Australia work visas

Are you a skilled professional? Then, there are the many options in Australia work visas that you can choose from. Take one pathway to build a bright future working in skilled occupations in Australia.

Regional Migration

The Government of Australia stands firm on its commitment to support the country’s regional areas in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In November 2019, the Government of Australia announced changes to Australia immigration program. The aim of these announcements was to strengthen Australia’s economy as well as boost regional areas.

The regional migration program of Australia offers:

  • 2 skilled regional provisional visas that present a pathway to Australia PR
  • 1 skilled regional PR visa (to be launched in November 2022)
  • Additional points for nominated skilled migrants under the Skilled Migration Points Test (nomination to settle and work in Australia’s regional areas)
  • Visa options offered to international students who graduated from regional universities

The Government of Australia works in collaboration with the territory, state, and local governments, as well as local communities. This results in programs that attract international migrants to Australia’s regional areas.

Skilled migrants arriving to settle in regional Australia find a diverse range of occupations on offer that matches their skills, experience, and qualifications.

Regional Work Visas

Regional visas

There are 2 skilled regional provisional visas offered by Australia for skilled migrants as well as their dependent family members willing to live in regional Australia and work there.

  • Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa): This visa is for those who receive a nomination from the government of an Australian state or territory. They are otherwise be sponsored by a family member deemed eligible, to live and work in Australia’s regional areas.
  • Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa): This visa type is for those sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.

Another visa type coming up is the Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa). This will be from November 2022.

To be eligible for Australia PR, those who hold the new skilled regional provisional visas must show that they have lived and worked in Australia’s regional areas holding one of the visas mentioned above.

Temporary skilled visas
  • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage visa): This visa needs sponsorship
  • Subclass 489 (Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa): No new applications are accepted for this visa. The pathways of extended stay and the subsequent entrant will stay open to applicants who are eligible.
Permanent skilled visas
  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme): This visa requires sponsorship. It’s not open to new applications. Its Temporary Residence Transition stream however is still open to Subclass 482 or transitional 457 workers.
  • Subclass 887 (Skilled Regional visa)
Working Holiday Maker visas
  • Subclass 417 (Working holiday visa)
  • Subclass 462 (Work and holiday visa)
Pacific and seasonal work visas
  • Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations) visa): Endorsement is required for workers under the Pacific Labour scheme
  • Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations) visa): Endorsement is required for workers under the Seasonal Worker program
Temporary graduate visa

Subclass 485 (Second Temporary Graduate visa): This Post-Study Work stream visa is meant for those who hold a first Subclass 485 Post-Study Work stream visa graduated from a registered education provider under CRICOS in a designated regional area. The student continued to live in the designated regional area.

Visas for Innovation

These are visas Australia issues to rope in the best and brightest talents from around the world to contribute to strengthening the country’s economy.

Global Talent Visa Program

This program is also known as the Global Talent Independent Program. It’s a visa pathway streamlined for professionals who are highly skilled to work in high-skilled jobs. They can also live in Australia as permanent residents.

This program is designed to help grow Australia’s tech and innovation economies. It’s expected that the program will create opportunities for Australians by promoting innovation, transferring skills, and creating jobs.

Australia is as popular as a lifestyle destination as it’s a career destination. It’s one of the safest, most prosperous, and culturally diverse nations in the world. The country has opportunities for innovation as well as strong trading links. It maintains a regulatory approach that’s business-friendly.

Through the program, talented people will get Australia PR to establish their life and career in Australia.

In 2020-2021, 15,000 places are available under the program.

Global Talent Officers are usually located in London, Singapore, Washington DC, and Shanghai. They are working to promote the program through their engagement with prospective applicants, industry, and business. Currently, they execute this role from inside Australia owing to COVID-19.

Eligibility for Global Talent Visa Program

A visa under the Global Talent Visa Program is available only to a candidate who is highly skilled in one of the following 10 target sectors. They also need to be able to attract a salary matching the high-income threshold.

Target sectors

  • Agri-food & AgTech
  • Health Industries
  • Circular Economy
  • Infrastructure & Tourism
  • Education
  • Resources
  • Energy
  • Defense, Space, and Advanced Manufacturing
  • DigiTech
  • Financial Services & FinTech
Global Talent Employer Sponsored program

The GTES program lets employers grant sponsorship to foreign workers for niche positions that require them to be highly skilled that can’t be manned:

  • by workers from among the Australians
  • via other standard visa programs (the Short-term and Medium-term streams of the TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa

Before finalizing an agreement with the Department, businesses must demonstrate that they can’t man the position via existing skilled visa programs.

The employer will then can sponsor workers for a TSS visa under the GTES.

Any position manned via an agreement under GTES must give opportunities for Australians by:

  • creating fresh employment for Australians
  • transferring knowledge and skills to Australian workers

You have to demonstrate how you realize these opportunities all through the period of the GTES agreement.

GTES streams

Established Business stream

This GTES stream allows employers who are accredited sponsors to recruit workers possessing cutting-edge skills so that they can innovate in an established business. They can as well make Australian businesses and the Australian employees in it grow into the best talents in their jobs.

Start-up stream

This GTES stream allows employers to sponsor foreign workers with cutting-edge skills to make their contribution to the developing start-up ecosystem of Australia as well as generate and apply new ideas, new skills, new technology, and new jobs into Australia.

This stream is meant for start-ups that operate in a STEM or tech-based field.

Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA)

SISA is a new visa arrangement created by Australia. It’s designed to attract foreign entrepreneurs to work on innovative ideas as well as launch start-ups that are at the seed stage.

If SISA, being piloted in South Australia, finds success, it will be implemented on a national level.

SISA does the following:

  • It complements existing visas for entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Business Innovation & Investment program
  • It drives entrepreneurialism in South Australia, besides creating jobs and adding value to the innovation ecosystem in South Australia
  • It ensures that Australia stays open and competitive when it comes to attracting the brightest and the best talent in entrepreneurship required to drive ideas for innovation to commercial entities.

The SISA event

SISA gets implemented via the SISA event. The Government of South Australia is currently running the event from November 2018 to November 2021.

The SISA event gives the opportunity to local and overseas entrepreneurs to share their skills and talent, and experience, besides exchanging ideas and learning from one another. They also use the event to collaborate and network. All this leads to the growth of innovation systems in Australia.

Short stay work visas

Working Holiday Maker visas

These are visas for young adults who are looking for work during an extended holiday so that they can find the funds to spend their time in Australia.

  • Subclass 462 – Work & holiday visa
  • Subclass 417 – Working holiday visa

Pacific & seasonal work visas

These are visas for workers who want to take part in the Seasonal Worker Program or the Pacific Labor Scheme.

  • Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa for the Pacific Labor scheme; endorsement is required
  • Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa for the Seasonal Worker Program; endorsement is required

Temporary activity & specialist visas

These are visas for works of a particular type or a work that’s highly specialized, done on a short-term basis.

  • Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa: Some streams require sponsorship
  • Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
Temporary work visas

This category of visas allows you to come and work in Australia on a temporary basis. Conditions may be attached to your visa that allow only specific work or employment with only a particular employer.

A provisional visa, that provides a permanent residence pathway in Australia, is also a temporary visa. You could apply for the Australian permanent visa that’s related to the provisional visa.

The following is a list of Temporary work visas currently available.

  • Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa, for which sponsorship is required
  • Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa
  • Subclass 476 – Skilled Recognised Graduate visa
  • Subclass 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 188 – Business Innovation & Investment (Provisional) visa, for which sponsorship is required
New regional visas

There are 2 new skilled regional provisional visas coming up and going to be available for skilled migrants as well as their dependent family members. The dependent family members should be willing to live as well as work in regional Australia from November 16, 2019.

  • Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: This visa is meant for those nominated by the government of a territory or a state in Australia, or sponsored by a family member deemed eligible to live and work in Australia’s regional areas.
  • Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: This visa is meant for those who have received a sponsorship from an employer in regional Australia.
Permanent work visas

If you have an Australia PR visa, you are a permanent resident of Australia.

Here’s a list of Permanent work visas offered under Australia immigration.

Regional visa

These are visas meant for skilled migrants willing to reside and work in regional Australia.

  • Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme for which sponsorship is required
  • Subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa

These are open for applications in November 2022.

Skilled migration visas

These are visas meant for skilled migrants to reside and work at any location in Australia.

  • Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa, for which sponsorship is required
  • Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent visa
  • Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated visa, for which sponsorship is required
  • Subclass 887 – Skilled Regional visa
Business investment visas

These are visas meant for entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors willing to continue their business activity in Australia. This category of visas also enables entrepreneurs to establish a new business or bring up a business currently existing in Australia.

  • Subclass 888 – Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa, for which sponsorship is required
  • Subclass 132 – Business Talent (Permanent) visa, for which sponsorship is required
Distinguished talent visas

These are visas meant for people holding an internationally recognized record of exceptional achievement in a field considered eligible. It includes applicants for the Global Talent Independent visa.

  • Subclass 124 – Distinguished Talent visa, for which sponsorship is required
  • Subclass 858 – Distinguished Talent visa, for which sponsorship is required
Skilled occupation list

The visas listed below are available to those qualified to work or train in a skilled occupation deemed eligible in Australia:

  • Subclass 482 – TSS visa (Temporary Skill Shortage)
  • Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent visa – The stream is points-tested
  • Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 407 – Training visa
  • Subclass 187 – RSMS visa (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme)
  • Subclass 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 186 – ENS visa (Employer Nomination Scheme)
  • Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated visa
  • Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa – Graduate Work
  • Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa

Using SkillSelect you can make an EOI (Expression of Interest) in case you are a skilled worker or a businessperson from outside Australia willing to migrate to Australia. All EOIs have to be completed online with the use of SkillSelect. An EOI isn’t a visa application. There’s no fee charged for creating or submitting an EOI in SkillSelect.

Certain programs may require you to take part in a skills assessment or appropriate points test. You could complete an EOI even though you fail to meet the pass mark. However, you will be ineligible for an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for an Australian visa.

EOIs in SkillSelect

After completing your EOI, it’s kept in SkillSelect. The EOI is valid for 2 years. Even incomplete EOIs will get stored this way for 2 years, though it won’t get eligibility to receive an invitation.

You will have access to your EOI. You can make updates to your information any time you wish to. It’s up to you to access your EOI as well as update your details in case your circumstances change. Any update has to be made to your EOI before you get an invitation to apply for a visa.

EOI update may be done in cases where:

  • you have gained a higher qualification
  • you have gained new work experience
  • your family structure has changed
  • you have improved your ability in the English language

These changes may also have an effect on your points score.  It could lead to an improvement in your ranking. It’s your responsibility to make sure that you don’t give any false, incorrect, or misleading information on your EOI. If you do so, your application might meet refusal.

Your EOI will be taken away from Skillselect if:

  • you get 2 invitations and you don’t apply for a visa in response to any of the invitations, or
  • you get an invitation to apply for a provisional or permanent visa and that visa is granted subsequently.

The following are visas that you can apply for through SkillSelect:

  • State and territory nominated visas
  • Independent and Skilled Regional (Provisional) visas
  • Business Innovation and Investment visas
COVID-19: Are SkillSelect draws being held?

SkillSelect draws continue to be held. Latest draw was held on March 13 in which total 2,050 invitations were sent – Skilled Independent visa [subclass 189]: 1,750; and Skilled Work Regional [Provisional] visa [subclass 491] – Family Sponsored: 300.

COVID-19: What if my visa has already expired?

If your visa has expired within the previous 28 days, you will have to apply for a Bridging Visa E [BVE] at once in order to remain lawful in Australia. With a BVE temporary visa, you can remain lawful while you make arrangements to leave.

For staying lawfully in Australia, you will have to apply for a new visa.

COVID-19: I have been laid off. What do I do now?

If you have been laid off and are not employed at the moment, you should find another employer within 60 days. Arrangements to leave Australia must be made, wherever possible, if you can’t find a new employer.

COVID-19: I have been stood down by my employer. Will it affect my visa?

Those stood down and with Temporary Skills Shortage visa [subclass 482] or Temporary Work [Skilled] visa [subclass 457] will maintain their visa validity. Businesses can extend their visas as per normal arrangements. Work hours can also be reduced without the visa holder being in breach of visa conditions.

How long can you stay in Australia on a Working Visa?

You can stay in Australia for 12 months to 4 years depending on the category of your Work Visa. If it is under the RSMS or ENS, you can stay indefinitely as long as you remain sponsored under these schemes.

What are the requirements to work in Australia?

The requirements to work in Australia through the Skilled Visa are:

  • You must be below 45 years when you apply
  • You must possess adequate ability in the English language for working in Australia, minimum a competent level
  • Your nominated skilled occupation suiting your qualifications and skills must be found on the SOL
  • Your skills must be assessed by the assessing authority in Australia designated to assess your nominated occupation before you apply
  • You must have reasonably good health and get your health assessed by a panel doctor by undergoing a medical examination
  • You must have good character and this also will be assessed

•    You must pass the Points test with a minimum of 65 points

How much IELTS score is required by Nurses for Australia?

In case of Nurses the IELTS (academic module) with a minimum overall score of 7 and a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking) to apply for registration as an enrolled nurse. Applicants can also undergo OET, TOEFL or PTE (Academic) English tests.

How can I get Work Permit for Australia from India?

The process for applying for Australia Work Visa from India is as follows:

  • Obtain the required bands’ score in IELTS
  • Obtain skills assessment results from an appropriate authority
  • Select a suitable occupation for nominating from relevant Skilled Occupation List of Australia
  • Obtain the essential sponsorship/nomination if you are applying for a Sponsored Visa
  • You must apply for suitable skilled Visa for Australia PR, i.e. Subclass 190, 189, etc. Applicants can also apply for 491 subclass Regional Provisional Visa.
  • Score at least 65 points according to the Australian points-based system, nevertheless, higher your score, higher your chances of obtaining PR Visa
  • If you receive the invitation to apply for a Visa, then you must apply within 60 days
  • Obtain the essential character and health certifications
Is IELTS mandatory for Australian Work Visa?

IELTS is the key language test whose score is considered as evidence of your proficiency in the English language. This is if you are immigrating to Australia from India or from another nation. You must have good IELTS score as English is the primary language of Australia.

Alternatively, applicants have an option of taking up PTE (Academic) or TOEFL or OET or CAE English Tests as well as per the requirements of the respective authorities under skilled migration.

How long does it take to get a Work Visa for Australia?

The Australia Work Visa processing times will again depend on the category of Visa that you have applied. It will also depend on other factors that include:

  • The time that is taken for verification of your details
  • Any additional clarification/requirement sought by the authorities

Nevertheless, it will usually take around 6 to 12 months for processing your Work Visa.

How can I apply for a work Visa to Australia?

To work and live in Australia, you would be required to apply for any one of the below categories.

  • Skilled Migration Visa – This is a type of Visa that is issued to foreign skilled workers who have the desired skills needed by the Australian labour market.
  • Nominated/Sponsored Work Visa – This Visa is issued to those individuals who are nominated or sponsored by either a recognised Australian employer, A government agency of a state or territory, or A territory or state authority.


Working in Australia depends on the type of Visa you are applying for. However, there are certain general requirements that are given below.

  • A good score in IELTS test as a proof of your English language strength
  • The skilled Occupation List SOL must have your nominated occupation listed on it
  • You must possess the experience and skill required for the job you are applying for
  • A recognized Australian Assessing Authority should assess your skills
  • Character and Health requirements should be met

Basically, you should meet all the criteria required by the type of Visa you are applying

If you are applying for an Australian work Visa, it is advised that you take the help of an Australian Immigration Specialist.

The different types of Australian Work Visas are below.

  1. Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
  2. Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
  3. Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)
  4. Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
  5. Skilled Region or Relative Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)
  6. Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124)
  7. Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132)
  8. Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)
  9. Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400)
  10. Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa (subclass 401)
  11. Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403)
  12. Special Program visa (subclass 416) for the Seasonal Worker Program
  13. Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
  14. Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa (subclass 420)
  15. Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
  16. New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461)
  17. Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)
  18. Skilled—Recognized Graduate visa (subclass 476)
  19. Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
  20. Super yacht Crew visa (subclass 488)
  21. Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858)
  22. Skilled Regional visa (subclass 887)
  23. Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)
  24. Business Owner visa (subclass 890)
  25. Investor visa (subclass 891)
  26. State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa (subclass 892)
  27. State/Territory Sponsored Investor visa (subclass 893)
  28. Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988)
What is the Subclass 408 visa?

It is a temporary visa that allows individuals to work and stay in Australia for up to two years.

Who is eligible for the Subclass 408 visa?

Temporary Work visa holders including working holiday makers employed in critical sectors who have not completed the 3 or 6 months of specified work needed to apply for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa and who are unable to leave Australia may be eligible for a Temporary Activity (AGEE) visa.

Foreign nationals in Australia with the Seasonal Worker System whose visas are expiring will be able to prolong their stay by applying for a Temporary Operation (subclass 408 AGEE) visa.

Holders of other temporary work visas / TSS 482 visa/457 visas currently working in important sectors are also eligible for the Subclass 408 visa.

What are the main requirements for the visa?

The main requirements of this visa are:

  • Person should be physically present in Australia
  • Person will assist with addressing workforce shortages in areas such as agriculture, public health and care for the aged
  • Person is unable to depart because of the COVID-19 pandemic

The visa does not need an endorsement or sponsorship.

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