesses your application, and you’ll be notified of the outcome.

Work in Australia: Visa Processing Time

Securing a work visa is a crucial step in your journey to working and living in Australia. While the process can be exciting, understanding the visa processing timelines is essential for planning and managing expectations.

The Australian Department of Home Affairs publishes visa processing time information on their website. Here’s a general overview of the current processing times for some popular work visa categories:

  • Skilled Work Visas:
    • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482): 39 Days
    • Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189): 11 Months
  • Employer Sponsored Visas:
    • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (Subclass 186): Not available (individual processing times apply)
    • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494): Not available (individual processing times apply)

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