Travel and Work in Australia

Australia is a popular destination for expatriates. Many people enjoy the climate, culture and communities enough to seek temporary or permanent employment in the country. If you want to work in Australia, you will need to find an employment scheme that sponsors your work visa. There are different options available, depending upon your nationality. On your visa application, you will be awarded points based on your qualifications, which will then determine if you get a visa. This process can take anywhere from 3 months to 18 months, so you may want to get a travel visa to visit Australia in the meantime. Find out how to travel and work in Australia.


Australia Travel Options

  1. Visit your country's state department website to find out how to get a passport.[1] You should start the passport process as soon as possible, as some processes can take between 3 and 6 months to receive.
  2. Visit to view the Australian immigration rules on foreign workers. Go to to see what rights immigrant workers are afforded.
  3. Apply for an ETA visitor visa. This is required for any short-term trip to Australia, and you will be required to prove you have an ETA before getting on a plane to Australia. It is good for up to 3 months.[2]
    • This visa will cost $20. You can apply at If you currently hold another type of visa, or you are applying after an ETA is expired, you may have to appear in person at an Australian consulate to reapply.
  4. Apply for an eVisitor visa, if you want to visit Australia for travel or business and you are from an applicable European country. This is designed for travel of 3 months or less and you must apply for it outside of Australia.[3]
    • Visit to start an eVisitor application. Charges will apply.
  5. Apply for a tourist visa if you want to extend your travel for more than 3 months. You can apply for this visa inside or outside of Australia. It can be granted for up to 12 months of travel.[4]
    • Visit to apply for a tourist visa. Some nationalities are not able to submit an online application. In this case, you will need to visit an Australian consulate.
  6. Apply for a working holiday visa. This visa is only available to people from certain countries who are between the ages of 18 and 30. It is designed to allow you to travel, supplement your income with work and/or Study in Australia for up to 12 months.[5]
    • People from a specific list of countries, including the UK and many European countries, should apply for a subclass 415 visa to gain short term employment in Australia.[6] With this visa, you can stay and work for up to 12 months, study for up to 4 months and work during this period. Visit to get applications and learn how to complete them.
    • People from various Asian and South American countries and the United States can apply for a subclass 462 visa.[7] The restrictions on this visa are similar to the subclass 415 visa; however, you can only work with 1 employer for a period of up to 6 months. Visit to download applications and learn how to apply.

Australian Work Options

  1. Find an employer to sponsor your visa.[8] If you are a skilled worker, you should begin looking for employment sponsorship 3 to 6 months in advance of your trip to Australia. There are a few different ways that you can find sponsored employment.
    • Contact a recruiter in Australia to get help with finding a position. You can find recruiters through Internet searches, and you may be required to pay for their services. This is a good idea if you have a highly specialized profession that is listed on the SOL.
    • Register for a free "work in Australia" online job board. These sites, such as and ask you to sign in and allow you to look for job boards.
  2. Consult the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). If you are a professional working in 1 of the listed fields, you are much more likely to get a sponsored or independent work visa. Medical, engineering and computer professions are some of the most common items listed on this document.[9]
    • Visit to read the most up to date SOL.
    • Do research on international companies that have bases in Australia. Applying for work in 1 of these companies may allow you to go through training in Australia or work in an Australian office.
    • Search for applicable jobs in large Australian companies. Very large companies are more likely to hire international employees because they can afford the visa costs. Keep in contact with all of these companies and search often for new jobs.
  3. Apply for a business visa. There are several types of business visas, usually available to people who are entrepreneurs or investors and seek to enhance the Australia economy.[10] You can also seek a visa to train or conduct business for a short period of time.
    • If you are planning a business visit, you will need to apply for an ETA or eVisitor visitor visa before being granted a subclass 956, 977 of 651 visa. Visit to find out how to apply.
    • You will need to apply for a short stay business visa if you are not eligible for an ETA or eVisitor via. Visit the link above to apply for a subclass 456 visa.[11]
  4. Attend a "Skills Australia Needs" event. The Australian government seeks out individuals with specialized skills, such as those listed on the SOL. Travel to 1 of these events to look for employment. You may need to travel to England or another country to attend this recruitment fair.
    • Visit to view a list of these events.
  5. Seek permanent residency with a skilled independent visa. This visa is only available to people under 50 with English proficiency who are able to prove that they offer a skill that is in demand in Australia. People in the medical field are especially sought for this type of visa, which can take up to 18 months to receive.[12]

Things You'll Need

  • Valid passport
  • ETA visa
  • eVisitor visa
  • Application fees
  • "Skills Australia Needs" recruitment event
  • Skilled Occupation List
  • Recruiter
  • Business visa
  • Employer sponsored visa
  • Skilled independent visa


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