How to work in Australia – A simple guide on starting the process
Australia is by far one of the most popular destinations for backpackers and expats from the UK and Europe, who are looking to emigrate to Australia for a better quality of life and amazing experiences. More and more families and young professionals are setting their sights on developing careers and establishing new lives in warmer climates. The pull of a better work life balance, improved pay, and more career development opportunities are all major factors. Many working holiday makers are also choosing to make the jump and work and travel in Australia where employers can take on staff for up to 6 months. Some of them may offer to sponsor you on a permanent basis giving you a great opportunity to make a go of life in Australia. But navigating the complexities of applying for the correct work visa can be confusing. If you’re still in the UK and looking to emigrate to Australia, read on.
Which visa should you apply for?
Before you begin your hunt for your flight to Australia, make sure you research which Australian visa you should apply for first. Depending on your qualifications and personal circumstances, you may need to apply for a specific visa.
If you’re over 30 or planning on emigrating to Australia permanently then you may want to review the skilled visa pathway or employer sponsored visas.
A good place to start is by looking through the Australian Skilled Occupation List, as this will tell you which skills and professions are the most in demand. If you’re lucky, you may find your own profession is listed which may make you eligible to apply for a skilled visa.
The next step in the process is to talk to an Australian registered migration agent. We always advise this step as it is a good idea to get a second opinion on your personal situation from an industry professional. Making a visa application without doing the right checks could result in your application being rejected and losing your application fees.
After your visa consultation with a migration agent you’ll be in a position to decide how best to apply. You may choose to do this yourself, or appoint an MARA approved migration agent.
Until recently, one of the more popular visa streams to work in Australia was through the 457 visa, however this has now changed format to the 482 visa or TSS visa, as it’s otherwise known. The Temporary Skills Shortage visa programme allows employers to sponsor employees from overseas for up to 4 years, provided their qualifications and experience are on the list of eligible skills.
If gaining work experience in Australia is your long term goal, then the best thing you can do is plan for it while studying. Alternatively, a two year stint in an Australian university will make you eligible to apply for a graduate visa. This temporary visa will allow you to work in Australia following your graduation for a period of 18 months.
About the working holiday visa
If you’re under 30 and don’t find your occupation on the skills list, or if you’re just finding it difficult to get hired, then another option could be the working holiday visa. This popular visa will allow you to work and live in Australia for a period of one year with the option of a second year by completing 90 days regional or agricultural work in a specific regional business. However, the downside is that the holder can only work for any one employer for a maximum of six months, which can make finding a job that little bit more difficult. The best option here would be to do your ‘farm work’ first, then work for three months and then you can work for one employer for 18 months. WINNING! After this time you may well qualify for a sponsored visa provided you are eligible, and your employer will be more likely to agree and commit to being your sponsor.
Finding an employer
Another way of migrating to Australia is to find an employer before you leave. This option is rarely easy but it’s more than worth the effort. Australia is a long way away, so it’s best to know if you’ll be able to secure employment before arriving. Bear in mind that finding the correct employer to sponsor your stay is crucial, as their sponsorship will allow you to remain in the country legally, and you will be committed to that one company for the duration. This means if you did want to move to another job while in Australia, you would have to find another company willing to sponsor you.
So whatever visa path you choose to go down, begin planning early. The more research you do, the better decisions you will make, and the more likely your dream of migrating to Australia will become a reality.