An employer sponsored visa allows you to make a permanent move to Australia. To be eligible you will need to find an Australian-based employer to sponsor you.

Temporary Skilled Shortage visa (subclass 482 visa)

The Temporary Skilled Shortage visa (TSS) visa has a short-term stream and a medium-term stream. Your occupation determines which stream you can apply for. Applicants with occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) are eligible for a visa of up to two years on the short-term stream. Applicants who apply for jobs on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) are eligible for a visa of up to four years on the medium-term stream, and may apply for permanent residency after three years.

Requirements for Australian businesses employing overseas workers

Standard business sponsorship (SBS)

Australian businesses wishing to employ workers from another country are required to have an SBS to sponsor overseas workers on the TSS visa streams. Businesses will need to show that they are legally trading in Australia and have processes in place to train local employees. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will assess each application individually.

If overseas business owners wish to expand their business in Australia, or have contracts to fulfil in the country, they can also apply for an overseas business SBS. If granted, these foreign companies can make use of the TSS visa. The companies must declare that they have been unable to find a suitable local worker to fill the position.


Employers must select the role that needs to be filled from the defined list of skilled occupations. All nominated roles must meet the minimum requirements relating to salary and skill level.

The nomination will be evaluated by immigration authorities to determine whether it meets the criteria – so it’s important that applications are completed correctly.

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186 visa)

The Subclass 186 visa has three visa streams:

  1. The Temporary Residence Transition stream: This stream is for applicants who are currently in Australia on a medium-term stream TSS visa and have worked for their employer for at least two years. The employer must sponsor the applicant’s permanent residence visa application.
  2. The Direct Entry stream: This route if for applicants who are outside of Australia and who have never, or have only briefly, worked in Australia. You will need to undergo a positive skills assessment to obtain this visa.
  3. The Agreement stream: This is a permanent residence visa for applicants who are sponsored by an employer through either a labour or regional migration agreement.

Student visa (subclass 500)

You can apply for this visa if you wish to attend an Australian school or university. You can stay up to five years in Australia on this visa. Primary school children will only be allowed to stay for up to three years.

You will be allowed to include your family members on this visa, provided that they’re:

  • Your partner
  • Your or your partner’s dependant child who is unmarried and is under the age of 18

Australian skilled visas

A skilled visa lets you live permanently in Australia. There are different types of skilled visas available and which one you apply for depends on your occupation, where in Australia you want to live and your skills and circumstances.

Skilled visas are points-based, where points are awarded to applicants based on age, qualification, experience and English language skills. If your occupation is in demand, you’ll have the greatest visa options. You should check the skills lists regularly to see if your skills are in high demand.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189 visa)

The Skilled Independent visa is the most sought-after visa as it allows you to live and work anywhere in Australia and it is a permanent residency visa. To be eligible, you must be under 45 years of age, score at least 65 points on the immigration points test and have an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190 visa)

The Skilled Nominated visa is a permanent resident visa, and you must be nominated by a state or territory government to be eligible. You must also be under 45 years of age, score at least 65 points and have an occupation on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). The state nomination counts for an additional five points, which could assist in meeting the 65-point requirement.

Skilled Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476 visa)

To apply for a Skilled Recognised Graduate visa you must be an engineering graduate and under the age of 31. This visa will allow you to live in Australia for 18 months while you gain skilled work experience.

Your engineering degree must have been completed at a recognised institution, such as a university or a Technikon, within the last two years. You will also need to have specalised in civil engineering; structural engineering; chemical engineering; environmental engineering; electrical and electronics engineering; mechanical; production and plant engineering or mining and material engineering.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491 visa)

The Skilled Work Regional visa will allow you to live and work in specified regional areas in Australia for up to five years. To qualify, you’ll need to either be sponsored by an eligible relative or be nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency.

You must score 65 points or more and be under the age of 45 when you apply, and your occupation must be on the list of eligible occupations. After three years of living in Australia on the Skilled Work Regional visa, you’ll be able to apply for a permanent residence visa.

Australian partner visa

If you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia, you might qualify for an Australian Partner visa.

Types of Australian partner visas

There are two types of partner visas – temporary or permanent. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection assesses applications under a “combined application”. This means that your application will be assessed against the criteria for both temporary and permanent partner visas. The visa you are granted is determined by the criteria that you meet.

Temporary Partner visa

The temporary Partner visa is valid for two years. During this period your relationship will be assessed to ensure that you intend to stay with your partner. If your relationship passes the test, you will be granted a permanent Australian Partner visa.

Permanent Partner visa

The Permanent Partner visa is valid for five years. After fours years on this visa, you can apply for Australian citizenship.

Your partner visa application will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • How financial responsibilities are shared or pooled
  • Your household: How household tasks are divided and shared
  • How you are perceived as a couple in public
  • Your commitment to each other

Bringing your partner to Australia

You can bring your partner with in the following ways:

Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309 visa) and Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100 visa)

You can only apply for the subclass 309 visa and subclass 100 visa from outside Australia. You won’t be allowed to enter the country until your visa has been issued. 

Partner visa (subclasses 820 visa and 801 visa)

You can apply for this visa from within Australia as these are permanent partner visas. Applications for these visas can take a year or more to be processed.

To apply, you must hold a valid Australian visa (excluding a Bridging, Criminal Justice or Enforcement visa) or be eligible for a waiver. You must not hold a visa with condition 8503, which prevents you from making a further application in Australia.

Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300 visa)

This visa is often referred to as the fiancé visa and is used by unmarried individuals who cannot show that they have cohabited for 12 months. It allows unmarried partners of Australian citizens to travel to Australia to get married. You must be outside of Australia when you apply for his visa.

The Prospective Marriage visa is valid for nine months.

Visitor visa (subclass 600 visa)

An Australian Visitor visa or tourist visa is valid for up to three, six or 12 months  and allows you to visit Australia for holiday, to see family and friends or to conduct a short business trip.

Australian tourist visa requirements

There are three types of Australian visitor visas and your country of origin will determine which one you can apply for.

Visitor visa (subclass 600 visa)

This visa is for individuals who want to visit Australia as a tourist or for business.

Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601 visa)

Only individuals from certain countries can apply for this visa. It allows you to visit Australia on multiple occasions for tourist or business purposes and stay up to three months at a time within a period of one year.

Visitor (subclass 651 visa)

The subclass 651 visa allows you to visit Australia for three months at a time within a 12-month period for tourist or business purposes only. This visa is only available to individuals from certain countries.

The Business Innovation visa

Since the cut-off age for most Australian businesses is 45 years, this is a great opportunity for those above that age to move to Australia. You must own and run a successful business and be under the age of 55 to apply for the subclass 188a visa. This visa allows you to start or buy into a business in Australia. It’s valid for four years and three months, and allows you and your family members to live, study and work in Australia, and eventually be eligible for permanent residence.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be under the age of 55 years*
  • Score at least 65 points on the immigration points test
  • For two out of the four fiscal years immediately before applying, have had ownership of an established business or businesses that has/have at least AUD500,000 turnover in each of those years
  • Either by yourself, or your business partner, or you and your partner combined, must have total net business and personal assets of AUD800,000 that can be used to establish a business in Australia

*A state or territory can choose to waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory

The Australian immigration points test

You must score at least 65 points to be eligible for the Business Innovation visa. In the table below, we’ve outlined the categories and points available in each category. 

Please note: You should always consult with a MARA-registered Australian immigration advisor before you apply for this visa. Do not assume that because you have the right amount of points that you will qualify. The visa application process is complex and without professional representation, it is difficult to successfully navigate the regulations.

English abilityVocational5
QualificationsTrade, diploma or bachelor’s degree5
 Bachelor’s degree in business, science or technology10
Net financial assets (AUD)800,0005
 1.3 million10
 1.8 million25
 2.25 million35
Business annual turnover (AUD)500,0005
 1 million15
 1.5 million25
 2 million35
Business ownership experienceFour of the past five years10
 Seven of the past eight years15

Permanent residency on Business Innovation visa (subclass 888 visa)

The subclass 888 visa is a permanent residence visa. You can transition from the 188 visa to the 888 visa after living in Australia for two years and meeting the required benchmarks, these are:

Business criteria (two out of three must be satisfied)1. Applicant (and partner) have held at least AUD200,000 net main business assets for the last 12 months
2. Applicant’s main business has had at least two full-time Australian employees for the last 12 months
3. Applicant (and partner) have held at least AUD600,000 net business and personal assets for the last 12 months
Business turnoverApplicant and partner’s main business generated turnover of at least AUD300,000 for the last 12 months
Time spent in AustraliaApplicant must have spent one out of the two years preceding the application living in Australia
Time of ownership of main businessApplicant must have maintained ownership of the main business for a period of at least two years

Permanent residency in Australia

Permanent residents enjoy many of the rights and privileges of citizens, including: 

  • Remain in Australia indefinitely
  • Work and study in Australia
  • Enrol in Australia’s national health scheme, Medicare
  • Apply for bank loans to buy property
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • Apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible
  • Travel to and from Australia for as long as your travel facility permits. 

Australian citizenship

As a permanent resident you can apply for citizenship once the waiting period is complete. You will also be required to take the citizenship test and attend a citizenship ceremony.

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