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Working Visas In Australia – Complete Guide

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Wanting to Work in Australia and not sure which visa to apply for?

Excellent news! you’ve found yourself in the right place, lucky for you there are so many different visa options available for you to work here in Australia. 

In this guide, I will provide you with all the details on the most common types of working visas in Australia so you can find which visa suits you best.

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1. Types of Working Visas in Australia

The most common types of visas for Australia are also some of the easiest visas to obtain. Here are the ones that are most common:

Stay with me, as I will cover the requirements and how to obtain one of these visas.

1.1 Working Holiday Visa Australia Subclass 417 & 462

The working holiday visa is the most common visa for people aged between 18-35 years old. The visa allows work and travel in Australia for an initial period of 12 months. However, there is a possibility to gain a second year and third year working holiday visa if you complete 88 days (second year) or 6 months (third year) of specified work.

You can apply for this visa online and it has a relatively simple process. 

The cost of the visa is $635 AUD as of writing. 

There are two types of visa subclasses for this visa. Subclass 417 and subclass 462

Subclass 417 is offered to passport holders from the following countries

Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK

Subclass 462 is offered to passport holders from the following countries

Argentina, Austria, Ecuador, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, the USA and Vietnam.

I have created a detailed guide to obtaining this visa. See the details on how to apply for the  First Year Working Holiday Visa 

If you do not meet the requirements for this visa, there are other options to work here in Australia. 

Continue reading to discover some other visas which may be better.

2. Professional Visas Requiring Sponsorship Australia

If you are not eligible for a Working Holiday Visa in Australia, then you should consider a temporary employer-sponsored visa if you wish to work in Australia.

Australia has several skill shortages, which means you have the opportunity to be sponsored by an employer to work here. You can check the skilled occupation list for details about potential jobs that may be included.

Temporary Skilled Shortage Visas (TSS Visa: subclass 482) allows you to work and live in Australia for a period of up to four years. They are available across many different professions and occupations.

Want to know more about TSS? Watch this informative video from Australian Immigration—it breaks down everything about this work visa.

There are three paths you can apply for with this visa depending on the skills shortage requirements at the time of applying. I cover them below:

2.1 Short-Term Stream

To be eligible for this visa you must have a minimum of two years relevant work experience and be sponsored by a registered employer. Your skill must be listed on the short-term skilled occupation list.

Once this visa is granted you can work for the sponsored employer for a period of up to two years with the option to extend the visa for up to 4 years. 

The cost for this visa is $1,455.

You can find more details about this visa on the Australian Government Website.

2.2 Medium-Term Stream

To be eligible for this visa you must have a minimum of two years relevant work experience and be sponsored by a registered employer. Your skill must be listed on the medium and long-term strategic skills list and your employer must be willing to sponsor you for a term of four years. 

You can also study while you work with this visa, however, you won’t be entitled to government support.

The cost of the TSS medium-term stream visa is $3,035 AUD. You can find more details about this visa on the Australian Government Website.

2.3 Labour Agreement Stream

Sometimes, an Australian business enters into an agreement with the Australian Government to sponsor a specific number of skilled overseas workers in order to address identified or potential skill shortages within the Australian workforce.

If your sponsorship is approved you can work and live in Australia for up to four years (contingent on the conditions of your visa).

The cost is $3,035 AUD.

The great thing about the TSS visa is that it allows you to bring family members (on a subsequent 482 entrant visa). You can also create a path to permanent Residency and Citizenship with this visa.

You can find more details about this visa here on the Australian Government Website.

Watch our top 3 tips on how to successfully land sponsorship jobs in Australia.

2.4 How to Apply for These Temporary Work Visas in Australia:

  1. Find an employer who wants to sponsor you, or who wants to recruit overseas workers.
  2. The employer must register to be a sponsor (or be already registered)
  3. The employer must nominate the position they wish to recruit for
  4. After the sponsorship and nomination forms have been lodged, you (the employee) can apply for the visa.
  5. If you are sponsored by an Australian business or a registered Overseas Business Sponsor, you can apply online on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.

3. Sponsored Training Visas

The training visa allows you to undertake a supervised, workplace-based training program in Australia to improve your current professional skill set or upgrade your knowledge in your field of tertiary study.

You must be a minimum of 18 years of age and have been working or studying in this field for a minimum of 12 months.

You can apply for a training visa in Australia when a recognised Australian organization nominates or invites you. The nomination requirements vary according to the type or purpose of training (more on this later). You can also include family members in your application.

The period of this visa is for 2 years from the date you arrive in Australia. This visa can’t be extended but you can apply for a new visa before this visa ends.

Types of nominations for the Training Visa:

  1. Occupational training required for registration
    • This nomination is for applicants whose occupations require licensing or registration in Australia or their home country.
  2. Occupational training to improve skills
    • This nomination is for applicants who need to complete a structured workplace-based training program to improve their professional skills or knowledge in their field of tertiary study.
  3. Occupational training for capacity building overseas.
    • This nomination is for applicants who are looking for a professional development course or internship to supplement their qualifications. Overseas businesses can also send their managerial or executive candidates to take part in this type of structured training program.

How to Apply?

There are three major steps you must follow:

  1. Find an Australian nominating organization that is willing to train you and make sure the training they provide meets your needs
  2. The organization must lodge a nomination application online on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.
  3. Once you have been nominated you can apply for the visa online on the same website.

Cost is AUD$405 for the main applicant (cost to include family members is additional)

4. Student Visas for Australia

If you are not eligible for any of the visas I mentioned above the last option I can recommend is a student visa for Australia. This visa is easy to obtain but has the highest costs involved compared to the visa options I have provided. Basically, because you are paying full international student fees for university or training courses.

A student visa doesn’t have an age limit.

The most popular courses that are studied by international students are English Language courses, Cookery, and Carpentry. 

These courses are popular because they are more affordable options. Also, Cookery and Carpentry are on the skilled shortage lists and by studying and working in these industries many international students create an easier pathway towards residency. 

The cost of the visa is $710 AUD and the visa can be valid for up to 5 years depending on the course you are applying for. 

The courses vary in cost depending on what you study. However, the English language, cookery and carpentry courses are between $5,000 – $10,000 AUD per year tuition fees.

The costs may seem rather high, however, many international students work while they study. Australia has a very high minimum wage compared to the rest of the world meaning wages and salaries are a lot higher than most countries. Many international students that I know are still able to travel around Australia and take trips to Bali and other international destinations every year while studying in Australia.

You can find more information about student visas here.

5. FAQ

There are three ways to apply for a visa. It depends on your computer proficiency, English proficiency and personal preference.

1) Do it yourself – The cheapest option (but may take longer). Using visa guides like ours should always be double checked with official information.

2) Visa Agency/ Travellers company – If you are the type of person who would rather have a good time than worry about filling out government forms here we explain how a visa company can assist.

3) Getting Sponsored is a way to get help from an employer who will work with you and possibly an agency.

The most common types of visas in Australia are also the easiest visas to obtain. Working Holiday Visas (subclasses 417 and 462) are among the popular options, but there are more choices available which may be better.
There are many ways to get a work visa in Australia. The requirements and process depend on the specific type of visa you’re applying for.

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