Careers to get you into Australia within five years

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Whether you’re starting university or thinking of a career change, if your goal is to migrate to Australia, these in-demand careers can pave your way to Australian citizenship.

Australia operates a complex visa system focused on bringing skilled workers into the country. If you’re a skilled South African worker who wants to apply for a long-term job in the country, your experience and employment history must match one of the careers on the skilled occupations list.

These three job sectors can help you to become an Australian citizen within five years:

1. Management, consulting and business analysis

To live and work in Australia in a management role you must be able to pass a skills assessment. Depending on the industry the skills assessment criteria will vary but as a minimum you will need a relevant bachelor’s degree. Passing a skills assessment will help you in qualifying for a skilled visa, such as the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) or the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190).

Other in-demand jobs in this sector include:

  • Environmental consultant
  • Construction project manager
  • Accountant
  • Agricultural consultant
  • Management consultant
  • Engineering manager

2. Education and teaching


One of the quickest pathways to obtaining a skilled visa and permanent residence permit in Australia is through a teaching degree. Teaching is also one of the fastest growing in-demand jobs on the skilled occupations list. Teachers can apply for an Australian visa under the skilled programme using one of the following visa options:

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

This is a permanent visa which allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

Skilled Regional visa (subclass 489)

This is a provisional visa which allows you to live and work in Australia for up to four years. If you live in Australia for two years and work full-time for 12 months on a subclass 489 visa, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through visa subclass 887.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

This visa lets invited workers with needed skills live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.

As with all general skilled visa applications, teachers must secure a positive migration skills assessment before you can apply for a skilled visa application with the Department of Immigration.

To qualify as a teacher in South Africa you’re required to study a three-year bachelor’s degree followed by a one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). The PGCE is an initial teacher training qualification that you can apply for once you’ve completed your degree. It’s recognised and valued internationally.

Other in-demand jobs in this sector include:

  • Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Special needs teacher
  • Teacher of the hearing impaired
  • Teacher of the sight impaired
  • Special education teachers (nec)

If you’re a teacher wanting to migrate to Australia you can find more information on the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) website, or contact our team of migration advisors to give yourself the best chance of a positive Australian visa outcome.

3. Skilled trades and services


There’s currently plenty of work in different trades in Australia thanks to a housing and construction boom. Most occupations that fall under this career sector require at least two years of on-the-job training and a relevant certification.

In South Africa, you can substitute a formal qualification with a minimum of three years on-the-job training.

Obtaining a full license in Australia can take a considerable amount of time and doesn’t automatically qualify you for a full work visa. You will still need an employer to sponsor your visa or apply through general skilled migration visa.

The licence process

Step 1:

To get your full licence to work as a tradesman, you first need to prove your skills with an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR). After this, you’re eligible for a provisional licence.

Step 2:

With a provisional licence, you can work under the supervision of a fully licenced tradesman for a period of 12 months. You must also complete an Australian safety standard training course.

Step 3:

On successful completion of your training, you will be eligible to apply for your Australian qualification – typically a Certificate III in the relevant trade.

Step 4:

After receiving your qualification, you can apply for a full licence.

You won’t necessarily need to have your full licence before you can relocate. It’s often possible to work with a provisional licence. You can also have your visa granted before you get your licence, but you won’t be able to start work without one.

How it differs in construction

Carpentry for example, is unique in that unlike electricians or plumbers, you don’t require a specific licence to work in Australia. You’ll instead need to apply for a White Card. As part of the process, you’ll take part in induction training that teaches you about Australian construction safety standards.

How do you move to Australia as a skilled worker?

If you want to move to Australia and apply your trade, you could be eligible for the following visas:

Employer Nominated scheme (subclass 186)

This is a permanent residency visa that allows eligible Australian employers to sponsor suitably skilled workers and their family members to live and work in Australia indefinitely.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

The skilled independent visa is a permanent residency visa and one of the most desired visas. If you qualify for this visa option, you can stay in Australia indefinitely and bring your family with you.

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

This is a permanent visa which allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

Skilled Regional visa (subclass 489)

The Skilled Regional visa is a provisional visa and it will allow you to live and work in Australia for up to four years. After two years of living and working full-time on this visa you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through visa subclass 887.

Temporary Skilled Shortage visa (subclass 482)

Before you apply for this visa you will need an employer in Australia who is willing to sponsor you. This is a temporary work visa which allows you to work and live in Australia for four years. After you’ve worked for your employer for three years, you may be eligible for permanent residency.

Other in-demand jobs in this sector include:

  • Plumber
  • Air-conditioning and mechanical services plumber
  • Drainer
  • Joiner
  • Sheetmetal trades worker
  • Bricklayer

The best way to ensure your application is a success is to work with an experienced immigration advisor who can assist you throughout the process. They will ensure the visa you are applying for is the right one for you and will allow you to achieve your goal of migrating to Australia in as little as five years.

Discover your Australian immigration options at our global citizenship and residency seminars taking place in all major cities across South Africa. If you would like to book your seat or discuss your options get in touch with an immigration expert at [email protected] or at +27 (0) 21 657 2120.

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