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Can I Convert My Visit Visa to Australia If I Find a Job There?

Converting a visit visa to a work visa in Australia is not straightforward. While a visit visa allows you to explore job opportunities, it does not permit you to work. If you secure a job offer, you must apply for a work visa, such as the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa or Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa.

Finding a job while on a visitor visa in Australia is a great opportunity that many people desire. However, the process of transitioning from a visitor visa to a work visa requires an understanding of the immigration laws in Australia. While it is possible to change your visitor visa to a work visa, certain conditions and procedures must be met. This guide will explore the procedures, qualifications, and types of work visas available to you to transform your visitor visa into a working visa in Australia.

To begin the process, your employer will need to become an approved sponsor. Once approved, they can nominate you for a visa. You will then need to submit a visa application, providing evidence of your skills, qualifications, and relevant work experience.

To navigate this process smoothly, consider consulting with an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent. They can provide valuable advice, ensure all paperwork is correctly filed, and help you meet all legal requirements.

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Eligibility Criteria for Converting Visitor Visa to Work Permit

However, to be in a position to change your visitor visa to a work permit in Australia, the following are some of the conditions that one has to meet. These criteria ensure that the applicants are in a position to occupy the positions they are willing to take and it covers the immigration requirements of Australia. Here are the key factors to consider:
  • Job Offer from an Australian Employer : To be able to obtain a work visa, one must be invited to work for an employer in Australia. The job must be related to the field of your expertise or qualification, and the employer must be willing to provide sponsorship for your visa. This process applies even if you are initially in the country on a tourist Visa in Australia; you will need to secure a job offer and then apply for the appropriate work visa from outside the country.
  • Skills Assessment : In applying for a work visa, there is a possibility that a skills assessment is needed especially if you are applying for a certain type of work visa. This assessment confirms that your skills and experience are compliant with the Australian standard of the particular job you are seeking.
  • Health and Character Requirements : They have to fulfil some requirements concerning their health and character. This normally entails taking a medical test and acquiring police clearance certificates that would certify that you are not a health or security risk to the Australian population.
  • Proof of Financial Stability : In some cases, you may be required to provide evidence that you have enough money to live on as well as any accompanying dependents for the first few months in Australia. This requirement helps ensure that individuals entering the country on a tourist visa in Australia will not become a financial burden on the nation.
  • Compliance with Visa Conditions : Make sure that you are not a holder of a visitor visa or that you have not violated it in any way. Breaching the visa policy or even staying beyond the allowed time will have implications on the issuance of a work permit. Regarding the legal aspect, it is essential to stay in compliance with the laws at any stage of the application process.

How to Convert an Australian Visitor Visa to a Working Visa

The process of migrating from a visitor’s visa to a working visa in the country is well defined as follows. This involves strategy and the most important aspect is to abide by the provisions of the immigration laws. Here is a guide on how to transition from a visitor visa to a working visa in Australia with important information that you should know.

  • Secure a Job Offer : The first and the most important requirement to get your visitor visa changed to a working visa is getting an offer letter from an employer in Australia. The job must be in a skill that is in the SOL or the list of skilled occupations in Australia. The employer must be ready to sponsor for a visa and the employer must write an official offer letter that describes the position, salary and employment terms. Let this sponsorship show to the Department of Home Affairs you have a valid reason to stay in Australia and help the economy.
  • Choose the Appropriate Work Visa : When you have been offered a job, it is important to find out which working visa category is appropriate in your case. Some of the most popular choices for skilled migrants are the TSS visa (subclass 482), the ENS visa (subclass 186), and the skilled independent visa (subclass 189). Every visa has its standard conditions that qualify a person to apply for it as well as the procedures to be followed. For instance, the TSS visa enables skilled workers to live and work in Australia for a period of up to four years and this requires that the applicant be sponsored by an approved business. The ENS visa is a permanent visa for skilled migrants in the UK nominated by their employer for a long-term stay in the country.
  • Complete a Skills Assessment : Based on the type of visa that the applicant intends to apply for, there might be a need to sit for a skills assessment. This assessment confirms that your education, training, and experience meet the requirements for your occupation that are relevant in Australia. The skills assessment is done by an authorized assessing body depending on the nature of your job. For instance, the engineers may be required to be evaluated by Engineers Australia while the IT professionals may be evaluated by the Australian Computer Society (ACS). The assessment may require one to provide documents such as comprehensive records of his or her education and working experience and may entail tests or interviews.
  • Lodge the Visa Application : After you get your job offer, and if you have to go through a skills assessment test, then you can submit your visa application. This step involves filling in the visa application form and providing many supporting documents such as the job offer letter, the result of the skills assessment, copies of passports and/or national identity cards, health and character certificates, and proof of financial standing. This is important so that all the data given is correct and all the necessary documents are attached to avoid time wastage. Useful links to the Department of Home Affairs include online application forms which help in tracking the status of your application.
  • Await Visa Approval : Once you have filled out the form and sent it to the Department of Home Affairs, you will have to wait for the approval of your visa. The time spent on the processing of the application may also differ depending on the type of visa and the particularity of the case. At the same time, it is crucial to stick to the conditions of the existing visitor visa to remain legally in Australia. If one violates any of the visa conditions such as working without the requisite permission, then the application is at risk. It is recommended to track the status of your application frequently and be ready to submit any additional materials or documents when requested by immigration officers.
  • Transition to a Work Visa : When your work visa is granted you can then proceed from the visitor visa to the work visa. Your new visa will state the conditions of stay as well as rights and obligations such as the time allowed to stay, working conditions, and limitations. Make sure you comprehend these conditions in the letter to avoid any violations and embrace your new identity as a working resident in Australia. You should acquaint yourself with the procedures of visa renewal or applying for a green card if that is your intention in the long run.

Converting a visitor visa to a working visa requires diligence, adherence to immigration laws, and thorough preparation. By following these steps and working closely with your employer and potentially an immigration lawyer, you can increase your chances of a successful transition and start your new journey as a working professional in Australia.

Common Types of Australian Work Visas for Skilled Workers

Australia has provided several types of work visas that are meant to facilitate the entry of skilled workers into the country. These visas are aimed at solving the problem of personnel deficit and contributing to the development of the economy through the admission of personnel in various fields. Here are some of the most common types of Australian work visas for skilled workers:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa (Subclass 482) : The TSS visa enables the employer to fill the shortage of employees in the labour market by importing workers from other countries. It can be granted for up to 4 years depending on the type of employment and/or the needs of the employer. You need to have a job offer from an approved sponsor and the position you are going to work for must be in the SOL. This visa comes with many conditions that have to be met by both the employer and the employee to show that the employment will be beneficial to the Australian economy.
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa (Subclass 186) : This is an immigration visa that enables an employee, who is a skilled worker, to reside and work in Australia permanently through their employer. The ENS visa has three streams: Direct Entry stream, Temporary Residence Transition stream, and Labor Agreement stream. Each stream is for different situations, for example, the workers are currently in Australia on a temporary visa or those who are applying from overseas. The ENS visa offers the holders a route to permanent residence and this stability is beneficial for the skilled workers and their families.
  • Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) : The subclass 189 visa is a general skilled migrant visa that is not employer or state/territory nominated. It enables you to live and work in Australia permanently in any part of the country. The following requirements must be met: You must be qualified for an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list and pass a points test that takes into account age, skills, English proficiency, etc. This visa is very popular and much sought after because of the independence and flexibility that is offered with the visa.
  • Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) : Like the subclass 189 visa, subclass 190 is a points-based visa that has the requirement of being sponsored by an Australian state or territory. It gives you the right to permanent residence and the right to work in the nominating state or territory. Aspirants have to fulfil the points test criteria and must be sponsored by a state or territory. This visa often gets extra points for state nomination, so it is beneficial for those who aim at getting permanent residence.
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa (Subclass 187) : The RSMS visa is aimed at skilled workers who are willing to work in Regional Australia. It entails nomination by an Australian employer and is meant to solve the problem of skills shortage in the regional areas. The RSMS visa has two streams: namely the Temporary Residence Transition stream and the Direct Entry stream. This visa seeks to encourage the settlement of persons with skills in areas that might not be as popular as large cities.


You can search for a job on a tourist visa, but you cannot work. To work, you need to obtain the appropriate work visa, which requires you to leave Australia and apply from outside the country.

Yes, you can move to Australia with a job offer by applying for the correct work visa, such as the TSS visa (subclass 482), ENS visa (subclass 186), or Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189). Your employer must sponsor your visa application.

Yes, but you must leave Australia and apply for an employment visa from another country. You need a job offer and sponsorship from an Australian employer.
No, you must leave Australia to apply for a work visa. Obtain a job offer and ensure your employer is willing to sponsor your work visa application from your home country.

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