The Australian government has separated the work migration program into the following categories:
- Regional Migration.
- Visas for Innovation.
- Short Stay Work Visas.
- Temporary Work Visas.
- Permanent Work Visas.
If you want to stay and work in Australia, you can apply for any type of work visa within the migration program as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.
Australia Work Visa Types
There are several types of Australian work visas available, but the most popular work visas include the following:
- Global Talent Visa- subclass 858. A global talent visa has two pathways available depending on what your skills are- for the streamlined pathway you will need to submit an expression of interest. A global talent visa is permanent and you can stay in Australia indefinitely.
- Employer Nomination Scheme Visa- subclass 186. A 186 visa is a permanent work visa you can apply for only if you have a sponsor. You can choose one of the streams available for a 186 visa:
- Permanent Skilled Regional Visa- subclass 191. Visa 191 will be open on November 16 of 2022. This is also a permanent work visa, but you must have had a previous valid visa to apply for subclass 191.
- Regional Sponsored Migration Visa- subclass 187. You can apply for a 187 visa if you previously held another valid work visa and you worked for the same employer during that time.
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa- subclass 494. With a 494 visa, you will be allowed to work in specific areas where your sponsoring employer has nominated you. This visa is temporary and it’s valid for five years- you may apply for permanent residency after three years if you are eligible.
- Skilled Independent Visa- subclass 189. Visa 189 is points-based and you must have at least 65 points from the skills table to be eligible for this visa. If you are granted a 189 visa, you can stay in Australia indefinitely.
- Skilled Nominated Visa- subclass 190. Visa 190 is a permanent work visa that you can only get if you are invited to apply. You will receive an invitation if you meet the points eligibility criteria.
- Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa- subclass 476. Visa 476 is issued to recent graduates in Australia who demonstrate great skills in their field of study. However, this visa is temporary, valid only for 18 months.
- Skilled Regional Visa- subclass 887. Visa 887 is a permanent visa you can apply for if you previously had a short-term work visa.
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa- subclass 489. You can apply for a 489 visa if you previously had a skilled regional visa. Visa 489 is also temporary, but you can apply for a permanent visa after a few years.
- Skilled Work Regional Visa- subclass 491. A 491 visa is issued only to highly-skilled, and qualified individuals. You need to meet the points requirements for a visa 491 and submit an expression of interest. After three years with a 491 visa, you can apply for permanent residency.
- Temporary Activity Visa- subclass 408. Visa 408 is a temporary visa issued only during the pandemic to help visitors extend their previous visa. You can apply for visa 408 if you can provide evidence that you were affected by the global pandemic.
- Temporary Graduate Visa- subclass 485. For a 485 visa, you can choose between two streams depending on your occupation. For example, if you want to apply for the graduate work stream your occupation must belong to the skills occupation list. No matter what stream you choose, visa 485 is temporary valid only for two to four years. To get a permanent visa you have to apply for another work visa.
- Temporary Work International Relations Visa- subclass 403. This visa has six streams and each stream has its requirements and specifications. You can apply for this visa depending on which stream you meet the eligibility criteria.
- Temporary Work Visa for Short Stay Specialist- subclass 400. You can apply for this visa if you have a specialized skill that is in short supply in Australia. This visa is usually issued only for 3 months, but in some cases, it can be valid for 6 months.
- Temporary Skill Shortage Visa- subclass 482. A visa 482 has three streams available that you can apply for depending on which stream suits you better. To get this visa, you must be nominated and sponsored by your employer. This visa is temporary, but you can apply for permanent residency after a few years.
Is There an Age Limit for a Work Visa?
For most work visas there is an age limit. Usually, you have to be either under 45 or 50 to be eligible for a work visa. However, for some work visas, there is no age requirement- this will change depending on what type of work visa you are applying for.
Australia Work Visa Processing Times
Most work visas are processed within one year or two years. However, keep in mind that the processing is not guaranteed and many factors will affect the length of the review time.
Some short term visas may be processed within a few months, and some streams within the visa subclasses may be processed even quicker. No matter how long it takes, the processing time is always prolonged if something is missing from your application.
How Much Does a Work Visa Cost?
The price for an Australia work visa ranges from AUD315 up to AUD4,115. Sometimes, within a specific subclass, you don’t have to pay for the visa fee at all depending on which stream you apply for.
However, there are additional fees you have to pay for most visas. For example, you have to pay extra fees for each family member that applies with you, and for some visas, you have to pay a second instalment fee for your family members who don’t have a satisfactory level of English. You can find the full fees here.
Do I Have to Be Nominated for a Work Visa?
Not for all work visas. Some work visas are sponsor-based and you must have a valid sponsorship and nomination to apply for the visa. However, there are work visas where you don’t need a nomination, such as a 189 visa or a visa 476.
Can I Apply with My Family Members for a Work Visa?
Yes, for the majority of work visas you can bring your family members with you. However, there are rules as to who is considered family members. Most of the time a family member is your partner, spouse, children or grandchildren.
However, not all work visas follow the same principle, for some work permits you may be allowed to bring only your partner or no family members at all; this will also depend on what visa stream you are applying for. For example, a domestic worker stream for a visa 403 does not allow you to bring your family members with you to Australia.
Can I Get a Permanent Residency with a Work Visa?
Most work visas are permanent visas, which automatically makes you a permanent resident. However, if you have a temporary work visa, you may apply for a permanent visa if you worked and lived in Australia for a few years and you complied with your short-term visa conditions.