Free Australia Work Visa | Apply for a Work Permit in Australia


Australia work permits are temporary resident visas issued to foreign workers by Citizenship and Immigration Australia. They are used to grant permission to work for foreign workers who have a job offer in Australia.

Work permits are typically issued for one year, but this can depend on the type of permit issued and the duration of the work assignment or project. It may also be affected by the passport validity of the foreign worker.

Work permits are necessary for every province and territory in Australia, and additional permissions may be required for workers seeking employment in Canberra. Some exemptions exist in which these foreign workers would not have to obtain a work permit, but most standard jobs will require them.


Work permits can lead to permanent resident status as long as employment is skilled. Foreign workers seeking employment in Australia may also need to obtain an entry visa depending on where they currently live.

Although, you don’t have to have a job offer in order to apply to be a part of the Express Entry system.


However, if that’s the case, you do have to register with Employment and Social Development Australia’s job bank so you can be connected to a Australian employer. They don’t need a job offer in order to work in Australia.

Furthermore, Processing times for work permits can vary greatly depending on where they are submitted and the type of application. Applications submitted inside of Australia (extensions to already issued work permits) usually take about 38 days for a paper application and about 25 days for an online application, as of August 2014.


Types of Work Permits for Australia

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa – allows skilled workers nominated by their employer to live and work in the country permanently.
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa – allows skilled workers nominated by their employer in regional Australia to live and work in the country permanently.
  • Skilled independent visa – for invited workers and New Zealand citizens with skills Australia needs to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia
  • Skilled Nominated visa – lets nominated skilled workers live and work in Australia as permanent residents.
  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa – temporary visa that enables an employer to sponsor a suitable skilled worker when an Australian is not available
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa – temporary visa for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia.
  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa – temporary visa that lets you do short-term, highly-specialized work in the country.
  • Temporary Work (International Relations) visa – temporary visa to work in particular circumstances that improve Australia’s international relations
  • Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858 for applying within Australia or 124 for applying outside of Australia) – permanent visa for people who have an internationally recognized record of outstanding achievement in a profession, sport, the arts, or academia and research.

In addition to these visas, Australia also has a Business Talent (Permanent) visa, which is specifically for establishing or developing a new or existing business in Australia. Read more about this type of visa in the Self-Employment Visas section below.

Work visas exist for the following professions:

  • Skilled workers
  • People participating in specific activities
  • Highly specialized workers
  • Trainees, short-term
  • Experienced businesspeople
  • Investors

Australian Work Visa Requirements

The requirements for depend on your circumstances and the type of visa you apply for.

The different requirements per category are as follows:

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa (Direct Entry Stream)

For the ENS Visa, you must:

  • Have the skills necessary for the job (skills assessment will be required, with some exemptions).
  • Be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.
  • Be nominated by an Australian employer.
  • Meet health (learn more about Australia’s medical exam below) and character requirements.
  • Have at least Competent English.
  • Have at least three years of relevant work experience.
  • Be under 45 years of age (with some exemptions).
  • Read or have been explained the Life in Australia booklet, and sign the Australian Values Statement.

If you are unsure which visa is the most suitable for you, or if you don’t know how to proceed with your application for an Australian visa, contact our immigration professionals today. They will guide you on all the steps you need to take to successfully secure your visa.


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