Positive SSL

Australian Visas – 457, Student and Other Categories

Getting an Australian visa, whether a 482 (temporary skills shortage visa), a student visa to study in Australia or applying under a different visa category can be a confusing process. We have provided some information (sourced from the Immigration and Citizenship section of the Australian Department of Home Affairs website) and an Australian visa summary covering the the main visa categories below and we recommend that you consult the website for specific details and further information.

Please note:

We are not registered Australian migration agents and cannot provide any migration advice or assistance with any visa related matters.
The information provided here does not constitute migration or legal advice and is provided only as a general guide. We strongly suggest that you engage the services of a Registered Australian Migration Agent to assist you with choosing the right visa. Information provided is current as at 1 November 2021.

Getting an Australian Visa

The application process and different visa categories can be confusing to many people.

If you are from a country other than Australia or New Zealand you will need a visa and a valid passport or other acceptable travel document with at least 6 months validity to enter Australia.

All travellers entering Australia will need to complete and sign an Incoming Passenger Card, which includes declarations you will need to make about your health and character.

New Zealand citizens are automatically granted a Special Category Visa (SCV Subclass 444) on arrival in Australia subject to presenting a New Zealand passport and meeting the relevant Australian character and health requirements for entry.

You will need a Transit visa (subclass 771) if you plan to travel through Australia to another country.

If you are going to stay in Australia for longer than 72 hours, you cannot get a Transit visa and you will need to apply for another type.

It is really important to check requirements with your licensed travel agent, Australian consulate, embassy or high commission in your home country before departing for Australia as if you arrive without a valid visa you will be refused entry to Australia and returned home on the next available flight at your expense.

There are too many visas to cover them all in detail and as this site is designed specifically for people who are specifically considering moving to Australia to live permanently, work or intend to stay long-term in Australia we shall mostly cover the visas that are appropriate for these goals, i.e. temporary residence categories such as a 482 work visa and a student visa to study in Australia, as well as permanent resident visa types.

Australian Visa

Temporary Residence Australian Visas

Australia’s temporary residence programme is designed to allow people from overseas to come to Australia for specific purposes that benefit Australia. The programme is made up from four categories:

  • skilled
  • Temporary work
  • International relations
  • Training and research.

Temporary residents are required to pay taxes on income earned in Australia. Most temporary residents do not have access to social welfare benefits or national public health cover. We shall only cover the skilled and temporary work categories.

Temporary Residence and Temporary Work

  • Business migration: under the Business Innovation and Investment Australian visa programme, people with backgrounds as business owners or investors can be nominated by a state or territory government for a provisional (temporary) visa in the first instance. After satisfactory evidence of a specified level of business or investment activity in Australia, business innovation and investment (provisional) visa holders can apply for permanent residence.
  • The temporary work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) NO LONGER AVAILABLE allowed skilled workers to come to Australia and work for an approved business for up to four years. You must have been sponsored by an approved business. A business could sponsor someone for this visa if they could not find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the skilled work. THE 457 VISA WAS ABOLISHED ON 18 APRIL 2018 AND HAS BEEN REPLACED BY THE TEMPORARY SKILL SHORTAGE (TSS) VISA.
  • The skilled regional (Provisional) Australian visa (subclass 489) allows for skilled workers and their accompanying families to live, work and study in specified regional areas of Australia for four years. This requires nomination by a state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible relative who lives in a regional area and you receive an invitation to apply under the SkillSelect points based skilled migration process.
  • Temporary activity Australian visa (subclass 408) are for people involved in a wide range of events and activities that are endorsed by the Australian Government.
  • Temporary work (short stay activity) visas (subclass 400) are for people intending to come to Australia to do short term, highly specialised non-ongoing work or to participate in non-ongoing cultural or social activities at the invitation of an organisation in Australia.
  • Temporary graduate visas (subclass 485) are for people who have completed their studies in Australia while on a qualifying student visa, and who intend to live and work in Australia temporarily after they have finished their studies.
  • The New Zealand citizen family relationship (temporary) visa (subclass 461) allows someone who is not a New Zealand citizen to live in Australia with a family member who:
    • is a New Zealand citizen who either holds a Special Category visa (subclass 444) and is living in Australia, or
    • is eligible to hold a Special Category (subclass 444) and is accompanying you to Australia.
  • The temporary work (international relations) (subclass 403) visa A temporary visa to work in specific circumstances that improve Australia’s international relations.

There are a number of other provisional (temporary) categories and a list of these can be found on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

Permanent Residence Australian Visa

These are reasonably self explanatory and allow you to live in Australia indefinitely (permanently) with full work rights for you and any family members that are included in your application. These visas can be classified under four categories:

  • Independent (not sponsored by anyone)
  • Sponsored (by an Australian spouse or a state or territory)
  • Employer sponsored
  • Business (this could also be a sponsored visa).

Skill Select or Skilled Independent (189) Visa

This is specifically for highly skilled people, under 50 years old who meet Australia’s current skills shortages as well as for very highly skilled people who would like to move to Australia. The visa relies on a points based assessment that awards points for age, English language ability, skilled employment (outside and inside Australia) and academic or trade qualifications. You need to nominate an occupation that is listed on the skilled occupation list (SOL). Bonus points are also awarded for community languages, study in Australia, partner’s skills, study in regional Australia and a professional year in Australia immediately before being invited to apply. Further information and how to apply can be found on the DIPB website HERE.

Skilled Nominated Australian Visa (190)

Similar to the Skilled Independent category above, though requires sponsorship by a state or territory government agency. Also a points based migration process, though your nominated occupation is listed on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL). Each state and territory has their own migration website with details on the nominated lists of occupations that they sponsor.

Links to each state and territory’s occupation lists are as follows:
New South Wales
Western Australia
South Australia
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory (Canberra)

Employer Nominated Scheme [ENS] (permanent residence) (186) Visa

This requires a company to sponsor you to work for them in Australia and your qualifications / skills meet the Australian government’s requirements under the visa scheme. You may have previously held an Australian subclass 457 visa for two years and are now eligible to apply under the ENS scheme.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme [RSMS] (187) Visa

Similar to the ENS category above, this visa also requires employer sponsorship, though it is specific to regional areas (generally outside major metropolitan areas) of Australia. Meaning you have to move to and live in a regional town or area in Australia. You may have held either a subclass 457 visa or a subclass 489 visa for two years and have the support of a regional employer in regional Australia to apply and meet the relevant conditions for the subclass 187 visa.

Skilled Regional (887) Visa

This is similar to the RSMS Australian visa above on the basis that you have to be prepared to move to and live in a regional town or area in Australia, though is a permanent residence visa that is not sponsored or dependent on an Australian company sponsoring you.

Business Innovation & Investment (888) Visa

This is for business owners who have owned a successful business in their home country that has a turnover and scale that satisfies Australian visa requirements and want to move to Australia to set up or invest in an Australian business.

Australian Visa Working Holiday (©Tony Hewitt)

Working Holiday Australian Visas

There are two categories that allow people from certain countries to work and holiday / travel in Australia for one to two years. You must be between 18-30 years old (and not yet 31) at the time of applying and be a passport holder of one of the countries listed below to be eligible for the relevant visa. These visas have become increasingly popular for eligible skilled people who would like to look for a company to sponsor them to remain to live and work in Australia under the various Employer Sponsorship streams when they are in Australia.

Working Holiday Australian Visa (417)

This is for current passport holders from Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom who are aged 18-30. It allows you to live and work in Australia for 12 months with multiple entry to Australia and you can work for the same employer for a maximum of 6 months and / or study in Australia for up to four months. You have the ability to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa (417) if you have completed at least three months of specified work in regional Australia whilst on your first Working Holiday Visa. More information can be found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website HERE.

Work and Holiday Australian Visa (462)

You can apply for this if you are hold a current passport from Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China (People’s Republic of), Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the USA and Uruguay. Agreements have also recently been reached with Israel and Greece, though the start dates for these agreements have not yet been announced. The visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months and work in Australia for up to six months with each employer and / or study for up to four months in Australia. The visa also allows you to enter Australia any number of times whilst it is valid. Only holders of USA passports can apply for this visa online and for more information on how to apply, please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website HERE.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection (previously called Department of Immigration and Citizenship):

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) states that their key objectives are to:

  • Contribute to Australia’s future through managed migration
  • Make fair and reasonable decisions for people entering or leaving Australia, ensuring compliance with Australia’s immigration laws and integrity in decision-making
  • Protect refugees and contribute to humanitarian policy internationally
  • Contribute to Australia’s security through border management and traveller facilitation
  • Promote Australian citizenship.

Department of Immigration Website Links:

for state & territory sponsored, subclass 457 and Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS).


Continue to the next section (Australian Citizenship)

My Pre-Departure Tasks

Tasks 45 | 5 Tasks Completed

View Tasks

My Initial Arrival Tasks

Tasks 6 | 0 Tasks Completed

View Tasks

My Other Arrival Tasks

Tasks 6 | 0 Tasks Completed

View Tasks

My Settling In Tasks

Tasks 7 | 0 Tasks Completed

View Tasks