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Australia’s work visa regime

After COVID-19, Australia is pursuing workers who have skills that can fill positions and assist the economic recovery of the country.

Historically people driven by the promise of a new life in Australia were part of the waves of migrants who came to find fortune in the gold rush, to escape the social upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, two world wars and the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

As a result, Australia has a higher proportion of people born overseas at 26 per cent than other countries which have a high proportion of immigrants such as New Zealand, Canada, United States of America United Kingdom. Interestingly, the only country that has a higher overseas born population is Saudi Arabia.

Types of work visas

There are a range of work visas available to come to Australia:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186)
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494)
  • Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA Visa) (Subclass 482 to Subclass 186)
  • Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)
  • Training Visa (Subclass 407)
  • Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)
  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa (Subclass 400)

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482)

This is a temporary visa, which entitles skilled workers to work in Australia for up to four years (five years if you are Hong Kong resident) if they are sponsored by an approved Australian employer.

The employer must pay you a minimum salary of $53,900.00 AUD.

There are various streams including medium term, short term, labour agreements and priority skilled visas.

You must have skills or work experience which is relevant to the position you are going to work in.

Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186)

This is a permanent visa and enables Australian employers to sponsor skilled workers to live and work full-time in Australia.

The applicant must have relevant qualifications and work experience in the occupation they are nominated to fill for the employer.

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494)

This is a provisional visa which allow the applicant to stay in Australia for a period of 5 years.

You must be employed to work in the nominated occupation and in a position within the sponsoring business or an associated entity of that business, located in a designated regional area of Australia.

The benefit of this visa is that it has a pathway for the applicant to permanent residency through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (Subclass 191).

Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA Visa) (Subclass 482 to Subclass 186)

The Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) allows employers to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill within the local worker force.

These visas are only available in States with DAMA agreements and is designed to address the growing labour market shortages and terms and conditions of employment in that locality.

Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)

This is commonly referred to the ‘backpacker’ visa and allows people between the ages of 18 to 30/35 to enjoy an extended holiday in Australia in addition to finding short term employment to fund their travels for a period of up to 3 years.

Training Visa (Subclass 407)

This visa allows applicants to come to Australia on a temporary basis to participate in occupational training or professional development.

Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)

This is a similar visa to the Subclass 417 visa and can be granted for up to 3 years but requires

  • an educational certificate meeting the education requirement whereas 417 visas does not
  • proof of at least functional English and a 417 visa
  • a letter of support from the government of the applicant

Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa (Subclass 400)

This visa allows the applicant to stay in Australia for to 3 months and in limited or exceptional circumstances, up to 6 months.

It allows the applicant to undertake short-term, highly specialised work in Australia.

The applicant must have specialised skills, knowledge or experience not generally available in Australia.

New visas for 2023 in the work visa regime

The Federal Government is considering a proposal to make it easier for global companies to bring their highly skilled staff to Australia.

It is proposed that there will be a simplified process for intra-company transfers that would aid in reliving the ongoing skills shortages in Australia.

Both the USA and the United Kingdom have streamlined pathways to enable this to occur. It is believed that such a pathway in Australia will aid investment and will assist in skilling Australia’s workforce.

How can FC Lawyers help with your work visa?

At FC Lawyers we have an experienced team including accredited specialists in Immigration law. We have assisted both employers and employees with their work visas from all over the globe. Contact our team today to discuss your work visa options.