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