Migrating to Australia

Australia's energy and telecommunication industries are facing many challenges for the future. Skills shortages are occurring in critical trade and engineering professions due to a strong economy and continuing demand for energy and mineral resources. Queensland is one of Australia's fastest growing states and requires skilled workers from overseas to support domestic training and recruitment for several years to come.

The Australian Government has developed a Skills Occupational List (SOL) to better meet the future skills requirements of Queensland. The SOL lists specific occupations that are in high demand, or will become highly sought after in Queensland.

Skills Occupational List from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/sol/#a

Queensland, in particular, is seeking workers with qualifications in the following energy and telecommunications occupations:

  • Engineers (most streams)
  • Electronic and electrical engineers
  • Electricians (general and special class)
  • Telecommunications and telecommunication network engineers
  • Telecommunications network planners
  • Telecommunication officers
  • Technical cable jointers
  • Cable jointers
  • Lift mechanics, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics
  • Diesel and mechanical fitters
  • Fabricators and welders

For more information on visa programs including application processing time frames, see the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)

Recognition of Overseas Qualifications

Employees from overseas with professional and technical qualifications can gain recognition of their overseas qualifications in Australia by applying through the Queensland Department of Education and Training. Mostly, the energy industry occupations listed above are regulated professions and occupations. As such, workers need to be registered or licensed in order to practise the profession or trade.

To gain recognition of overseas qualifications, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Choose a Registered Trade Organisation (RTO) https://extranet.deewr.gov.au/rtofinder/
  2. Provide the RTO with evidence and a certified copy of skills and experience in the relevant Australian trade qualification
  3. Participate in a technical interview conducted in English
  4. Receive an assessment record for visa application purposes through Trade Recognition Australia and approved by the RTO

For information on how to apply for skill recognition, check the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations

For general information about skill recognition, check the Department of Immigration and Citizenship

For information for Overseas Qualification Recognition (Queensland residents)

Migration Visas

There are four main visa categories for people wishing to migrate to Australia:

  • The temporary subclass 457 – Business (Long Stay)
  • Two permanent visa options:
    • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
    • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
  • General Skilled Migration

For all of these visa options, employees must follow this process:

  • Accept the offer of employment from the nominating employer
  • Apply for a visa
  • Meet all conditions of their visa (once approved)

Subclass 457 – Business (Long Stay) program

The subclass 457 visa program is the most commonly used program for employers to sponsor skilled people from overseas to work in Australia. This visa program allows workers to stay in Australia for up to four years. Employers can be either Australian businesses or overseas businesses.  A minimum English language requirement to level 5 of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required.

Availability of the assessment to prospective 457 visa applicants is based on the occupation and passport country of the applicant (i.e. currently not all subclass 457 visa applicants are subject to a skills assessment).

Information about the Subclass 457 – Business (Long Stay) program

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme enables employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor highly-skilled workers either from overseas, or people temporarily in Australia, to fill skilled vacancies in their business.

Information about the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)

The Employer Nomination Scheme enables employers to sponsor highly-skilled workers to fill skilled vacancies in their business. Skilled workers can be recruited either from overseas, or from people temporarily in Australia. To be eligible under this scheme the nominee must be a foreign national who, among other conditions, meets the age, skill and language requirements.

Information on the Employer Nomination Scheme

Note: Under the RSMS and the ENS, the nomination must be approved before the visa can be granted.

The nomination application should be lodged before or at the same time as the visa application. If the nomination application is lodged first, the visa application must be lodged within six months of the nomination approval date.

General Skilled Migration (GSM) – Professionals and Other Skilled Migrants

The General Skilled Migration program is for skilled foreign nationals wanting to apply for permanent residency independently without sponsorship. The General Skilled Migration Program is for professionals and other skilled migrants who are not sponsored by an employer and who have skills in particular occupations required in Australia. Applicants must be over 18 and under 45 years of age, with good English language ability, and recent, skilled work experience or a recently completed eligible Australian qualification.

Information about General Skilled Migration (for Professionals and other Skilled Migrants)

General Skilled Migration (GSM) Students

People who want to study in Australia may be granted a Student visa that entitles them to come to Australia on a temporary basis, for a specified period, to undertake study at an Australian educational institution. While many overseas students make a decision to apply for permanent residency upon completing their studies, this is an entirely separate process and there is no guarantee that, on the basis of having held a student visa, a person will meet the requirements to be granted permanent residence.

Information about General Skilled Migration (for Students)