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Exploring Visa Options for Working in Australia

In the fiscal year of 2022, approximately 165,000 American citizens visited Australia. This number was up 21% from the previous year, which includes all nationalities. Aside from those visiting Australia for leisure, many foreigners who obtain a visa do so for employment. The good news is that getting a work visa in Australia for US citizens is a straightforward process. 

Read on to find out how to apply for a work visa in Australia and the requirements you must comply with.

Overview of Working Visa in Australia

Anyone can apply for a work visa in Australia if they are at least 18 years old. The type of visa you get will vary based on the work you intend to do in Australia.

You must stay informed on the various visa classifications to help you pick the correct visa for your needs.

1. Short Stay Work Visa

A short-stay work visa is like a special work permit for anyone seeking short-term employment in Australia. Short-term refers to a period of three to six months of employment. You can obtain your visa with a petition from a locally registered company. It is also known as the Subclass 400 Visa. It allows skilled employees to enter Australia for highly specialist work. 

The following are examples of short-stay work visas:

  • Working Holiday Maker Visa – It is available for young adults who want to have a holiday in Australia and work to fund their holiday.
  • Seasonal Work Visa – This visa is awarded to workers hired seasonally to fill employment and workforce gaps.
  • Temporary and Specialist Visa – This visa is for workers hired for highly specialist work on a short-term basis.
Seasonal Work Visa is awarded to workers hired seasonally

2. Temporary Work Visa

A temporary work visa allows an individual to work in Australia temporarily. Certain conditions apply to this type of visa, such as only being allowed to work for a particular employer or do specific work. One example of a temporary work visa in Australia is the provisional visa. This visa enables you to apply for a permanent work visa once you have completed your provisional visa.

Regional visas are also an example of temporary work visas. They are offered to skilled migrants and their dependent family members who are going to work and live in regional Australia. 

The following are examples of temporary work visas in Australia: 

  • Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (requires sponsorship)
  • Temporary Graduate Visa 
  • Skilled Regional Visa
  • Business Innovation and Investment Visa

3. Permanent Work Visa

Anyone with a permanent work visa in Australia is also considered a permanent resident. There are numerous classifications of the permanent work visa, so pick the one that is right for you.

  • Regional Visa – It is available for skilled migrants working and living in regional Australia. An example of this is the Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme.
  • Skilled Migration Visa – it is available for skilled migrants that want to live and work anywhere in Australia.
  • Global Talent Visa – It is available for individuals with an internationally recognized record of outstanding achievement in a particular field, such as Distinguished Talent and Global Talent pathway. 
  • Business Investment Visa – It is available for investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners wanting to pursue a business activity in Australia. It can also be given to someone who wants to work on an existing business activity.
Skilled Work Visa enables US citizens to live and work in Australia

Options for Work Visas in Australia for US Citizens

As a US citizen, it is crucial to understand the Australian visa requirements, especially if you intend to work there. This will also ensure a smooth trip because you have all the documents you need to provide a seamless transition into your new job abroad.

First, you must learn about the various visa options available to US citizens. Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) is the most common type of visa issued to US citizens. This visa allows US citizens up to 90 days of stay in Australia per single entry and is valid for one year. Therefore, it is a multi-entry visa. 

You can process this visa online and ensure fast approval. However, you cannot work in Australia with this visa. You must apply for another type of visa if you want to work in Australia. 

The Visitor Visa is another example of an Australian visa available to US citizens. It allows visa holders a maximum of 12 months’ stay in Australia for tourist purposes. You cannot work in Australia with this visa. 

The Working Holiday Visa is another type available to US citizens. It is a temporary visa for US citizens aged 18 to 30. Apply for this visa to work and travel in Australia for up to a year. Lastly, the Skilled Work Visa is another visa applicable to US citizens. However, you need an employer to sponsor this visa. This type of visa enables US citizens to live and work in Australia permanently.

Tips for a Successful Visa Application

If you want your visa application for Australia approved, you need to consider these tips upon application:

  • Pick the correct visa type for your trip to Australia. Various visa types are available to US citizens, and each type has different requirements. 
  • Be honest, especially if you are applying for a work visa. Be truthful when answering the questions on your application form. Any false information or misrepresentation could result in your visa application being rejected.
  • Give yourself time. Ensure you provide sufficient time to process your visa application. 
  • Follow up with authorities if you have yet to hear an update within a reasonable time frame. 
  • Be prepared for a visa interview. Applicants who do not qualify for the ETA might be required to show up at the nearest Australian embassy for an interview. Take all the essential documents with you for the scheduled interview. You will be asked questions to verify the information in your application, to assess your visa qualification. 

There are plenty of resources online to learn how to apply for a working visa in Australia as a US citizen. If you are unsure about visa application requirements, contact the Australian Department of Home Affairs under the Immigration and Citizenship department for clarification.

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