Work in Australia: Which visa do you need?

Visas for working in Australia

Millions of foreigners travel to Australia each year. With its unique wildlife, fantastic weather and endless coastlines, it’s not hard to see why. Some visit Australia on vacation but others come to work. It is illegal to work in Australia with a tourist visa but there are plenty of options to work legally. There are different types of visa that enable foreign nationals to live and work in Australia.

For those requiring a tourist visa for Australia, there are electronic options for citizens of certain countries, enabling them to get their Australia online visa. This saves time and paperwork. You may be eligible for the ETA or the e-Visitor Visa for Australia depending on your nationality.  But remember, neither the ETA or the eVisitor visa for Australia allow its holders to work in the country legally. Check Australia’s online visa requirements on this page.

How To Apply for an Australian Working Visa

The Skilled Visa and the Sponsored Visa are two of the most common entry routes for working in Australia. This is what you have to do in order to qualify.

Skilled Visa

Those who wish to stay in Australia for longer and aspire to a higher category of employment may opt for the Skilled Visa. This is done through SkillSelect, an electronic system that allows suitably qualified migrants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The system gives candidates points based on their age, qualifications, language ability, etc. The more points, the higher the chance of finding employment.

Sponsored Visa

The sponsored visa scheme enables Australian employers to sponsor suitably qualified foreign candidates to work in the country. The employer must have been previously approved in order to take part. This type of visa is applied for online and you will receive a code to track your application.

Other Types Of Visa to Work in Australia

The above three are the main routes to working in Australia but they are not the only ones. Other options include:

  • Doctor Connect.-This is a special system for hiring foreign doctors to practice medicine in Australia, particularly in rural areas.
  • Travel for Business.-This allows foreign nationals to travel to Australia for a short period in order to either set up a new business or manage an existing one.
  • Temporary Skill Shortage Visa.-This visa is for people to apply for skilled jobs that are hard to fill.


Working Holiday Visa: Who Is It for and What Kind of Work Is Available

If you are British and aged between 18 and 30 then you can take advantage of the Working Holiday Visa (WHV). There is a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Australia that makes it very easy for young people to work for a year or two. On arrival, British people on this visa have a year before they have to leave. In some cases, they can stay on for a further year if they met certain requirements in the first year.

There is lots of work available in Australia and the minimum wage is one of the highest in the world. The WHV is a great way to save money, which can then be used to travel around. Some of the work is hard and not very glamorous but it will pay the bills and allow you to see Australia. Here are some of the typical jobs done on a WHV:

  • Farm Labour: This type of work is available throughout the year and includes fruit picking and working with livestock. The work is hard and the days are long but you can enjoy the outdoors.
  • Office Work There are office temping jobs available in the big cities for young people with the right experience. This type of work is often through agencies.
  • Bar Staff Another option is to working either serving drinks behind a bar or waiting tables in a restaurant. You will need to have previous experience back home.

Requirements to Work in Australia

The visa requirements will depend on the type of visa which you are looking to obtain but the following are some general requirements that apply to all:

  • You will need an international qualification that shows your level of English, such as IELTS or similar.
  • There are certain health requirements that you will need to meet.
  • You will need to have experience (and in some cases qualifications) in the area of work that you are applying for.
  • Your intended occupation must be on Australia’s Skilled Occupation List (SOL).


So remember, if you are just looking for a vacation in Australia then the simplest option is to fill out the simple application form for the ETA or the e-Visitor Visa for Australia, depending on your nationality. If, on the other hand, you wish to seek employment in Australia, then find out which of the above is the best option. However you get there, you are sure to have amazing experience down under.