Australian visas explained

Australian visas explained

MOVE TO AUSTRALIA | Visa options for moving to Australia to live and work or to travel; including eligibility criteria.


Visa options for moving to Australia to live and work or to travel; including eligibility criteria.

THERE are various visa options for individuals and families who want to move to Australia and depending on your circumstances and desires, you should be able to find one that suits you.

The best place to commence your search for a visa is the Department of Immigration’s website. It has complete information about all visa subclasses and a handy wizard which proposes options for your particular situation.

The general visa types for Australia are:

1: Work visa (professional and other skilled workers)

a) Employer sponsored workers visa — for people with recognised skills seeking to work in Australia after being sponsored by an Australian or overseas employer (temporary or permanent). The Business (Long Stay) 457 Visa and Employer Nominated Scheme are popular routes for workers.

b) Professionals and other skilled migrants (General skilled migration) visa — for people who are not sponsored by an employer but who have skills in particular occupations required in Australia and wish to make the move to Australia.

c) Business people visa — for people to come to Australia for a business-related visit. Also for people to establish, manage or develop a new or existing business, or invest in Australia.

d) Specialist entry visa — for people to participate in specific professional, cultural, social or research activities.

e) Doctors and nurses visa — for people in the medical profession.

f) Regional employment visa — skilled migrants who want to live and work in areas outside of Australia’s major cities.

g) Air and sea crew visa — for people who work on aeroplanes, yachts and other ships.

2: Migrant visa (families or dependents)

a) Family members visa — for fiancées, partners, children, parents and other family members of Australian citizens, permanent residents or New Zealand citizens.

b) Returning residents visa — for former Australian permanent residents or former citizens to re-enter Australia.

3: Visitor visa (tourists, working holidays, in transit, business trip or event)

a) Tourist visa — for people to visit (usually a UK visitor can get an Electronic Travel Authority via the Department of Immigration website) or extend their holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational trip, or to visit relatives, friends or other short-term non-work purposes.

b) Working holiday visa (Subclass 417) — for people between the ages of 18 and 30 from certain countries (eg: UK and Ireland, not South Africa) to have an extended holiday supplemented by short-term employment.

c) Retirement visa — for people of 55 years of age and over.

d) Medical treatment visa — for people who travel to Australia for up to 12 months of medical treatment.

e) In transit visa — for people in transit in Australia for up to 72 hours.

f) Event organisers and participants visa — for people coming to Australia for conferences, meetings and special events.

4) Student visa (university or other training or skills development)

a) English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.

b) Primary or Secondary School Course.

c) Vocational Education and Training.

d) Higher Education (bachelor/associate degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, higher education diploma, higher education advanced diploma, masters by coursework).

e) Postgraduate research (masters or doctoral degree).

f) Non-award (foundation studies or components of courses).

g) AusAID and Defence.

h) Student guardians — parents or relatives of Australian-based students.

5: Refugee visa

a) Offshore — for people outside Australia in need of humanitarian assistance.

b) Onshore — for people already in Australia who are found to be refugees.

The costs associated with the above visas all vary greatly depending on the type (and get amended on an annual basis), but it is the additional costs such as health checks, police clearances, certificates and postage of which you will also need to be conscious.

For complete information about visa options for Australia, go to the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship website,

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Move To Australia is presented in association with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, helping with all your banking and foreign exchange needs.