Working in Australia

Working in Australia

Australia has one of the world’s lowest unemployment rates. And because there are many job opportunities in the country, foreign nationals are eager to try their luck in working in Australia. The economy in Australia is always progressing. With its businesses ever expanding, the country sometimes needs to turn to the international pool of job seekers to fulfill their manpower needs.

If you are a Chinese national who wishes to work in Australia, here is a guide that will help you in this endeavor. We will answer the most frequently asked questions when it comes to working in Australia.


Contents of this Page

How can I get a job in Australia?

What are the typical requirements of getting a job in Australia?

What are the visa requirements for Working in Australia?

Can a holder of a Student Visa work in Australia?


How can I get a job in Australia?

There are three ways to get a job in Australia, and these are:

1. Apply directly to a company before going to Australia.

If you know which company or companies you are interested in working for, you can research on their job openings beforehand. Once you find a position suitable to your skills and interests, you can send an application online. You can even send a video presentation of yourself to further discuss your skills.

2. Connect with an agency.

Many companies work with agencies to find the right candidate for their job openings. Such companies typically look for a bulk of skilled employees at a time. The disadvantage of working with an agency is that you have to either pay them upfront or they will deduct a certain amount from your future salary. The advantage of working with an agency is that they can match you up with several companies that match your skills and you can choose which job you like. They can also help you in getting the right visa and in traveling to Australia.

3. Apply for a job when you are already in Australia.

You can get a working visa first and go to Australia and just look for a job when you get there. The problem with this option is that you might not easily find the career that matches your skills. You might even have to settle for jobs you are overqualified for. If you plan on going this route, it would be best to research on your job options in the city or state you will be residing in first.

Working in Australia

What are the typical requirements of getting a job in Australia?

The requirements for every job differ. However, there are three main requirements common among all types of occupation, and these are age, having the necessary skills, and English proficiency.

Age Requirement

As a foreigner seeking to work in Australia, you must be no more than 45 years old when applying for a job. There are a few exceptions, such as being nominated by an employer to gain a different type of working visa.

Skills Requirement

You must of course have the necessary skills needed in the work you are applying for. Your skills claim must be supported by documents showing proof of your work experience relevant to the field you want to pursue. You will also undergo a skills assessment lead by a relevant authority. This skills assessment is valid for up to three years or until the specified date in the assessment. The Department of Home Affairs provides more information on getting your Skills Assessment.

English Requirement

Australia is an English-speaking country, so being able to speak English fluently is a necessity. Or at the very least, you must have competent English. A Chinese resident must fulfill at least one of the following to prove English competency:

The components of these tests are speaking, listening, reading, and writing. To be considered valid, these tests must be taken within three years prior to your visa application. If you have taken the test more than three years before you apply for a visa, you would have to retake it.


What visa types can I get for Working in Australia?

The type of visa you should get depends on your skills or the job you want to apply for. However, there is a limit to the allowed skilled occupations that foreign nationals can apply for at any given time. To know what skilled occupations are eligible when you apply, check the Skilled Occupations List by the Department of Home Affairs. The reason why this list changes is because the Department of Jobs and Small Business want to make sure that the visa being offered at any given time is what Australia needs at the moment. This prevents influx of people seeking jobs that Australia cannot provide. It might even lead to underemployment for Australian residents, which Australia is trying to actively avoid.

Once you find that the occupation you want to pursue is open, you can proceed with applying for the right visa for you. The visa requirements depend on the type of visa you will be applying for.


Work Visa for Chinese Citizens

Although there are several work visas available, the following are the ones that Chinese nationals planning on working in Australia can apply for:


1. Work and Holiday Visa Subclass 462

This visa subclass 462 is an arrangement made between Australia and China to allow up to 5,000 young Chinese nationals who have finished at least an undergraduate degree. This is considered a working holiday. This visa allows its holder to stay in Australia or up to 12 months, study for a maximum of four months, and work for a maximum of six months under one employer.

For information on how to apply for this visa, please read our section on getting a Work and Holiday Visa.


2. Temporary Work Visa Subclass 400

This visa is otherwise known as Short Stay Specialist. With this visa, you can only do highly specialised work that is only for a short term. The stay period for this visa is usually three months. To be eligible for this visa, you must first be invited by a company or organization you will be employed in. Also, your skills need to be highly specialised that it cannot be performed by someone else in Australia.

For more information on how to apply to Short Stay Specialist Visa, check our guide.


3. Temporary Work Visa Subclass 403

This visa is also known as International Relations Visa. This visa is for government-related activities or for working with Chinese diplomats (as a domestic helper) or as a Chinese foreign language teacher. This is a special visa and not typically something you would get unless your work in Australia is related to a bilateral agreement.


4. Temporary Activity Visa Subclass 408

If your work is in relation to cultural exchange, sports and entertainment, this visa is what you should get. This temporary visa usually has a maximum of three months stay. However, if you need to stay for more than three months, you can still be granted this visa for your extended stay, provided that someone sponsors you. This entity must be an approved temporary activities sponsor.

The following are activities that will allow you to be granted this visa:

  • Perform as an entertainer ;
  • Receive invitation from an Australian society;
  • Participate in a research venture;
  • Participate in sports competition and/or training;
  • Participate in religious activities (full-time);
  • Take part in an event that is sponsored by the government.


5. Temporary Skill Shortage Subclass 482

This new visa replaces visa 457 visa. As its name implies, this visa is skill shortage by which locals cannot provide. This allows the use of local companies for foreign workers in a particular field, while at the same time making sure that Australian worker get precedence.

To get the TSS visa, you must first be nominated by a company. There are three steams available:

  • Short stream
  • Medium stream
  • Labor agreement stream

For more information in getting this visa, please visit our Temporary Skill Shortage Visa section.


6. Skilled Independent Visa

The Skilled Independent Visa is for individuals who have the right skills but have no sponsoring company or family member and is not nominated by the government of any region.

This visa requires that you receive an invitation from Australia to apply for this visa. In order to receive an invitation, you must first submit an Expression of Interest. Submitting an EOI must be done using the Department of Home Affair’s SkillSelect.

When submitting an EOI, you must first verify that this visa type is eligible at the time of lodging your EOI. You must also have complete and verifiable documents. Once you pass the points test of the SkillSelect and you receive an invitation to apply for a Skilled Independent Visa, all the information you have placed during your Expression of Interest must match that of you visa application.

This visa subclass 189 requires that you receive a SkillSelect test score of 65 or more, have received skills assessment and have competent English. For more information on the requirements of this visa, visit our Skilled Independent Visa guide.


7. Skilled Nominated Visa

The visa subclass 190’s requirements are very similar to that of the Skilled Independent Visa, except that this visa requires that you are nominated by any of Australia’s state or territory. In order to be invited, you must first contact the government agency to discuss their nomination process. After which, you should submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect.

For more details, visit our Skilled Nominated Visa section.

Working in Australia

Can a holder of a Student Visa work in Australia?

Yes. If you are studying in Australia, you are allowed to work a maximum of 40 hours for every two weeks once your course has started. If your course is out of session, you are allowed to work for an unlimited amount of time.

Many Chinese people who have student visas in Australia usually decide to stay in the country permanently. As such, they apply for other types of working visa (particularly the skilled working visas in order to have a chance to stay permanently.


If you’re finding it difficult to find the right visa for you, or you need assistance in moving to Australia for work, you can always enlist the help of an immigration agent. Finding a reputable immigration agent can be tricky, what with the issues of work visa scams recently cropping up. If you need assistance in finding a professional immigration agent, send us a message and we’ll connect you to a reliable one.