Work Visas for Australia

Overseas skilled workers play a major role across Australia’s various industries. When people talk about a work visas for Australia, they are likely referring to an employer-sponsored visa.

It should be noted that getting work visas in Australia is not a simple process. A variety of safeguards exist within employer sponsored visas that are designed to put job opportunities for Australian workers first. These ensure that overseas workers complement, but do not displace Australian workers. These safeguards include:

  • requiring market salary rates to be paid to sponsored workers
  • mandating a minimum salary of $53,900 (The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold – TSMIT)
  • limiting the occupations that are eligible for employer sponsorship to only those determined to be in demand in the Australian labour market by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment
  • requiring employers to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF Training Levy)
  • requiring overseas workers to hold relevant Australian registration, licences and certificates
  • skills, English language, age, and work experience requirements for overseas workers

Work Visa Options in Australia

There are several visa options catering for the various needs of the business in work visas for Australia. The most common type of employer-sponsored visa is called Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482), also known as the TSS visa. Depending on the employer, the nominated occupation and the applicant’s country of passport, the visa validity can go from 1 to 5 years. To be eligible for this visa, the visa applicant must:

  • Have an eligible sponsor to nominate him/her for a position within the business
  • Have the skills, qualification/s and experiences required for a position on the occupation list
  • Demonstrate English language ability via approved English tests
  • Meet health and character requirements
A father and son cook while considering their work visa options in Australia on a laptop
A male and female with TSS Visas work together to solve a probelm

TSS Visa Holders

For TSS visa holders with an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), they may have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency after working for 3 years for their sponsor on the TSS visa. The permanent residency visa is called Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream.

Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa also has a direct entry stream (DE stream), which targets visa applicants of exceptional skills and experiences. To be eligible, the visa applicant must:

  • Have a positive skills assessment for an occupation on the eligible occupation list
  • Have at least 3 years of relevant work experience in the nominated occupation
  • Have Competent English
  • Meet health and character requirements

Regional Work With General Skilled Migration

If your position is based in a regional area, it is also possible for you to apply for a Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa, also known as SESR visa. The eligibility requirement is slightly higher than the TSS visa. The visa applicant must:

  • Have an eligible sponsor to nominate him/her for a position within the business
  • Have the skills, qualification/s and experiences required for a position on the occupation list
  • Competent English
  • Positive skills assessment
  • At least 3 years of relevant work experience
  • Meet health and character requirements

After holding the Subclass 494 visa for 3 years, it is possible to apply for permanent residency (PR) under Subclass 191 visa.

More on general skilled migration to Australia

A young man crossing fingers hoping that his work visa in Australia is granted
A construction worker thinking about short term work in Australia

Short Term Work in Australia

If you are assigned to Australia to do short-term temporary work that is considered non-ongoing, e.g. resource project, project shutdown, highly technical work such as commissioning, you can also consider a Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa. To be eligible for this visa, you must:

  • Have an eligible employer in Australia to invite you
  • have highly specialised skills, knowledge or experience that can help Australian business and can’t reasonably be found in Australia
  • Depart Australia after your assigned work is completed
  • Be a genuine temporary visitor

Whether you are an employer looking to sponsor workers from Australia, or a prospective employee being sponsored by an Australia employer, you can always speak to our visa team to find out the best visa pathway moving forward.