How to get a working visa for Australia


To be able to get a job in Australia you firstly need to have a visa which will allow you to work.

Some people manage to find a job before they get a visa, but this usually happens if they have an employer to sponsor them or they were promised a part-time job if they come to study in Australia.


Easy way to working visa

The way to Australian working visa is usually an easy process if you are a citizen of certain countries with which Australia has Working Holiday program agreement.

Those countries are: Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Chile, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Uruguay, Vietnam and United Kingdom.

Please note that there are certain requirements for Working Holiday visas, so it is not sufficient only to be citizen of these countries.

How to get working visa for Australia?

If you do not meet requirements for Working Holiday visas, but you want to work permanently or temporarily in Australia, you need a working visa.

Most working visas are based on points test.


Points test

Factor Description Points
Age 18–24 years 25
25–32 years 30
33–39 years 25
40–44 years 15
English language ability

Test results must be no older than three years immediately before the day on which the visa application was made.

Competent English 0
Proficient English 10
Superior English 20
Skilled employment

Only 20 points can be awarded for any combination of skilled employment in and outside Australia

Outside Australia: skilled employment in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation
  • 3-4 years in the last 10 years
  • 5-7 years in the last 10 years
  • 8-10 years in the last 10 years
In Australia: skilled employment in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation
  • 1-2 years in the last 10 years
  • 3-4 years in the last 10 years
  • 5-7 years in the last 10 years
  • 8-10 years in the last 10 years
Qualifications Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or other doctorate of a recognised standard 20
At least a bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognised standard 15
Diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia 10
An award or qualification recognised by the assessing authority in the assessment of the skilled occupation 10
Australian study requirement Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area that meets the Australian study requirement 5
Specialist Education Qualification A Masters degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least two academic years in a relevant field. 5
Other factors Accredited in a community language 5
Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area (excluding distance education) 5
Partner skill qualifications 5
Professional year in Australia 5
Nomination/sponsorship (where required) Nomination by state or territory government (visa subclass 190 only) 5
Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area (visa subclass 489 only) 10


Is there an age limit?

You must be under 45 years of age for almost all skilled migration or employer sponsored permanent visas. There is an option to get a temporary working visa if you are 45 or older, however options for permanent residency are very limited if possible, at all.

Is my occupation important?

Yes. It is very important that your occupation is on a relevant skills occupation list. There is more than one list of occupations. If you want to apply for NSW sponsorship, for example, then your occupation needs to be on NSW 489 or NSW 190 occupation list, depending whether you want to apply for 489 or 190 visa.

I am not sure what my occupation is.

You may have qualifications in one industry, but you work in another, or your occupation may be categorised under two or more occupations. If you would like to know more, visit this page, enter the code of an occupation and check the description. You can do that for as many occupations as you want and this way you can understand what occupation you should nominate.

Where can I see a list of occupations in demand?

You can see occupation lists on websites of each Australian state/territory. You can also click here.

What are other requirements?

You need to pass skills assessment for occupation which you nominated which is usually the requirement for your working visa. There are authorised organisations which deal with this. For some professions, you need to pass the work experience and qualifications part of assessment, for others only qualifications. Some organisations also require you to have certain score on English language test to get a positive skills assessment. This may vary, depending on your profession and assessing authority.

English language requirement

For majority of working visas, you must pass IELTS or any other approved test to get a working visa. The minimum required is usually 6 points in all parts of IELTS test. Sometimes, for skills assessment you may be required to have a higher score. You also need to be mindful about the type of IELTS test you need to do for your skills assessment, if required.

What is the cost of the whole process?

Permanent working visa and some temporary working visa applications are 3,670 AUD for the main applicant. The secondary applicants who are above 18 years of age pay 1,835 AUD and for under 18 the cost is 920 AUD. Meaning that if a family of 4 wants to apply, the cost of applications is 7,345 AUD. This cost excludes costs of English testing, skills assessment (which is approximatelly $1,000 AUD), medical examinations, translations etc.

Visa assessment

If you would like an immigration advice about the whole procedure and visa options, it is recommended that we so a visa assessment for you.

Visa assessment is a service which includes:

  • Review of any documents you provide like Resumes, Work References, Qualifications, Academic Transcripts etc.
  • Advice about skilled occupation you should nominate based on your qualifications and work experience.
  • Advice about your prospects to get a positive skills assessment from assessing authorities.
  • Review of eligibility for a skills assessment with the relevant assessing body.
  • If you are not eligible for a particular Australian Visa, we will advise ways or further action for you to become eligible to apply for an Australian Visa.
  • You are entitled to make two follow up phone calls/ emails to discuss your matter further (if required).
  • Consultation can be done by phone, at the office or via email, Skype and Viber.
  • The cost of this service is 250 AUD and payment can be made by credit card, international transfer or within Australia transfer.
  • There are no refunds if you are not eligible for particular visa, because the costs are not based on your eligibility, but on the time spent providing you the service and on skills required to provide you with the best possible advice.
  • The service must be paid to the company’s trust account at the time of signing of contract for the services.

Visa assessment is not:

  • a guarantee that you will get a visa;
  • a visa application – You may later be granted visa, but a visa assessment is not a visa application, it is only an advice related to your visa.

What registered migration agents do?

Only registered migration agents can legally give immigration assistance in Australia. To do this, they must be listed on the Register of Migration Agents, held by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

Immigration assistance (under section 276 of the Migration Act 1958) is when a person uses or claims to use knowledge of, or experience in migration procedure to assist with visa applications or other visa matters by:

  • preparing, or helping to prepare, a visa application or other document;
  • advising about a visa application or visa matter;
  • preparing for proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to a visa application or visa matter;
  • representing in proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to a visa application or visa matter.

Immigration assistance does not include:

  • Doing clerical work to prepare (or help to prepare) an application or other document;
  • Providing translation or interpretation services to help prepare an application or other document;
  • Advising another person that they must apply for a visa;
  • Passing on to another person information produced by a third person, without giving substantial comment on or explanation of the information.

For more information, please, check the related articles Having work experience, but no qualifications? Do not worry! and How to convert Australian visitor visa to working visa? 

If you need assistance with your visa application or you would like to do visa assessment, 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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