The Ultimate Guide to the Australian Skilled Worker Visa

Are you thinking about moving to the land down under? Did you know that there is currently a shortage of workers in Australia in the health, construction and engineering sectors and that if you have experience in these areas, you may be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa? In this ultimate guide, we tell you everything you need to know.

  1. What is the Australian Skilled Worker Visa?
  2. Who is it for?
  3. The point system
  4. What documents do you need when applying?
  5. Employment references
  6. What does this visa entitle you to?
  7. Careers included
  8. How much does it cost?
  9. Planning a move to Australia?

What is the Australian Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker Visa has been created to give people of certain professions the opportunity to apply for a longer working visa in Australia without a sponsor or job already lined up. You also will not be required to complete three months of specified work also known as farm work that is compulsory on the Working Holiday Visa.

There are many areas of industry in Australia such as construction, healthcare, software programming and engineering that need workers but currently have a shortage. If you have gained professional experience in one of these sectors, you can apply for this visa to allow you to further your career and live in Australia.

Who is it for?

The skilled worker visa is for anyone who has a career in a profession outlined in the skilled worker shortlist and wishes to relocate to Australia without being sponsored by an employer, the Australian government or a family member who resides in Australia.

The Australian govt has a list of occupations that are in demand, if you have experience in one of these sectors, then you eligible to apply for the skilled worker visa. Eligible occupations range from construction positions to healthcare roles and teaching positions.

You must also be under the age of 50 and be fluent in English. To check whether or not you are eligible the Australian government marks your application on a skills point system, to be offered a visa you must score 60 points or more.

The point system

The points system gives you a score, which will let you know whether or not you qualify. To be considered for a skilled worker visa you must score higher than 60 points. It takes into consideration a range of things from your age, your language ability, your qualifications and employment history.

The following things are all rated.

  1. Age – to qualify you must be under 50.
  2. English language ability – If English isn’t your first language, you will need a score of at least 6 in speaking, reading, listening and writing on the IELTS test.
  3. Skilled employment history– You are scored against your job history in your profession. The more experience you have, the higher your rating. 5-8 years you will receive 10 points, 8-15 years you will receive 15.
  4. Professional Qualifications – This is your bachelor’s degree or any qualifications for your skills.
  5. Australian Study – If you have studied in Australia remember to include it on your application as this will get you extra points!
  6. Partner skills – If you are applying with a partner, their skills and experience will count towards your application, if their profession is included on the in-demand skills list.
  7. Fluency in one of Australia’s Community language (other than English) – If you speak another language, it’s important to include this information. A community language refers to a language that is highly spoken in Australia by a community, such as the Indian community or the Chinese community. The top three second languages in Australia at the moment are Mandarin, Italian and Arabic.

What documents do you need when applying?

When you apply for your visa you will need to provide documents to prove your country of birth, your qualifications and work experience history.

You will need to provide the following documents:

  1. Your visa application
  2. The fee of your visa
  3. Birth certificate or other evidence of age
  4. Originals or certified copies of your qualifications
  5. Evidence of your work experience
  6. Proof of your English language ability
  7. A copy of your CV
  8. Employment references
  9. Police check certificate

Employment references

To prove you have experience in your profession, you are required to include a variety of employment references that confirm you worked there and have developed a skill set in that field.

Employment references need to include the following:

  1. Your previous employer’s telephone, fax, email and website.
  2. You need to include the name and position of the person giving the reference and this needs to include a signature.
  3. Contact info of the person writing the reference needs to be included.
  4. How long you worked there needs to be listed, what position you held, the duties you undertook and your salary

As well as ensuring you have included all of the relevant information in your references, you will also need to include a recent paycheck from your current employer.

What does this visa entitle you to?

The skilled working visa entitles you to move to Australia and work without having a sponsor or a job lined up. You can enrol and benefit from Australia’s Medicare health system and after living and working in the country for four years as a permanent resident you can apply to be an Australian citizen!

Careers Included

The skilled occupation list includes 212 job roles. They range from healthcare workers and construction roles to accountants and childcare managers. But there are also openings if you come from a creative background, with opportunities for dancers, choreographers and even footballers! The list is updated regularly and you can find out more information from the Skilled Worker List by the Australian government here.

How much does it cost?

The cost of an application isn’t cheap.

The base rate is $4,045 AUD for a one-person application. If you are applying with anyone else, to add them onto your visa application is $2,020 AUD per person, if they are over the age of 18 and $1,015 AUD for anyone under 18. You will, of course, need to factor in any additional payments you will need to get your documents for your application together or if you need to have a skills assessment from an Australian govt body.

Factors that affect visa cost:

  1. Your profession
  2. A skills and experience assessment usually carried out by a government body.
  3. The police check for your character requirement.
  4. Medical record check
  5. Proof of English language ability (if English is your second language)

Planning a move to Australia?

Relocating can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know how to get all your belongings to your new home. Have you ever considered luggage shipping? This popular alternative to putting luggage in the hold is helping ex-pats and people on the skilled worker visa save time, money and travel stress-free. My Baggage will collect your items directly from your door and deliver it to your onward destination. No more excessive airline fees, no dragging your case through the airport, or wasting time waiting at the carousel. We offer you the perfect alternative. Find out more here or get a quick quote below!

Check out:

What is an Australian Working Holiday Visa?
A Local’s Guide to Melbourne

Learn More:

Moving to Australia
Luggage Shipping to Australia

Information updated on 17/02/2020

4 Reasons to Take a Gap Year in 2020

A Gap Year has become a ritual rite of passage for many young people. Either to try something totally new or something to look forward to after the end of University. Most of the time we think about ‘where’ we should go and not ‘why’ we should go. Very philosophical, right? It is true, though. A Gap Year doesn’t even need to be abroad. It is just a year that you take for yourself. There are many reasons why 2020 should be the year you take a Gap Year and here are our 4 best reasons.

1. It Might Make You Come Alive

Through the glory the is the internet we’ve been exposed to endless career paths, hobby routes and ways to live our life. It can be an incredibly confusing and stressful experience trying to decide what we want to do with ourselves. If we sit in the middle of this medley of confusion, we are unlikely to find any direction.

Giving yourself space is essential in removing yourself from the quagmire. But, unfortunately, a lot of the time we don’t give ourselves the permission to do that.

Often we just follow that path we feel we should follow instead of actually doing what we love.

In 2020 it will take a year to just allow life to come to you and do whatever takes your interest at any given time. Follow the things that suddenly make you passionate and see where they go. If they go nowhere, no problem. But you might just find some incredible interest that you fall in love with.

So travel, or take up salsa, diving, bread making, sewing, finger skateboarding or literally whatever you can think of and see what happens! You might just find what you want to do with your life.

A quote to leave you on is;

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”- Howard Thurman

2. Help You Gain Perspective

This is pretty closely linked to the point above and is about giving yourself the space to understand yourself and your life.

Gaining perspective is important for going forward in life. We only have so many hours in the day and with work taking up most of that it’s essential to know what you want to prioritise.

A Gap Year can really provide you with this perspective.

Is it travelling that you realise you can’t live without? A particular hobby that you picked up on the Gap Year you want to follow? Or is it that you just found that you missed your friends and family?

With a real sense of perspective and what matters to you you will also find out what doesn’t matter to you. And leaving behind things that have been dragging you down conscientiously or unconscientiously can be pretty liberating.

So take a Gap Year in 2020 and find out what you want to prioritise in your life!

3. It Will Broaden the Mind

Doing stuff is amazing.

Seriously, it is. Just getting out of your comfort zone and enjoying things you usually wouldn’t do can be incredibly refreshing.

A swift boot out of the comfort zone is sometimes what’s needed. Trying new things allows us to grow and become a better person.

It doesn’t just have to be doing something insane like bungee jumping or paragliding, it can be as simple as trying a new type of food or learning about the history of somewhere you have visited or even just meeting someone new.

Learn all you can and enjoy every bit of it. Seize the day and all that other cliché stuff!

Know your limits though, sometimes you just don’t want to do something and that’s absolutely fine (remember it’s about you finding what you love and who you are). But leaning into something you have never done before can be beneficial.

A great reason for a Gap Year in 2020 is getting out there, trying new things and broadening your mind!

4. To Have Fun

To finish off, this one is nice and simple. It is also the most obvious. A Gap Year can be one of the most fun things you can do in your life.

Life’s for having fun and taking a year to explore the world and/or trying new things is one of the fastest ways to enjoying yourself.

Modern life can be stressful, with jobs, taxes, bills and everything in between. We don’t often get the chances to take a break from all this, so why not make 2020 the year that you do? Put all those things a side and go enjoy yourself!

One of the best things about it is actually the anticipation. Get a Gap Year booked for 2020 and you can look forward to it while you finish up your last year of University or it can make those long shifts at work feel far more worth it.

It might also give your mental health a really healthy boost. With all the other reasons here you can find a lot more drive and perspective.

Overall though, it will just be incredibly fun no matter what it is you choose to do.

What better reason is there for doing a Gap Year in 2020 than to have fun with your life?

That’s just 4 reasons to take a Gap Year in 2020, but there are literally endless reasons. Everyone will have their own, but these may hopefully inspire you to take the year out that you have been promosing yourself. No doubt you will certainly find more excuses than reasons, that is always the way. However, sometimes it just takes the leap of faith to go for it, 2020 is the year to take that Gap Year for yourself.

We ship all around the world, so wherever you decide to go have a look and see if we can get your stuff there stress free and on a budget.

Why Australia Is The Best Place To Visit In (Their) Winter

Are you thinking about whether to go to Australia in winter? For people in the Northern Territory is the perfect time to skip the hot season and explore unique activities that can only be done here. Have you ever seen a penguin parade or the Great Barrier Reef? Keep in mind that winter in Australia is from June to August!

In the north of Australia, you will feel warm and pleasant weather. However, if you go down to the south, you will find cities completely covered with snow like Tasmania or the Australian Alps. A very good point about travelling in winter is that, generally, it is less crowded.

These are some of the reasons why you should spend your wintertime in Australia:


1. Go Whale and Dolphin Watching

The warm waters of this country provide the perfect place for whale’s families to nurse their calves. The whale population is increasing near the shores of the country and the 60 per cent of whales of all over the world can be found here. That’s why Australia is the best destination to go whale watching. The kind of whales you will see differs throughout the point of the map you decide to start your adventure: blue whales, humpback whale and more.

Australia is also a perfect location to see dolphins jumping around during the winter season. This activity is considered the most favourite one among a lot of people. You don’t have only the opportunity to see these animals from a boat, you can also swim with them if the weather conditions are doable.

2. Visit Tasmania for the Southern Lights and Dark Mofo Fest

One of the most interesting places to visit in winter is Tasmania. Why? Two reasons.

The first one is that this city, apart from being actually cold during the winter times, hosts one of the best and most famous festivals in the country: the Dark Mofo Fest. In this festival, the population celebrates the roots of religion, nature and culture traditions for 10 days. In other words, a lot of food, music and art.

The second reason is the spectacular Aurora Borealis phenomenon (also called The Southern Lights). It is true that the best time for viewing them is September, but there are a lot of chances during the winter months because the sky is darker, and the nights are longer. One thing is certain: the longer you look, the better your chances.

3. Vivid Live Sydney

Viva Live is the largest party and lights event in the Southern Hemisphere. In winter, the whole city of Sydney gets decorated with thousands of lights and creative and innovative installations. From 6 pm the streets start to bright and musicians begin to play their music to make your visit even more pleasant.

The festival completely changes the city into a creative canvas that everyone can enjoy. Also, the symbolic Sydney Opera House is illuminated with colourful 3D projections that create a fantastic and extraordinary atmosphere. You’ve never seen anything like that before. We can guarantee it!

4. Discover the Great Barrier Reef

Yeah, you heard well. In winter is also possible to go scuba diving to the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland, the city closest to it, doesn’t know the meaning of cold winters. Even though from June to October is peak season, and it might be busy, it is once in a lifetime experience that you must do if you’re visiting Down Under.

The Great Barrier Reef is composed of a 2,300km-long ecosystem composed of hundreds of reefs and islands that are home to innumerable species. Just to not have a big impact when going Scuba Diving, make sure that your operator has an eco-friendly certify.

5. Crocodile Cruise

Do you know that there are over 80 thousand saltwater crocodiles in Northern Australia? Having that number of reptiles in the waterways, makes very easy to take a snap with these monsters. Some can reach 4 or 5 metres long! So, only make sure you don’t jump off the boat.

The best places to see the crocodiles in action are the Crocodylus Park in Darwin, where the most prestigious crocodile museum is situated and, the Adelaide River, where you can do a boat tour and see the beasts jumping into their prey.

6. Watch the Penguin Parade at Philip Island

Winter is the best time to see these gorgeous animals walking on parade. At Philip Island, you would be fortunate to have a close viewing of the penguins arriving and waddling across the beach to return to their refuge in the sand dunes surrounding.

This is a magical experience that will always remain in your memory. You can be part of it in some different ways. Sitting in the main elevated point with a 180-degree viewing of the Parade; having an underground perspective or experiencing a personalised and intimate wildlife tour approaching to a secluded beach to view the Little Penguins.

Which is the main attraction for you to do in Australia? There are a lot more activities that can be done in this country plenty of nature and wildlife. These are our preferred ones. Would you add some?

If you’re travelling to Australia, note that we offer a service to send luggage over 200 countries adapted to you. Watch the reviews and get a quick quote to save money and travel carefree.

Read more:

What is an Australian Working Holiday Visa?

A Local’s Guide to Melbourne

Top 10 Adventure Activities You Have To Try in New Zealand

Everything you need to know about Australia Day

everything you need to know about Australia Day

Australia Day is much more than a day off work and a three-day weekend. The national holiday signifies the important history of the country. It offers you an extra insight into what makes the land down under tick. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about Australia Day and where and how to celebrate it.

What is Australia Day?

Australia Day officially commemorates the arrival of the first ships to Sydney on the 26th January 1788. However, it has since been adapted to also include the history of the hardship that this meant for Australia’s indigenous Aboriginal communities. Australia Day now celebrates the diverse mix of cultures that call Australia home.

What events happen on Australia Day?

Throughout the country, on Australia Day you can expect there to be plenty of community events to mark the occasion. Festivals, parades, community fairs and citizenship ceremonies are held. There is an award for the Australian of the year, which is attended by thousands of members of the public and nationally televised. There are also flag flying ceremonies that include both the Australian flag and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders flag.

With every council or region holding their own individual styled celebrations there are plenty of places to head to enjoy the festivities. Below we have broken down what you can expect to get up to in a few of the most popular locations to celebrate Australian Day.

Let’s head to…


If you want to learn about the Aboriginal history and pay homage to Australia’s indigenous people, then head to the district of Barangaroo in Sydney. It all kicks off at 7:45pm with a smoke burning ceremony followed by a WulgulOra ceremony at 8 am. This celebration is to honour Australia’s indigenous landowners and involves a dance performance by the Koomurri Aboriginal community. It ends with the raising of both the Australian and Aboriginal flags.

But that’s only the beginning of the festivities in the city. You will have your pick from a ferrython race to Sydney Harbour, a concert at the famous Sydney Opera House, family fun at Darling Harbour or tucking into some much-needed BBQ at Bradfield Park.

You can spend your day hopping around these locations, experiencing everything the city has to offer and if you still want to learn more about Aboriginal culture head to the Yabun Festival in Victoria Park from 11 am – 6 pm.

If you want to skip all the parties and festivities and head for a more laid-back vibe, make yourself a picnic, grab a slab from the bottle-o and hit the beach. Avoid Byron Bay and make a beeline for Gordon’s Bay or Shelly Beach and get some snags on the barbie.


Celebrate Australia Day in Australia’s unofficial European capital! The festivities kick off at 11 am with a diverse parade representing over 80 of Melbourne’s community and cultural groups circling the city from Swanston to St Kilda. If you are looking for an excuse to party stay in St Kilda and catch a huge lineup of some of Australia’s best DJs.


Start off the festivities in Brisbane at the Australia Day flag-raising ceremony. Taking place at the Jezzine Barracks in Townsville, the Australian, Queensland, Townsville, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are raised with a 21-gun salute.

After this, grab a barbie and head to South Bank for some food and drink in amongst the hustle and bustle of the Australia Day atmosphere. If you fancy something more entertaining then head to Victoria Park, which will be showcasing everything Aussie from tug of war to the sack race.

If you fancy brushing up on some culture, then head to Caboolture Heritage Village. Home to more than 70 historic buildings you can take a step back in time and learn about the history of the region. There are plenty of activities going on here, including toad racing and a food market.


A popular tradition for Australian Day is a free breakfast and there are plenty to choose from in Adelaide. Head to Port Lincoln from 7 am to enjoy a hearty breakfast made by town councillors or head to Victor Harbour where you can enjoy a barbie breakfast and can watch live entertainment from 8 am including citizenship ceremonies and the citizens of the year award.

The Australia Day Parade kicks off a little later in Adelaide. The festivities begin at 6 pm, starting from Victoria Square to Elder Park. This year it’s expected over 4,000 people will take part. From 7 pm the Australia Day concert gets underway and includes a flag-raising ceremony, 21-gun salute and cutting of Australia Day cake.

If all this sounds like too much work, then there’s nothing better than hitting the beach. A favourite Aussie pastime and the perfect way to celebrate Australia Day.


If you want to escape the celebrations and make the most of your three-day weekend, then why not head to Tasmania? With cooler temperatures allowing you to leave the heat of the mainland behind, why not go on a road trip around the island? Take in the sights of Cradle Mountain, Freycinet National Park, Burnie Island and Coles Bay. If you want to take part in some of the Australia Day fun head to Hobart. Where you can witness a unique inflatable thong race, that you can find in no other city in Australia.

Hamilton Island

If all you want is a holiday away from the crowds, then head to Hamilton Island. These idyllic islands are more common with honeymooners and families. With plenty of activities and private beach-side bungalows, enjoy the ultimate break away from the festivities. Go on a day trip to the Conway National Park and Whitehaven Beach. Try your hand at snorkelling, diving and sailing. Spend your Australia Day weekend relaxing and unwinding in Australia’s secret paradise.

Moving to Australia?

At My Baggage, we are the relocation experts. Do you have any questions or want to learn more about how to start your land down under? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Moving to Australia.

Once you’ve finished packing up all your stuff, you then face the challenge of how to get it to your new home in Australia. It’s a daunting task, but it needn’t be, we’ve got you covered! Thankfully, that’s where My Baggage comes in. We specialise in transporting students, expats and holidaymakers’ belongings all over the world. We’re trusted by over 30,000 customers across the globe. Interested? Get a quote below!

Learn more:

20 Things every expat should know about Australia

What is an Australian Working Visa?

Shipping Luggage to Australia

Airline Allowances

7 Ways To Beat The January Blues

There are many reasons to feel sad this time of the year. The festivities have finished, you’ve come back to your work routine and you are now far from your family.

The January Blues (Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD) is a medical condition that is a form of depression which people tend to feel after the Christmas holidays.

But not everything is lost in January – It is the perfect time to take up new hobbies and set new goals for the year.  We have gathered the best tips to beat the January Blues this 2020.

7 Top Tips:

1. Avoid unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions

People often make New Year’s resolutions because everyone else does it, and usually, more often than not, those resolutions are too difficult to achieve. How many of us are dreaming of owning a brand-new Aston Martin or to be the next Kylie Jenner this 2020?

The perfect resolutions are those that can be measured and achieved relatively soon. One good resolution is to stop procrastinating. If we don’t reach the goal in the short term, we can feel guilty and, consequently, demotivated. No one likes to be a failure!

2. Go outside and do exercise

It is a very normal resolution, but it actually works. It doesn’t mean that you have to join a gym or run a marathon this month. If you don’t like sports or you don’t want to spend a fortune on gym memberships, the easiest way to keep active is to walk at least 30 minutes a day. Not only will it give you a daily dose of endorphins, but you will also feel less guilty about any Christmas gluttony.

Exercise is proven to beat January Blues according to the National Institue of Mental Health. It will give you more energy to face your office routine and it reduces stress and anxiety as well.


3. Eat well

 It is normal for us to want more fatty and heavy food during the cold months of winter. You’ve probably eaten a lot of sweets by this time. The more sugary things you eat the more you crave…  Apart from being very unhealthy, sugar crashes cause tiredness and make you crave food unnecessarily.

When you eat lots of greens and fresh food, and you keep a balanced diet, your body gets happier, and your mood improves significantly.

4. Get a resolution buddy

Find a friend who has the same resolution for this year, so you can work together and keep each other honest. This is also a good way to push yourself a little and start making new plans.

Once you begin to do something together you would encourage each other and will reach the goals easier and faster.


5. Identify your worries

If there’s something that is making you feel anxious or stressed, you can make a list and add possible solutions to the problems. Maybe you can’t find a perfect or immediate solution for them, but somehow, you would be able to specify where the problem comes from and how to overcome it.

It can be a good idea to write things down on paper. This is a simple way to have a general idea of what you want to change, what it looks like and how much it’s worrying you.

6. Do something new

Have you ever felt bored or stuck? Do you think you always repeat the same things over and over again and feel tired of it? New Year, new ideas! You have to move away from your comfort zone, as it only creates a sense of dependency and blocks your mental development.

Try a new sport or a hobby this year. If you think you won’t be able to achieve it on your own, you can do it with a friend. Throw ideas around and choose which one suits better for both of you. Doing activities with friends helps you keep motivated.


7. Plan a holiday

One of the main reasons why we find January depressing is the mix of dark days, the cold and miserable weather.

We know it’s too early to think again in the summer holidays, but it is great to have something to look forward to. Planning an incredible holiday is the perfect example. Why not book a holiday to a tropical paradise in Australia or to the Canary Islands in Spain? Planning everything in advance would make you save money and time!


Remember that with My Baggage you can send your luggage worldwide in 4 simple steps. Save money and avoid unnecessary stress with airline fees.