How can I work in Australia?

With Australia’s high wages, better work conditions and excellent employee benefits compared to other countries, many people are looking for opportunities to work here.  I always get inquiries from people from different parts of the world asking if I can find a job for them and how can they work in Australia.

Entering Australia requires a valid visa and depending on the visa that that you will hold, you may or may not have work rights. This article intends to give an overview on the visa options with work entitlements for people from overseas (outside Australia) or who are already here in Australia but have no or limited work rights.

Below are the top three visa options of people who are interested in working in Australia.

  1. Permanent Residency (PR) visa

This is the best visa to get if you intend to work and live in Australia permanently.  PR visa holders have full work rights.  This means that if you have a PR visa, you can work in any employer in Australia who is happy to hire you.  Examples of PR visas are 189 Skilled Independent, 190 Skilled Nominated, Partner visas, and more.

There are PR visas that can be granted if you have an employer who is happy to hire and sponsor you.  Examples of this kind of visa are the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) 186 and Regional Sponsored Migration Stream (RSMS)187.

You should check if you are eligible for a PR visa and apply in the visa subclass that is right for you.

  1. Work Visa (457)

You can apply for a 457 visa if you have an employer who is happy to hire you and sponsor you in this visa subclass.  The 457 visa is specific to your job role and your employer, which means that changing your job role or moving to a different employer can affect the validity of your visa.

The role that is being offered to you should be listed in Skills Occupation List (SOL) or Consolidated Skills Occupation List (CSOL), the employer should be an approved 457 sponsor, and your 457 nomination has been approved before your visa can be granted. There are other requirements for this visa including English capability and health and character requirements.

  1. Working Holiday Visa (417) and Work and Holiday Visa (462)

This visa is for young people (between 18 to 30 years old) who have a passport from eligible countries and would like to work while having a holiday in Australia.  Unfortunately, Philippine passport holders are not eligible for these visas.  However, if you have a passport from any of the following countries, then you can be eligible to apply:

For a 417 visa

Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People\’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders), Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom.

For a 462 visa

Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, ​Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America, Uruguay.

I have covered the top three visas that can you give you work rights in Australia.  Other visas such as the training visa (407) can also let you work in Australia as part of your occupational training (internship) or professional development.  The student visa subclass 500 also has work rights (40 hours a fortnight when classes are in session and full work rights during breaks).  However, the student visa meant for genuine students who want to study here and that working in Australia should not be their main objective.

DISCLAIMER:  This article intends to give an overview of visa options for people who are interested in working in Australia.  Not all the requirements for each visa mentioned above were discussed.  It is best to get an advice from a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer regarding your unique circumstance.

*Johanna Bertumen Nonato is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1386856) and the CEO of BridgeAus Migration Consultancy (with offices in Melbourne, Australia and Makati, Philippines). Johanna is here to help you unravel your new beginnings in Australia.  For inquiries, please email or call 0427-589274.  For a free PR visa eligibility assessment, please visit