Living Traveling Working

Which Visa Do I Actually Need?

September 9, 2019


If you want to live and work in Australia, you’ll need a visa. I get asked lots of questions regarding visas. I’m no visa expert and I surely don’t have all the answers, but here is a little bit of information based on my experience as a citizen from the United States. If you’re from another country, you would need to check which visas you are eligible for.  

Another option is to use an immigration lawyer for the visa application process (although you definitely don’t have to – I didn’t use one). 

I’ll give a bit of information about the visas that I had/have. I came to Australia on a 462 Work and Holiday Visa in January 2016. I applied for a 189 Skilled Independent Visa in November 2016 and it was approved in February 2017 (side note: although it only took 3-4 months for mine to be approved, I have heard this process can take longer).  

462 – Work and Holiday Visa 

  • Must be 18-30 years old
  • Must not be accompanied by dependent children
  • $485 AUD 
  • Lets you stay 12 months 
    • While on this visa, if you do 3 months of specified subclass work, can apply for a second 462 visa
    • There’s also a 3rd year visa available if you do 6 months specified work while on your second 462 visa
  • My Work and Holiday Visa was granted within a day (this was in 2015) 
    • While on my 462 visa, I worked as an au pair, then an SLP (I worked a 10-week locum SLP position and then began a position at a private hospital while still on the 462 visa) 
  • Conditions include that you must not be employed with any one employer for more than 6 months without prior permission in writing of the Secretary  

189 – Skilled Independent Visa  – Points-Tested 

  • Lets you stay permanently and if eligible, can become an Australian citizen 
  • Must be under 45 to be invited to apply 
  • From $4045 AUD
  • Your occupation must be on the Skilled Occupation List (Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist – all on list at present – however this list does change) 
  • Point-tested stream
    • You must have 65 points to apply 
    • Point are awarded based on various things such as age, work history, education/study, English language proficiency
  • Submit an expression of interest in Skill Select, wait for invitation to apply for the visa, gather documents, apply for visa within 60 days of invitation
  • I paid to take an English test (I took the IELTS) in order to have enough points to apply

Other Visas 

Other visas you may be eligible for as an SLP, PT, or OT (check the immigration website for further specifics regarding these visas as well as the 462 and 189 and any changes to visa requirements/eligiblity)  

  • 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186)
  • 190 – Skilled Nominated (subclass 190)
  • 407 – Training visa (subclass 407)
  • 485 – Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) – Graduate Work
  • 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – Family sponsored
  • 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – State or Territory nominated
  • 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) – Medium Term Stream
  • 187 – Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme (subclass 187)

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