Work Permits for Australia
Australia’s economy is robust and predicted to continue growing well; thus, it comes as no surprise that more and more citizens of the world will look to relocate to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane or Adelaide in the coming years to find lucrative employment.
However, with the exception of those moving to Australia from New Zealand, expats will need to have a work permit/work visa to legally work in this mammoth Pacific nation.
The application process may initially seem intimidating. There’s an incredible assortment of working visa categories and subclasses, and each category seems to have its own complex requirements and strange loopholes.
On the positive side, the Australian government’s online portal is a useful and up-to-date tool that future expats can use to find the visa that suits their industry field, their skill set and their intentions.
Ultimately, whether one is an employer-sponsored skilled worker or a labourer looking to fill a skill shortage in the country, it’s vital that expats research the work permit process as comprehensively as possible prior to application.
Employer-sponsored working visas (permits) for Australia
If an expat's primary purpose for coming to Australia is work and they can find an employer to sponsor their visa, they could apply for a professional visa to live and work in Australia for up to four years. There are many visas available for this situation over a number of professions and occupations.
All working visas require expats to find an employer who is interested in sponsoring them. The employer must first submit their nomination and sponsorship forms before the visa can be applied for.
According to law, expats on working visas must be paid a salary that is in line with market rates; so prior to signing on the dotted line, do some research to make sure that the package offered is indeed fair.
Steps to getting a working visa
Employer nomination: The (future) employer sponsor must prove to the Australian government that they will meet certain responsibilities, that there is a position that exists that needs to be filled, that they can afford to pay an overseas employee a market salary rate, and that no Australian citizen can effectively do the job.
- Secure a job and sign a contract: This step may, in fact, come before the previous step, but do note that unless the employer has filed a nomination and had it approved, the work permit process cannot move forward. It is more common for nominations to be approved outside of big cities in Australia.
- File a visa application: The visa application process can be done online, by post or in person. The process requires that applicants submit a number of documents that attest to their health, skills, character and level of English proficiency. Do not submit original documents, but rather certified copies of original documents. All submitted documents must be in English. The application can be made from abroad or within Australia.
Expats should note that the process can take a long time, in some cases several months. Thus it’s best to anticipate a long waiting period rather than a short one.
Business visas for Australia
For foreigners wishing to relocate to Australia to start a business, invest in a business or who anticipate playing a primary role in operating a new business, it’s necessary to first obtain a business visa. As is the case with most visa categories in Australia, there are a number of visa subclasses, and the subclass one applies for depends upon their intention and their role in the business.