It can be difficult to impossible to obtain an Australian work visa, but it's fairly easy if you are experienced in an occupation that is listed as being in urgent need of workers. It will largely depend on your qualifications and whether you have experience in any of the software specialties we need - hardware engineers are not in demand unless you are a degree qualified and experienced Electronics Engineer.
You must also obtain a positive qualifications and skills assessment from the body responsible for migration assessment of your occupation; you must pass a points test and you must meet English language, health and character requirements.
Following is a fact sheet on current visa processing priorities:
As you will see, state sponsored visas receive the highest processing priority followed by applications where the occupation is on the Critical Skills List (CSL).
For a state sponsored visa, you must access the required occupations list for each individual state or territory to see if your occupation is listed and after having obtained skill assessment and your IELTS results, apply for state sponsorship. When that is granted, you apply to DIAC for an immigration visa.
For all other visas, you must determine which of our 3 lists your occupation is on as that will determine what type of visa you can get and how long it will take.
Find your occupation on the following:
(this also provides information on skills assessment and registration where required).
If it says that the occupation is on the MODL, check our Critical Skills List (CSL) to see if it's also on there:
• If your occupation is on the CSL and if you can score 120 points on the points test, you stand a good chance of getting a permanent visa in under 12 months.
• If it's on the MODL and not on the CSL, you will probably eventually get a permanent visa, but it will take at least a couple of years and probably longer.
• If it's only SOL or ENSOL, you will need employer sponsorship and the visa will be temporary though it can lead to PR if your employer is prepared to sponsor you for a permanent visa after at least 2 years. It is theoretically possible to get an unsponsored SOL visa, but the processing time will be at least 3 or 4 years.
If your occupation is on none of the lists or if your qualifications are less than what is required, you are not eligible for Australian skilled immigration - there is no provision for unskilled immigration.
(A useful and easy to follow booklet - contains details of the points test)
(Everything else including costs and how to apply).
Immigrants are not eligible for any kind of income support or unemployment benefits for 2 years after arrival, so you should have as much money as possible to get yourself established in the first place and to tide you over any period/s of unemployment.
All of our larger cities have many things to recommend them, but the best for you will be determined by the availability of work in your specific occupation and the type of climate and lifestyle you prefer. This is such a large country that there are fairly wide variations in climate, environment and lifestyle from city to city.
The crisis hasn't affected us particularly badly here (in comparison to other countries) and Australia is not in recession yet though unemployment is rising, but if your occupation is on the CSL and/or if some states are offering sponsorship for it, you have a good chance of being able to find work. You'll find there is more competition for jobs and there won't be as wide a choice as in the boom times, but if you have a strong work background and excellent English, you shouldn't have too many problems.