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Residency & Entry Requirements - Visa Procedure


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Visa Procedure

How to Apply for a Visa

Applying for an Australian work visa can be done in person or online. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about how to apply for a visa, and it takes you through a step-by-step process for whatever form of visa you need.

First steps for applying for a VISA

For all matters concerning immigration to Australia, the most important website is the Australian government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) site.

To begin with, you need to think about the following things:

  1. What sort of visa should I apply for?
    1. It may be that your prospective employer will sponsor you. Even if this is the case, you also have to make an application yourself as part of the package. The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) a very efficient way to go and is really a collaborative effort between you and your prospective employer.
    2. For more information on this, visit the Employer Sponsored Workers page on the DIAC website.
  2. What if I don’t have an employer sponsorship?
    1. If you are not being sponsored, you must go through one of the other possible routes to obtain a visa. The General Skilled Migration page on the DIAC website will give you basic information on how to obtain a visa outside the ENS scheme.
  3. What forms and booklets will be useful in the VISA application process?
    1. Obtain the relevant forms and booklets from the DIAC website. You can go straight to the Applications, Forms and Booklets page for a complete list of forms, fees requirements to qualify for a visa.
    2. The booklets provided by DIAC are very informative but may seem a little overwhelming at first. However, it is important to read them carefully as there are many subtleties and conditions in the visa application process.
    3. According to the DIAC, the most common reason for a visa application being rejected is that the forms have not been completed properly or the information supplied to compliment the application is incomplete.

Key facts to consider for a visa application

Australia is extremely selective about who is awarded a Visa. You must be several requirements in order to live and work in Australia.


For many visa types, applicants over 45 years of age are placed at a disadvantage compared with younger applicants. However, as of 1st July 2011, for those applying for certain skilled migration visas the age threshold has been raised to 50. Read more about the Age requirements.


You must agree to a full medical examination with your application performed by a doctor appointed by DIAC. Read more about the health requirements at the DIAC website.


You must show good character. Any form of criminal convictions present a serious problem for any applicant and may well prohibit a visa being awarded. For useful information on character requirements, visit the DIAC website.


Your eligibility will be based on a ‘points system’ or Points Test. The absolute minimum for entry (and then only in some special cases) is 65 points. For some visas a mark of 100 is necessary, but for the majority, a minimum of 120 points is required.

The factors considered in the test are:

  • Ability to speak English
  • Level of skill in the applicants job category
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Age

For information about this Points Test, visit the DIAC website.


If you are making a visa application through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) or Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa route you will be eligible for free visa application or your prospective employer may meet the cost. Read more about Free Visa Application Fees at the DIAC website.

It should be noted that visa applications other than the above are subject to government fees which may run into several thousand dollars. This may be a significant factor for those applying for Skilled Independent Visas. For further information about the Fee Structure for Australian Visas, visit the relevant section of the DIAC website.

Other useful information can be found in our Visas to Work and Live in Australia section. 

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