Migrating to Australia has many benefits but applying for the right visa will help you make the most of your time by allowing you to work and stay in the country for longer.
72% of the allocated visa places in Australia for 2023-24 are for permanent migrants who wish to work full-time and apply their skills, with many visas aimed at alleviating labour shortages in industries struggling to fill gaps in their workforce.
The other 28% of permanent visas allow migrants to bring their families to the country..
The subclass 491 skilled work (provisional) visa is a very popular option for migrants who wish to start a new life in Australia because it allows visa holders to apply for permanent residency after 3 years in the country.
Costing A$4,640 to apply for, holders of this visa live and work in designated regional areas of the country for up to 5 years. Unlike other popular visa options, holders can work as many hours as they wish and may leave and return to Australia as much as they want whilst in possession of the visa.
Immediate family members of the subclass 491 visa holder can also apply to stay in the country for 5 years, with the same ability to apply for permanent residency after 3 years.
Another option for migrants wishing to live and work in Australia is the subclass 482 temporary skills shortage visa. The short-term stream for this visa costs A$1,455 and lasts for 2 years, while the medium-term stream visas costs $3,035 and lasts 4 years.
Processing is quick compared to the subclass 491 visa and the Department of Home Affairs advises that 90% of short-term applications are processed within two months, medium-term subclass 491 visas are usually processed within a few weeks.
Applicants for the subclass 491 visa must be skilled in an occupation on the short term skilled occupation list for the short term stream. Applicants for the medium-term stream need to practice an occupation on the medium and long term strategic skills list or the regional occupation list.
There are many occupations on this list and a migration agent will be able to tell you whether you have the option of applying for a subclass 482 visa and give you options to find the best visa for your situation. As with subclass 491 visa, the families of visa holders can also apply for a visa to live and work in Australia.
Another popular skilled visa that allows migrants to work full-time and live in Australia is the subclass 186 employer nomination scheme visa. This visa costs $4,640 and allows successful applicants to stay in Australia permanently. As the name suggests, migrants will need to find an employer in Australia that wishes to sponsor them, must possess 3 years of relevant work experience. They must also complete a skills assessment.
This visa is very popular for applicants from within Australia who would like to continue to live and work in the country permanently. If you are overseas, you can apply for this visa, but your occupation must be on the relevant list of skilled occupations and you must have a competent level of English.
The Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) visa is another permanent option where employers in designated regions sponsor migrants to work and live in those areas.