A jobseeker's guide to migrating to Australia

November 20, 2023

A vintage green and gold tram passes in front of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia

Australia consistently ranks among the top destinations for international job seekers

Australia is known for its strong economy and diverse industries, which provide a wide range of job opportunities for both local and international professionals. From the bustling cities of Sydney and Melbourne to the mining towns in Western Australia, there are countless sectors to explore, including finance, IT, healthcare, engineering, hospitality, and more. By relocating to Australia, individuals can not only advance their careers but also enjoy a balanced and fulfilling life outside of work. The country's diverse and multicultural society ensures that people from all backgrounds can find a sense of belonging and thrive in their personal and professional lives.

Watch our webinar below to learn how to live and work in Australia:

As an employee seeking to work and live in Australia, understanding the various visa options and pathways is crucial

With Australia being a top relocation destination for individuals worldwide, the opportunities for personal growth and career advancement are abundant. From Working Holiday Visas to employer-sponsored visas, individuals have numerous options to choose from, depending on their situations and preferences.

This blog covers three main categories of visas that can enable jobseekers entry into Australia:

Working Holiday Visas provide temporary access to young professionals looking to explore Australia while gaining work experience

A Working Holiday visa (subclass is 417) is an excellent opportunity for young professionals to experience living and working in Australia. With this visa, individuals under the age of 31 or 35 (depending on the country of origin) can travel and work in Australia for up to three years.

The list of eligible countries can be found on Australia's home affairs website.

The primary condition is that a visa holder can only work for an employer for up to six months. This allows for a flexible and immersive travel experience with the chance to work and earn along the way. It is most popular among travellers and those who want to experience Australia before making a long-term commitment.

To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must:

  • Possess a passport from one of the eligible countries or jurisdictions
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30 years old (or 35 for some countries)
  • Apply for the visa from outside of Australia
  • Not be accompanied by dependent children or family members
  • Not have previously entered Australia on a subclass 417 or 462 visa
For those who have previously been in Australia on a subclass 417 visa, they can apply for a second Working Holiday Visas.

Overview of independent routes: Visa subclass 189 and State Sponsorship 190 are options for those seeking a more direct path to permanent residency

Independent routes to permanent residency in Australia, such as Visa subclass 189 and State Sponsorship 190, can be appealing as they do not require employer sponsorship. These visas use a points-based assessment where applicants earn points based on factors like age, qualifications, years of experience, marital status, and location in Australia.

To be eligible, applicants need to achieve a minimum of 65 points and submit an Expression of Interest to the Department of Home Affairs. Invitations to apply for a visa are issued monthly, with more points increasing the chances of selection. However, competition is tough, and candidates often require at least 80 points to receive an invitation.

The whole process, including receiving an invitation to lodge an application and waiting for the permanent residency application to be processed, can take from a couple of months up to 12-18 months. In some cases, applicants may wait up to five years.

Since the independent visa route can be slow and uncertain, many individuals opt for employer-sponsored visas like the 482 Visa, which can be a quicker way to enter Australia.

The 482 Visa requires work experience in an occupation on the skilled list, a degree qualification, competent English language skills, and good health and character. However, the applicant must secure a job in Australia before applying for the visa.

The employer-sponsored route: Visa 482 can be a faster option for qualified individuals who have secured a job in Australia

The Visa 482, also known as the Employer Sponsored Route, is a more viable and faster option for those seeking to work and live in Australia. However, this visa type requires sponsorship from an employer based in the country, making it crucial for applicants to secure a job first before applying for the visa. Depending on the occupation, the Visa can be approved for either two or four years. 

Employer-sponsored visas, such as the 482 Visa, tend to be a more viable and faster alternative for getting into Australia. To qualify, there are certain criteria and requirements you should meet. Below are the requirements for visa qualification:

  • Occupation. The applicant's occupation must be on the skilled list, which contains various eligible professions.

  • Qualifications. The applicant needs to hold at least a degree qualification, indicating sufficient knowledge and expertise in their profession.

  • Work experience. At least two years of full-time work experience is required, showcasing real-world practical knowledge and skills in the relevant field.

  • Language proficiency. The applicant must possess competent English language skills, ensuring smooth communication and adaptation to the Australian work environment.

  • Health and character. Possessing good health and character is essential for an applicant to ensure the well-being and safety of the communities.

Unlike the Working Holiday Visa, which only allows applicants to work for up to six months with each employer, the Visa 482 offers a more stable and long-term employment opportunity in Australia.

With this visa, individuals can work full-time for their sponsoring employer, and they also have the option to apply for permanent residency in the future. Additionally, visa holders can bring their dependent family members with them to Australia. This flexibility and potential for growth make the 482 Visa an attractive choice for those looking to establish a fulfilling and rewarding career in the country.

However, it is important to note that visa holders under the 482 Visa cannot work as contractors, engage in part-time employment, or hold multiple jobs simultaneously.

Keep in mind that the Visa 482 application process is dependent on a candidate's occupation and qualifications, making it essential for individuals to focus on finding a job that aligns with their skills and experience.

By obtaining the 482 Visa, applicants can start their journey towards living and working in Australia, building a foundation for a fulfilling and rewarding career.

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For over 40 years, Airswift has been a prominent player in the recruitment field, specialising in connecting job seekers with their ideal roles in the engineering and technology sectors. This includes areas like renewable energy, technology, and power. Airswift's deep understanding of the industry and commitment to aligning candidates with roles that match their skills and career goals sets them apart.

Our network of specialized recruiters spans multiple countries, granting us a broad international reach and a reputation trusted by clients around the world. This global perspective offers candidates a comprehensive view of the job market and access to a plethora of opportunities.

Ready to advance in your career in Australia? Airswift is here to guide you. Visit our candidate job portal to discover a diverse array of exciting roles from verified employers in Australia and beyond, providing a stepping stone for your next professional adventure.

This post was written by: Leanna Seah, Content Manager