Do you have a job opportunity lined up in Australia or perhaps are considering working in the country and want to learn what is required to do so? The first question you have to ask yourself is whether you need to go through the process of acquiring a Australian work visa at all. In nearly all cases, the answer, unfortunately, is yes. Unless you’re an Australian citizen, the only other way to bypass having a visa is by having New Zealand citizenship.

If you do, you can simply apply for a visa when you arrive in the country. For everyone else, you will need to apply for and successfully acquire a visa before you can leave. The process of applying for a visa could be confusing and complicated.

Whatever your situation, a set of easy-to-follow and clear steps will make your acquisition of an Australian work visa considerably easier. Fortunately, you are in the right place! Read further to learn everything you need to know to get what you need, so you can be working in no time.

Steps to Apply for an Australian Work Visa

It is important to be aware that there are over forty different types of work visas for Australia, each dependent on student status or the type of job you will be performing in the country. Once you have a job offer, check the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs to determine if there are other, job-specific requirements you will need to fulfill to get your visa.

1. Check whether the Australian Government is Allowing Visas

Due to the pandemic, sometimes the Australian Government puts a stop on all work visas to help contain the virus and prevent spreading through the population (and other countries). Before you make your preparations, check to ensure that there is not presently a temporary ban on visas.

2. Determine Your Visa Requirements and Apply

All applications for Australian work visas are done through the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. You will need to create an account on their website, then go through the Visa Finder process to determine the specific requirements you need for your particular visa.

Once this has been determined, you will need to fill out the application form you receive, which includes a lot of personal information such as your name, date of birth, details about your job, and about your trip, which includes the dates you are traveling and what accommodations you have.

3. Pay the Fees

After your application is complete, you will need to pay the required fees for Australian work visa, which can vary depending on which type of work visa that you need. Keep a verification that these fees have been paid, so that you will be able to prove that you have taken care of these requirements.

Next, you will need to provide your documentation so that you can gain approval.

4. Provide Your Passport

You will need to submit copies of the pages of your passport using a colored scanner. A reminder — the passport needs to be valid and at least six months before expiration!

5. Verify Your Identity

A color photograph is required to verify your identity. However, there are specific requirements that you need to observe. First, the photo has to be recent, within six months and between thirty-five and forty millimeters wide, forty-five to fifty millimeters high.

Your entire face should be visible, with no sunglasses or hair obscuring your features. You need to be looking straight at the camera with your face centered and level.

The photo should show you clearly with a neutral expression, without facial jewelry, hats, etc. The lighting needs to be sufficient to provide clear visibility to your features and the photo may not be edited to remove any blemishing or distinguishing features.

Be aware, you may be required to submit further biometrical information, such as fingerprints, DNA, etc.

6. Verify Your Character Background

To enter Australia on a work visa, you will need to provide proof of your good character. This involves complete honesty about your criminal activity and submission of a police certificate, which will be used to determine if you meet the criteria for Australia’s character requirements.

7. Prepare Personal and Financial Documents

Your birth certificate, any marriage or divorce paperwork, adoption papers, or other civil documents may be required, as well. Have them ready in case the need arises.

Before accepting your work visa application for Australia, the evaluators will want to know that you are financially stable and will be able to support yourself while staying in the country. This means that you will need bank statements, payslips, tax records, credit card information, or any other similar documents to show that you have evidence of financial means.

They will also want to see your accommodation reservations to make sure that you have a solid place to stay while you are working in Australia.

8. Get Health Insurance Paperwork

The Australian government strongly encourages you to have personal health insurance to make sure that you can remain financially stable (and healthy!) during your stay. It may not be required, but certain visa types require verification of wellness and health and may want insurance documents as well.

9. Prepare the Other Necessary Documents

Finally, there are a few other miscellaneous documents you may need to have to be accepted for your Australian work visa. Have these documents ready to go beforehand.

The application often requires a detailed itinerary for your stay and proof of purchased tickets, including your booked return flight.

Your employer will provide you with a letter permitting you to travel, so you will need that as well as any information relating to your relevant job. If you were invited to work, include your invitation letter.

If there is anything else that you believe may be relevant concerning your trip, have it ready to go in case you need it. It is always better to have more than you need than not enough!

10. Double-check!

Finally, do a double-check to make sure that you have not missed any of the required documents, and that they are readily accessible. Take the time to prepare in advance, so that you do not suffer any unexpected delays.

With this knowledge in hand, you should have no problem acquiring your visa and starting your work or studies in Australia!

Documents Needed for Australian Work Visa Applications

When you are ready to apply for your visa, here’s what you will need to have:

  • A valid and recent passport (six months validity)
  • Recent photographs (usually around four are required)
  • Documentation of your job offer
  • Travel and health insurance verification
  • Proof that you have no criminal record (background check)
  • Personal character assessment results (Form 80)
  • English language proficiency documentation
  • Certificates and papers showing your educational qualifications
  • Receipts to show that your fees are paid


We hope that this article on how to get an Australian work visa was helpful! If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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