Australia has several temporary visa programs that allow overseas citizens to live and work in the country for limited periods. These provide pathways for employers to fill skills shortages and for workers to gain Australian work experience.
Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482)
The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa allows skilled workers to work in Australia in occupations experiencing local shortages for 1 to 4 years. Applicants must be sponsored by an approved Australian employer who cannot find a local worker. There are three streams:
- Short Term Stream – For skills needed in the short term, valid up to 2 years
- Medium Term Stream – For skills needed in the medium term, valid up to 4 years
- Labour Agreement Stream – For overseas workers under negotiated agreements, up to 4 years
Eligibility requires skills assessment, minimum salary level, English ability and licensing requirements. This meets Australia’s needs for targeted short-term skilled labour.
Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)
The Working Holiday visa encourages cultural exchange and allows young adults 18-30 years old from partner countries to have an extended holiday in Australia, with work rights for up to 12 months with each employer. Participants can have extended stays of up to 3 years depending on country of passport.
This promotes people-to-people links and contributes to tourism and seasonal labour needs, especially in rural areas with worker shortfalls.
Seasonal Worker Program
This program issues visas for citizens of certain Pacific countries to work in rural Australian seasonal jobs for up to 9 months per year. Employers must demonstrate they cannot find enough local Australian workers. Workers can return in subsequent seasons once overseas again.
It provides labour for rural industries with seasonal labour shortages like horticulture and also supports Australia’s Pacific neighbours.
Special Program Visas
These are a range of specialized temporary visas tailored to specific industries with labour needs or other economic goals. Subcategories include visas for entertainment, sports, religious workers, etc. Eligibility, duration and conditions are customized.
The various temporary work visas provide employers with access to global skills and overseas workers the chance to live in Australia short-term. The programs aim to mutually benefit Australian businesses and foreign workers.