Working Visas In Australia

by Anthony Bianco

Why Apply For An Australian Working Visa?

Work visas issued in Australia allow temporary visa holders to undertake short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work which is an important part of the Australian workforce.

These work visas are granted to diversify business expertise, address skill shortages, and increase entrepreneurial talent within Australia. People from overseas can also broaden their work experience by undertaking their profession with Australia and gaining new skills.

Some of the temporary work visas granted by the Australian Government include the following:

Immigration laws, including temporary work visas, are regularly reviewed and amended by the Australian government. Prospective applicants should always check the most up to date information available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

You can also see more at our page on Immigrating to Australia.

Types of Temporary Australian Working Visas

Australian temporary work visas broadly fall into five categories:

  • Skilled Migrant Visas
  • Sponsored or Nominated Work Visas
  • Business and Investment Visas
  • Working Holiday Visas, and
  • Temporary Graduate Visas.

These are explained further below:

1. Skilled Migrant Visas

If you have specific skills that are required by employers within Australia, you may be able to apply for a skilled migrant visa.

The first step in the application process is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect which is the Department of Home Affairs’ online visa application system. After your EOI has been submitted, you may be invited to apply for a skilled migration visa. If you are invited, you have 60 days to lodge your skilled migration visa application. You must also complete an approved English language test no more than 3 years before the visa invitation.

Most skilled visas require you to nominate an occupation on a skilled list. Skilled occupations are selected from the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, which is a classification of all occupations produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). There are over 1000 ANZSCO Occupations, and each one is assigned a 6-digit ANZSCO code.

You can withdraw your visa application at any time during processing.

2. Sponsored or Nominated Work Visas

Australian employers can sponsor or nominate workers to stay and work in Australia temporarily. As an example, to be eligible for the 482 TSS Temporary Skills Shortage Visa your employer must be approved as a sponsor and nominate your position before the visa is granted.

Similar to Skilled Migrant Visas, the SkillSelect system can be used for employer sponsored visa applications.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Skilled Migrant Visas

3. Business and Investment Visas

The 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa is a temporary working visa that is available for those who wish to own and manage a new or existing business or investment activity in Australia. In addition, you must also be nominated by a state or territory government agency and be invited to apply by the Minister in that state or territory.

The SkillSelect system can be used for all temporary business visa applications. The 188 visa can also lead to a permanent residency visa later.

4. Working Holiday Visas

If you are aged between 18 and 30 and are a citizen from a participating country, you can also apply for a Working Holiday visa (417 Working Holiday Visa or 462 Work and Holiday Visa) which allows you to undertake work for up to one year whilst travelling within Australia.

These visas allow you to live in Australia for up to 12 months and work 6 months with each employer, with a possible 12 month extension if you work in a designated industry in some regional areas. You are also entitled to undertake study for no longer than 4 months and you may enter and exit Australia as many times as you wish during the length of that visa. See more at our page on Working Holiday Visas in Australia.

5. Temporary Graduate Visas

One other type of Australian working visa is the Temporary Graduate visa (485). These visas are granted to people who have recently graduated from an Australian education institution and wish to work in Australia after the completion of their studies.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - 485 Temporary Graduate Visa

Who Can Apply For A Working Visa?

This depends on the type of working visa you are applying for. Generally, each visa has their own requirements, but you will need to demonstrate the following:

  • Your proficiency in English
  • Your occupation needs to be on the relevant Skilled Occupation List
  • Your experience in the position, and
  • Meet the character and health criteria.

You can see more information about working visas at the Department of Home Affairs Website.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Sponsored or Nominated Work Visa

How Do I Apply For A Working Visa?

Most visas can now be lodged online via the Department of Home Affairs ImmiAccount. When applying for the specified visa, you need to make sure that the correct information is included in the visa application as well as paying the correct fee in full. If this does not occur, the Department of Home Affairs can reject the application.

You will also need to include documents which support your visa application – which will be specified by a visa application checklist. You must also not provide false or misleading information in your application, as this can result in future applications or bans from migrating to Australia.

How Long Does A Working Visa Last?

This depends on the visa you are applying for. Some visas can be as long as four years.

Do I Need Health Cover while working in Australia?

Depending on the type of working visa, the Department of Home Affairs will specify whether health cover is required or recommended. While you are in Australia on your working visa, you will be responsible for all your health costs while you are in the country. Your health costs will not be covered by Medicare, Australia's national health system, unless your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

Australia has reciprocal health agreements with a number of other countries, which you can view at the Department of Human Services website.

If your country is not covered by a reciprocal health agreement, Allianz Global Assistance provides Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC), which meets the relevant Government health insurance requirements in relation to visas with visa condition 8501, which includes the Temporary Skilled Shortage 482 visa, the Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa and for most temporary working visas where the primary reason for being in Australia is to work, and not for a holiday.


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