Australia has become one of the popular destinations for immigrants seeking a new career. But demand for a work visa for those planning relocation to Australia to seek employment opportunities is under tight scrutiny and government regulation. Australia’s Migration Laws are among the strictest and most comprehensive in the world.

In 2014, permanent migration in Australia was recorded at 203,000. Consider that the total population of Australia at the time was 23 million. But it’s not just the actual numbers which make Australia’s Immigration Laws interesting. It’s the fact that the target immigration number in 2013 to 2014 was 190,000. It’s testament to how measured and precise Australia’s immigration laws are implemented.

If you are planning to migrate to Australia to find work, you will need a work visa. The first thing on your check list is to contract the services of a Migration Agent in Australia.

A Migration Agent is a person who is highly knowledgeable on the migration procedures and laws in Australia. You cannot become a Migration Agent unless you possess a graduate certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice or a current legal practicing certificate in an Australian state.

If you want to improve the chances of your immigration papers being approved, you should be very familiar with Australia’s Migration Laws. The Migration Agent will be especially valuable in interpreting the laws for you and guiding you throughout the process.

There are different types of work visas available in Australia. Your Migration Agent can help you find the appropriate type of visa for your circumstance.

Here are the types of Work Visas available in Australia:

  1. Australian Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189). This is a permanent work visa that is granted to immigrants who have been assessed to have the work skill to contribute to Australia’s lagging industries. Qualifications include:
  • Applicant has to be below 50 years of age.
  • Have an assessment score of 80.

Applicants for Skilled Independent Visa do not need sponsorship.

All applicants must meet specific basic requirements set by the Department of Immigration and Border Patrol (DIBP) in order to apply for a visa in the General Skilled Migration program. To qualify:

  • Applicants must pass visa requirements for age, English proficiency, occupation, skills, health and character.
  • Applicants must pass a points test related to specific categories.

Effective 1 July 2012, applicants had to submit an Expression of Interest or EOI which will be viewed by potential Australian employers, state and territory governments and the Australian government. Any interest from these parties may merit an invitation to apply for a visa.

  1. Australian Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190). This is a permanent work visa for immigrants who have the skills needed to contribute to the Australian economy. However, they could not meet the passing mark required to get a Skilled Independent Visa.

Applicants who are able to achieve the pass mark may apply for this visa to avail of priority processing once a sponsorship has been offered by an agency.

Similar to the Skilled Independent Visa, applicants for this visa also must pass visa requirements for age, English proficiency, occupation, skills, health and character.

The required passing score for the points test is also 60. Applicants also have to submit an EOI and hope it will generate interest from an employer or the government.

  1. Australian Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa (subclass 489). This is a provisional visa for applicants with the required skills but could not meet the passing mark to obtain a Skilled Independent Visa. Applicants for this type of visa must be open to live in Australia for 2 years and work for at least 1 year in a specified region.

Applicants for this type of visa are also subject to the same qualifying conditions as the Skilled Independent Visa and Skilled Nominated Visa including a passing score of 60 in the points test. They also have to submit an EOI.

  1. Australian 457 Visa. Also referred to as Temporary Business Long Stay, the Australian 457 Visa is a temporary work visa that allows employers to sponsor overseas workers to fill specific skilled positions. This is valid for four years and work experience with this visa may result in permanent residence through sponsorship by the employer or the skilled migration program.

There are three steps to the visa application process:

  • Sponsorship – Employers must get approval to sponsor employee.
  • Nomination – Employer must nominate the positions he wishes filled by the employee.
  • Visa Application – The identified workers must apply for a 457 Visa to enter and reside in Australia.
  1. Australian Employer Nomination Scheme. This visa grants permanent residence to overseas workers who have been sponsored by their Australian employer. The Employer Nomination Scheme has been designed to keep Australia globally competitive while at the same time addressing skill shortages in the home country.

There are two stages in this process:

  • Nomination by the employer – Employer must get sponsorship status by proving that they are actively operating in Australia and have a commitment to train employees.
  • Visa Application – Once sponsorship has been approved employee has to apply for the visa.
  1. Australian Working Holiday Visa. This is a program which is open to people between the ages of 18 and 30 from countries included in a reciprocating list to vacation in Australia while working short term and taking casual employment to support their travel.
  1. Australian Work and Holiday Visa. This program is similar to the Australian Working Holiday Visa but the list of reciprocating countries is different. There are fewer countries on this list compared o the Australian Working Holiday Visa.

Remember that despite its strict Migration Laws, Australia is a very welcoming country when it comes to migrants. The General Skilled Migration Program wants to give opportunities for people all over the world to experience life and career in Australia. It is not only a means of improving Australia’s economy but also the well being of people from other denominations.