So I have had people ask me time and time again about Working Visa’s in Australia….there are a few things to know but it can be done.
The different types of Visa’s
So if you are coming over to Australia to work there are probably two different types of Visa’s you will need to apply for.
- Working Holiday Visa 417 – this can be applied for online in your respective country but is only eligible for applicants in particular countries i.e. UK, Sweden, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Belgium to name a few. Other criteria apply such as you must be under 31 years old and you must not have applied for this specific visa before. With this Visa you are only allowed to work in Australia for up to 1 year and within that time, you are allowed to work in one company no longer than 6 months.
For further details: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/417-
- Temporary Skilled Working Visa 457. This Visa can be obtained after being on a Working Holiday Visa 417 or if you are moving over to Australia to work in a Company and they have agreed to sponsor you. This Visa is valid for up to 4 years in Australia and can be obtained through a company nomination to sponsor you in a particular role within their company. It is worth noting that the business needs to be set up to sponsor foreign workers and this in itself can take some time. There is still individual criteria that needs to be met for this Visa to be approved such as you need the correct skills and qualifications for the particular position within the company.
For further details: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/457-
How to apply for a Visa?
Visa application depends on which Visa is best suited to your situation. If you can obtain a Working holiday 417 Visa then you can apply online from your own country and it can be a quick and easy process, with a little bit of money involved for the application. If you are applying for a Temporary Skilled Visa 457 then the company who is sponsoring you should normally be able to manage the process but will need a number of details and information from you such as passport, birth certificate, details of countries you have visited, University qualifications, references, CV, and the list goes on! The application for the 457 Visa is a bit more expensive and you can agree with your company whether they are able to pay for the Visa, you will pay back the money through a Salary sacrifice or you pay for it as it is processed.
The Visa 457 – am I tied to just one company?
So there are two answers to this question. Yes you are tied to the company who is sponsoring you on the Visa 457 and perhaps there may be a clause in your contract about staying with the company for so many months or years after they have brought you on board. Other companies may not enforce such a stipulation and so if you decide to move on to another company, the next company needs to be able to transfer your Visa (and so be set up to sponsor overseas employees) and you will need to negotiate who takes on the cost of that transfer. The transfer can also take 4 weeks to 3 months (from experience it has been the former) but this may mean you may have a period that you may not be able to work.
Becoming a Permanent Resident
So it comes a time when you have been here 2/3 years and you have to make the choice…am I in this for the long term or do I see myself heading back home. I honestly thought when I came over from the UK that most overseas Visa holders would end up staying for the long term but throughout my time here I have had to stay goodbye to a number of close friends who have returned back to their home cities. This has either been due to work opportunities, missing friends and family or even family health situations. If you do venture home before applying for permanent residency (PR) then you are able to claim back a majority of your Superannuation: http://bit.ly/1kokzEA
However you may decide that after 2 years in one company you want to apply for your PR. This is generally seen as the easiest route to PR and the most important thing you need is to ensure you company are happy to nominate you for the Visa. But you can also apply for PR through a Skilled application but again there would be quite a few criteria which would need to be met for this. The majority of PR Visa’s I have seen processed have gone down the ‘2 years in one company’ route as this seems to be the easiest and cheapest option.
Further details: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/186-#
PR and beyond!
So of course after obtaining PR, there are advantages such as a more permanent Visa to stay working and living in Australia, ability to apply for Australia citizenship (and passport), greater access to healthcare and at a reduced cost, ability to sponsor relatives to migrate to Australia, better credit and terms for personal loans, mortgages and the like, as well as more access to educational and University courses. Plus we can’t forget living in the amazing life down under in one of the most beautiful and diverse countries on the planet!