How to convert Australian visitor visa to working visa?


You would like to come to work and live in Australia.

You think that the easiest way is to just come to Australia on a visitor visa and then convert it to a working visa.

Your friends told you “Everything is easier once you are there”. Well, for most it is not going to be that easy.

That may used to be a case, but lately it is getting harder and harder to get a working visa for Australia.

Extending your visitor visa

Once you hold a visitor visa, you cannot extend it or convert it into another type of visa, such as a working visa. If you want to extend your stay in Australia as a visitor, you need to apply for another visitor visa.

Many people can meet requirements only for Visitor visa Subclass 600.

If they apply for this type of visa while they are outside of Australia, visa application charge (VAC) is $140. However, once they come to Australia, if they want to apply for another visitor visa, VAC is $345. If they want to later apply for their third visitor visa, VAC is $1,045.

These are only costs for extending your stay while you hold a visitor visa and want to apply for extension (another visitor visas). With every application you need to show to have sufficient funds and that your intentions are only to stay temporarily in Australia. If you have a condition “No further stay” in your visitor visa, that means that you cannot apply for another visa.

Getting that working visa

If you can meet requirements for Working Holiday Visa Program, which is open only to passport holders of certain countries, in that case applying for a working (holiday) visa is usually going to be a smooth process.

This may even be the better strategy for eligible applicants to first come on a visitor visa and if or when they find a job, then apply for a working holiday visa (WHV) and then use their WHV by working from the first day.

However, most people who are interested to work in Australia do not meet eligibility criteria for WHV. For many, options are Skilled migration or Employer sponsored visas. Majority of people find student visas as an option which is often the most expensive choice.


Skilled Migration

To meet requirements for skilled migration, you need to reach a point to be issued an invitation to apply for a visa. Lately, the number of invitation has significantly decreased and currently you need to have 65 points to get an invitation.

Prior to putting your information online, on SkillSelect, you should have reached a certain score on English approved test, passed skills assessment, be of certain age, occupation etc.

Applicants for skilled migration may take months or even years to meet requirements, pass skills assessment and/or achieve required score on English tests. That means that they may be away from their home and family for a very long time. Therefore, we often advise our clients who are outside of Australia that if they meet requirements for skilled migration or need to work more on their eligibility, to rather work on it while they are outside Australia.

You can find more information about skilled migration working visa on our article which is here


Employer Sponsored Visas

The Employer sponsored working visa is an option for Australian employers who cannot find a suitable Australian worker within Australia. There are employers who advertise that they are happy to sponsor an overseas worker and you can contact them directly. Please note that both the employer and the worker must meet the requirements for visa.


If you need assistance with visitor, working or any other visa type, please be free to contact us. Our best contact is

Vera Radisavljevic

Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent
MARN 1681254

Disclamer: Your use of the above text or the receipt of any information from this article or website is not intended to create nor does it create a solicitor (migration agent) – client relationship between you and the writer (Vera Radisavljevic and/or Baxvel Pty Ltd) and it is not a legal/immigration advice.

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