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Australia is a quite popular destination for expatriates from South Africa, and there are many career opportunities for those who are skilled.

There exist various ways to obtain the permanent residency in Australia through the worker category. The migrant worker categories are:

Employer Sponsored Worker Visa

The Employer sponsored working visa applies when an Australian company sponsors a foreign national employee in Australia.

The 457 visa is for temporary skilled workers in Australia. Officially titled the Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa, this visa is for employment in jobs where there is a labour shortage. The 457 visa can be valid for up to four years and you may bring with you any eligible dependent family members. You will also be able to leave and enter Australia freely as long as your visa remains valid.

The process to get a 457 worker visa is divided up into three parts:
1. The Australian business must be approved for sponsorship.
2. The Australian business must nominate the foreign-national worker for a position.
3. Visa Application. Once you have been sponsored and nominated, you may apply for a visa.

In order to be eligible for a 457 worker visa, you must have good knowledge of the English language, you need to arrange health insurance during your stay in Australia and you must meet the health and character checks as required for all visa applicants to Australia.

General Skilled Migration Visa

The GSM or General Skilled Migration programme is an Australian visa programme for people that are not sponsored by Australian employers, but who possess a skill value in Australia.
• For workers possessing certain skills that Australia is in need of
• Doctors and Nurses – permanent residency is available to doctors and nurses on a need-only basis.

The Skilled independent (subclass 189) visa applies for skilled workers who are not sponsored. Sponsorships can be from employers, a state territory or a family member, but they are not necessary for this category. This is a permanent residency visa, meaning the applicant can live and work in Australia permanently and eventually have the option for citizenship.

The Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa is a for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory of Australia. This is a permanent residency visa, meaning the applicant can live and work in Australia permanently and eventually have the option for citizenship. If applying for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa, you must be willing to settle in the state or territory that nominates you and will need to remain in this state or territory for at least 2 years.

Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa

The Skilled Regional Sponsored (Subclass 489) visa is for skilled workers who are sponsored by an eligible Australian relative living in a ‘Designated Area’ or nominated by a participating state or territory government. This visa is valid for an initial period of 4 years at which point you may apply to adjust your status to permanent resident, meaning the applicant can live and work in Australia permanently and eventually have the option to apply for Australian citizenship.

For more information on getting a visa and to register for your free eligibility test visit our immigration services web page.

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