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Does working legally in Australia require a visa?

It is estimated that Australia’s temporary visa population has grown to over 2.2 million, many of whom have work rights. Consequently, they are a valuable resource for Australian businesses, and they comprise a significant percentage of Australia’s working-age population – 10.5 million.


In Australia, there are 138,000 457 visa holders. Many HR professionals have an excellent working knowledge of 457 visas. Since the employer sponsors the visa, employers can usually determine what the employee can do with the 457 permits and when they will expire. As a result, 457 visa holders are only a small portion of those in Australia with temporary visas and addressing their concerns only addresses a small part of the issue.

The number of types of visas is over 120 as of June 2018. Which are the safest types of temporary visas for employees?


Extending their stay

Overstayers are the riskiest category because they remain in Australia without a valid visa. The Australian National Audit Office estimates that there are over 62,000 of these people in Australia. Your staff can be a long-term overstayer even if they seem to be fully integrated into Australian society.


The visitors

During any given time in Australia, over 600,000 people can be found visiting. Some business visitors are permitted to explore opportunities for business in Australia, but only some of them may work.



The Bridging of Visas

Approximately 160,000 bridging visas are in Australia as of December 2017. The Department of Home Affairs administers bridge visas, which allow holders to remain in Australia whilst their applications for more extended stay visas are being processed. Those with bridge visas are often eligible to work in Australia.


Bridging visa holders, however, must depart Australia within 35 days of a

refusal of their main visa application. Employers may not realize this unless they check the status of their visas regularly.


Visas For Students

Approximately 383,000 students held student visas in Australia as of December 2017. Most employees work 40 hours every two weeks during the semester, and during a semester break, they work full time. Those on student guardianship visas do not have any work rights, but some have full work rights.

Students typically obtain student visas during their studies, and it is widespread for them to switch to a different visa during their studies.

Non-attendance can also result in the cancellation of a student’s visa. Employers will not be aware of such problems if they do not regularly check immigration status. 


Visa For Temporary Graduate Students

Graduates may apply for a graduate temporary subclass 485 visa once they have completed their study in Australia, typically giving them 18 months or 2 years to remain in Australia with full working rights. According to the type of course taken, the visa can last four years. 


In many cases, students will then apply for permanent residence status if they are eligible – but that is not always the case – as they may use to study further, resulting in less than full-time work rights.


Tourists Working During Their Holidays

Working holidaymakers make up approximately 140,000 of the Australian population. During working holidays, vacationers can work full time, but they cannot work for more than six months for any one employer. By working in regional Australia, a Working Holiday Visa is extended for an additional 12 months. The applicant would be able to continue their employment for a further six months.


Partnership Visas Temporarily

Around 90,000 temporary partner visa holders are also in Australia – this number is estimated to be significant. Although temporary partner visas seem pretty safe at first glance because they often lead to permanent residence and have full work rights, the permanent stage is denied if the relationship ends. The temporary visa will expire after 28 days.

The employee may not want to reveal this information to their employer, and as a result, an employer might employ someone unlawfully without realizing it.


Citizens of New Zealand

When they enter Australia, New Zealand citizens receive a Special Category Subclass 444 visa, allowing them to stay and work indefinitely. Nearly 662,000 New Zealanders call Australia their home, and many employers feel very comfortable hiring them. 


Notwithstanding, NZ citizens have increasingly been expelled from Australia due to canceled visas in the last few years.


457 Visa Holders With Dependents

Family members of 457 visa holders are eligible to apply. This term would generally involve spouses and children, but parents are included in some instances. In Australia, there is no restriction on the number of dependent 457 holders that may work in Australia. 

A dependent 457 visa is canceled if the primary visa holder loses their job or the marriage breaks down. If they do not check Visas issued temporarily by other governments.
Along with the two types of visas mentioned above, there are a variety of temporary visas that come with varying work rights. Employers can sponsor some of these visas, and others cannot. Here are some examples:

  • A skilled regional provisional visa is a four-year visa that allows the holder to work in specific regions.
  • Applicants deemed to be in the business or investing process in Australia may apply for a Business Provisional.
  • Occupational trainees and academic researchers can regularly obtain a training and research visa in Australia visa status; employers will not know about this.



Businesses in Australia benefit from having temporary visa holders on staff. As a result of the Employer Sanctions Act of 2013, employers who fail to verify an employee’s immigration status thoroughly before and during an employment period face substantial penalties.

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