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How to Find Jobs That Will Sponsor You in Australia

5 minute read

By Lesley Harrison

Australia is a great place to live and work, and foreign workers who are interested in coming to the country have many visa options. Finding the right visa1 can seem like a daunting task at first, and finding an employer to sponsor your application isn’t always easy.

In most cases, employers are required to advertise jobs to Australians before sponsoring foreign applicants, so sponsorships are highly competitive, but they can be found.

There Are Several Types of Visas for People Wanting to Work in Australia

If you’re looking to live and work in Australia, you have several options when it comes to getting a visa. If you hope to stay long-term, it may be tempting to apply for the skills-based visa that offers permanent residency. However, employers are often reluctant to sponsor applicants they don’t know well for that kind of visa. It may be easier to get a temporary visa to begin with, then apply to upgrade and become a permanent resident once you’ve proven yourself.

The Working Holiday Visa Is Aimed At Young People

Many of the jobs that fall under the skills-based visa categories require the applicant to have several years of experience or a certain level of education. However, that doesn’t mean those who are in the earlier stages of their careers are out of luck. The Working Holiday Visa,2 which is open to those aged 18 to 30 (or 35, for applicants from certain countries), gives would-be visitors the opportunity to work in Australia for up to 12 months. Retail and hospitality jobs are often open to those looking to visit on a working holiday visa.

The Temporary Working Visa Offers An Accessible Route Into The Country

Australia offers several subclasses of temporary working visas.3 Some of these are designed to allow people with highly in-demand skills to come to the country as consultants or for short stays. Others, such as the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) and Recognized Graduate Visa (subclass 476) offer options for people who are looking for graduate jobs that would allow them to work in Australia. These short-term visas can help you get a foot in the door with companies that would sponsor you for permanent residence at a later date.

Airphoto Australia / Getty

Temporary Skills Shortage Visas For High-Skilled Workers

The Temporary Skills Shortage4 (subclass 482) visa is valid for up to four years and is open to those who would be filling roles listed on the Primary Migrant Skilled Occupation List.5 There are just 44 occupations on the list, with the majority of those occupations being in the fields of engineering, medicine or computer science. Some of the other roles on the list include:

General Skilled Migration and Permanent Residence

If permanent residence is your end goal, several visa tracks can grant it. If you don’t have a sponsor, the 189 Visa could be an option. However, it can be difficult to get enough points to qualify through this entry route. Employer-sponsored migration is a more practical option for many applicants. However, because of the strict sponsorship requirements set by the government, many of the jobs that advertise themselves as being open to foreign applicants looking for sponsorship require people with several years of experience in their associated field. Using a temporary visa as a way of networking with Australian employers can be a successful strategy.

How to Find a Sponsored Job In Australia

One effective way of finding sponsored jobs in Australia is to search popular job boards for opportunities offering sponsorship, including the following:

Alternatively, if you have particularly marketable or in-demand skills you may find you have some success approaching employers within your industry directly. Applying to a local branch of a multinational employer means you’ll have the opportunity to attend interviews and talk to their HR people directly. Those interviewers may understand your academic record better than a recruiter in Australia and be able to assess your qualification for the role you’re applying for more accurately as a result.

Popular Jobs for Visa Applicants

Australia welcomes dedicated workers from a variety of professions under its various visa programs. If you have a skill employers are looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find a company willing to sponsor you to come to the country. Some skill sets, such as cybersecurity, medicine and construction, are in particularly high-demand. However, those with experience outside of those areas may still find sponsorship opportunities or be able to obtain a visa under the points system.

Jobs For Skilled Applicants

In addition to the skills shortage visa, it’s possible to obtain a visa as someone with distinguished talent. Visas are also available for religious workers, athletes, yacht crews and academics. If your chosen profession isn’t on the specific list of in-demand professions, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re excluded from getting a visa. If you’re not sure which visa application process would give you the best chances of success, or your employer isn’t sure how to sponsor your application, seek advice from an immigration specialist.

Lower-Skilled Jobs as an Entry Route

Retail, hospitality and youth workers often get their first exposure to working in the country through the working holiday visa. This is a short-term visa, but it is possible for visitors to apply to stay in the country for longer after it expires, either through a temporary worker visa or a longer sponsorship. If you’re visiting the country and working on that visa, use your spare time to network, volunteer and get experience so you can extend your stay.

Your Partner’s Skills Also Count

Should you be unable to find an employer that will sponsor your visa application, you may still be able to apply for a Skilled Regional Visa.9 The qualification criteria for this type of visa are quite strict. However, those who have a partner who is employed (or plans to be employed) in Australia may be able to count their partner’s skills towards their application, helping them get enough points to qualify to live and work in the country longer term.

Standard Job Application Tips Still Apply

When you’re applying for a job that offers employer sponsorship, follow the usual job application rules. Write a good cover letter, and tailor your CV to the position you’re applying for. If you’re not currently in the country, consider how time zones might affect the hiring process. Avoid wasting your time and the time of the recruiters by applying only for jobs that you’re qualified for and would plan on accepting. Keep in mind the cost of vetting and hiring foreign applicants, and avoid reneging on any offers you get unless there’s a good reason to do so.

Talk to a Professional for Help With Your Application

The Australian visa application process is quite in-depth, and you may find there’s more than one category you could qualify for. Increase your chances of success by seeking professional advice from an immigration lawyer before you spend money on application fees. If your employer is sponsoring you, they’ll assist with the application process and most likely cover the cost of the visa. If you’re applying without a sponsor, having help to make the process go smoothly could be invaluable.

Lesley Harrison


Lesley Harrison is a technical writer and open source software enthusiast with a passion for all things "data". In her spare time she coaches youth sports and loves exploring the English countryside.