If you are looking to move to Australia then you will need an Australian visa. The Australian Visa system is broken down across a number of different visa categories and each visa category has a number of visa subclasses.
There are visa subclasses for students, families looking to move to Australia, general visitor visas, visas for flight crew, people who charter yauchts, defence personnel, people looking to invest money and people just transiting/passing through. In Fact, at the time of typing. The Australian migration website has approximately 120 different classes of Australia Visas to choose from. Aren’t you lucky!
It’s fair to say that for those new to the Australian migration journey (which will be the majority of you reading this page); the huge number of Australian visa options will be confusing.
You probably haven’t yet grasped the differences between your subclass 189 visas and the 482’s. Let alone the subclass 651 and 143 Visas.
Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be so complicated.
What are the main Australia Visa Options?
You see, despite there being around 120 different Australia Visa classes, for the vast majority of you, you’ll likely fall under the following scenario.
- You want to come to Australia on holiday
- You want to work and have a skill in demand that will help you move to Australia
- You are a student who is willing to spend your hard-earned money with an Australian educational facility/university to study here in Australia
- You have family or a partner who lives in Australia and you to join them here in Australia
Sure there are other scenarios that exist, however, based on the allocation of Australia visas which were allocated to Australian visitors and migrants last year, the above scenario accounts for over 98% of all people.
To help, we have provided an overview of the most popular Australian Visao options below. Within each visa overview, you will find the main highlights of the visa and the key eligibility requirements so you can quickly determine (at a high level at least) if you would qualify.
Each group of visas is summarised under the headings of the four scenarios we listed previously.
The name of the visa will give you an indication of what the key focus of the visa is. Try not to get too caught up on the visa subclass numberd. As there are so many visa options, this is necessary to help distinguish between all the visa types available to people looking to emigrate to Australia.
Now let us get onto the Visas.
You want to come to Australia or holiday
The Visitor and Tourist Visas will support a trip to Australia for tourism purposes. These visa options enable you to enter Australia for a short period to do a range of activities within the spirit of the visit including tourism, visiting friends and relatives or for business or medical visits.
- Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)
- Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)
- eVisitor Visa (Subclass 651)
- Electronic Travel Authority ETA (Subclass 601)
- Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)
You have a skill in demand that will help you move to Australia
The Australia Working and Skills Visas options are probably the most extensive range of visas on our list. This Australian Visa type allows visa holders to enter Australia temporarily or permanently to live and work in the country. Work visas are for skilled workers, people participating in specific activities, highly specialized workers, experienced business people, investors and sponsored workers.
In general, skilled visas are broken into two groups; sponsored or independent Visa classes.
Sponsored Visas are where you will be sponsored by an employee or an Australia State to come to Australia.
Independent visas are where your skills are considered in-demand enough (and you tick sufficient (other) boxes to move to Australia independently of a visa.
The latter (independent Visa) is often the most sought after visa option. As the name would suggest, you aren’t dependent on anyone else to secure your visa, nor are you restricted by who or where you work when you arrive.
The unfortunate flip side is that the competition for this visa type is strong which in turn can impact your ability to secure an invitation to apply. This is a ‘Points-tested’ visa and the more points you have the greater the chances of getting a visa invitation. If someone else has more points, they will generally get an invitation before you.
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494)
- Distinguished Talent Visa (Subclass 858)
- Distinguished Talent Visa (Subclass 124)
- Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408)
- Employer Nomination Scheme ENS Visa (Subclass 186)
- Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)
- Skilled Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)
- Skilled Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491)
- Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887)
- Temporary Skill Shortage TSS Visa (Subclass 482)
- Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)
You are a student who is willing to spend your hard-earned money with an Australian educational facility/university to study here in Australia
The Australian Student and Training Visas enable to enter Australia for a specific period to study an eligible course of study or to undertake occupational training with a sponsoring organisation that is consistent with the purpose of the visa granted. These Visa types enable you to live (and in some cases work in Australia for a temporary period.
- International Student Visa Holders Return To Australia
- Student Visa (Subclass 500)
- Training Visa (Subclass 407)
You have family or a partner who lives in Australia and you want to join them in Australia
Finally, the Australian Family and Partner Visa classes allow visa holders to join their partner, spouse or other family members in Australia. If you are in a relationship with someone who is already an Australian Citizen or Permanent resident and you want to move to Australia to be with them, then these are the types of Visas which may be of the most interest.
- Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143)
- Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804)
- Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
- Partner Visa (Subclass 820) & Partner (Residence) (Subclass 801)
- Partner Visa (Subclass 309) & Partner (Migrant) (Subclass 100)
Australia Visa Options – Is this enough to get you started?
We hope this overview of the various visa options has helped dispel or at least reduce some of the confusion caused by the myriad of Australia visa choices out there.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post them on the landing page of the Australia visa option you are interested in. Alternatively, feel free to post in our forums or in the comments below.