Australia Visas

It is essential to research the different visa types and duration of stay if you are an Engineer, Construction or Surveying Professional. There are many types of visas available, so it is best to seek advice from a registered migration agent.

If you are also looking to bring your partner, children, or family to stay in Australia temporarily or permanently, it will depend on which type of visa you obtain. Check if your visa allows a ‘subsequent entrant’ and that you have listed your family member/s before you apply for your visa. A ‘subsequent entrant’ will allow your eligible family members to apply with you to join you in Australia after your visa has been granted.

Below is the general information regarding the different visas you might be able to obtain. Please note that this is a guide only, and users of this guide are strongly encouraged to consult with a registered migration agent before taking action related to the information below.

Visa list | Department of Home Affairs

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482)

The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) helps deliver the shortage of skilled workers for Australian employers who need help finding qualified workers among Australian citizens. The nomination must be under the ‘Migration Skilled Occupation List’ and be sponsored by an approved organisation. With this visa, you can stay in Australia for two to four years. Costs are AUD $1455 for a short-term stream (two years maximum) and AUD $3035 for a medium-term stream (four years maximum). If you are on a short-term stream for this visa, your nomination must be listed under the Short-term Skilled Occupation List. If you are on a medium-term stream, your nomination must be under the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL).

Partners and children are allowed to be included in a Temporary Skill Shortage visa application as long as they are listed before applying. Moreover, they will be able to work and study for this visa. You will need to check whether you need to take a medical and chest x-ray checkup before coming to Australia.

If you plan to bring school-aged children (ages 5-18) to Australia on a 482 visa, you must arrange for them to attend school. In certain areas, 482 visa holders must pay school fees to send their children to a public educational institution. Click here to see the different regulations for each state/territory.

From November 25 2023, the Australian Government will be making changes to the Temporary Skill Shortage visas to provide a cleaner pathway to permanent residents for TSS visa holders.

Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)

The Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) is a temporary visa for individuals who want an extended holiday and to work in Australia to fund it. This visa allows you to work in the country for up to 12 months for those aged between 18 and 30 (35 for some countries). However, you must have a passport from an eligible country or jurisdiction for this visa to be granted. Keep in mind that there is a cost of AUD $635 to apply and that no family is allowed to be included as part of your application.

Temporary Work (Short stay specialist) Visa (Subclass 400)

The Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa is most suited for individuals with highly specialised skills, experience, and knowledge that will support an Australian business. This is a short six-month stay, where you must have adequate funds to support yourself whilst in Australia and meet the health and character requirements. The cost to apply is AUD $405 with special circumstances considered. Remember that you cannot extend this visa after it has ended or is about to be terminated.

You can include family members you would like to bring to Australia in your application. If that is the case, they are not permitted to work or study in Australia and must be able to provide evidence that they can support themselves during their stay. It is strongly recommended that they apply for a partner’s visa or a student visa so they can work and study during their stay in Australia.

Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)

The Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) is a 12-month visa that is eligible for individuals aged 18 to 30 who want an extended holiday and to work in Australia to fund it. It costs AUD $635 to apply for this visa, and one must obtain a passport from an eligible country to come to Australia. With this visa, you can do short-term work in Australia, study for up to four months, and travel in and out of Australia as often as you like. If you plan to apply for a Work and Holiday Visa for the second time, you must have completed three months of work with your first Work and Holiday Visa. Keep in mind that no family dependents can be included on this visa.

Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)

The Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) is for recent international graduates that acquire the skills and qualifications relevant to specific occupations Australia desperately needs. It allows the applicant to temporarily live, study and work in Australia, staying between two to four years after finishing their studies. Your visa will be two years if you completed a Bachelor’s degree, three years if you completed a Master’s/Master extended and four years for a doctoral degree. This visa costs AUD $1895 to apply for and has an age limit of 50. Remember that you are not allowed to extend the visa after it has ended or is about to be terminated.

You can include family members you would like to bring to Australia in your application. They can also work in Australia if they meet the health and character requirements. Keep in mind that there is an extra charge for each family dependent.

The Australian Government has recently announced a two-year extension of post-study work rights for international graduates with select degrees in areas of verified skilled shortage.

Post-study work rights for select degrees in areas of verified skill shortages will be increased from

  • Two years to four years for select Bachelor degrees
  • Three years to five years for select Masters degrees
  • Four years to six years for all doctoral qualifications.

Click here ( to see a list of identified occupations from the 2022 Skills Priority List and the eligible qualifications by occupational category.

The information on these Visas is constantly being updated, so ensure you look on the official Australian Government page here for the Department of Home Affairs to understand the information. 

Other visa types for your partner/children

Many people bring their spouse or family to join the principal applicant temporarily or permanently in Australia. This depends on whether you are a visa holder and which visa you have if you are a visa holder. It is best to check whether your visa allows a subsequent entrant and if it does, make sure you declare them in your visa application. Remember that some subsequent entrants attached to the principal applicant’s visa strictly keep them from working or studying in Australia. Hence, family dependents generally apply separately for a temporary work visa, visitor visa, or even a student visa to be with you in Australia. If your children are eligible to apply for a student visa, remember that they must have this visa to attend primary and secondary school.

Meeting Australian health/character standards

You must undertake a health examination if your visa requires you to meet Australian health standards. This could be a medical examination, a chest x-ray, a HIV test, a screening test, a Hepatitis B and C test, and a Syphilis test. You are responsible for arranging a health examination through the Bupa Medical Visa Services.

Click on the link below to find out more about Bupa Medical Visa Services and what they do.

Bupa Medical Visa Services

You must be of good character and pass the character test to live and work in Australia. The Minister for Home Affairs considers all circumstances of cases, so it is up to them to grant your visa if you do not meet specific character requirements. You must be honest, as they will automatically refuse your application for the visa you are applying for.

Coming and leaving to and from Australia

You must enter Australia before a date that the Department of Home Affairs specifics on your visa grant letter. The required travel documents include a valid passport, a valid visa (an electronic version is also acceptable) or authority to enter Australia, a completed Incoming Passenger card, and your health and character declaration and documents.

Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) is a system that allows visa holders, education providers, employers, and other certain organisations to view your visa details and conditions. This is exceptionally handy to show evidence of what type of visa you hold and is recommended to be utilised by all visa applicants.

Once you enter Australia, you will be automatically protected by Australian workplace law.

When leaving the country, ensure you have a valid passport and other relevant travel documents. Always check whether your visa allows you to re-enter Australia, as some visas do not let you back in the country once you leave.

Visa processing times

Processing times can take a long time for visas as the Department of Home Affairs is impacted by numerous complex cases, the changes to Ministerial directions and the volume of applications. Though this is the case, it is still possible to check the estimated processing time for your visa.

Click on the link below to see a full list of visa processing times.

Visa Processing Times | Department of Home Affairs

Migration Skilled Occupation List

The Migration skilled Occupation List allows employer-sponsored workers that fit under the list to enter Australia to help support Australia’s skill shortage. This was introduced in September 2022 after the COVID-19 pandemic to help the Australian economy recover. The list provides detailed information on the skill level of occupations, qualifications, and experience required to work in these occupations.

The current construction, engineering, and surveying roles on the Migration Skilled Occupation list include:

  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics, Mechanical and Structures)
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Building and Engineering Technicians
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Civil Engineering Draftsperson
  • Civil Engineering Technician
  • Construction Estimator
  • Construction Project Manager
  • Computer Network and Systems Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Electrical Engineering Draftsperson
  • Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Electronics Engineer
  • Engineering Manager
  • Engineering Technologist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • ICT Quality Assurance Engineer
  • ICT Support Engineer
  • ICT Systems Test Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Insurance Risk Surveyor
  • Materials Engineer
  • Marine Surveyor
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • Mining Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Production or Plant Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Ship’s Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Surveyor
  • Telecommunications Engineer
  • Telecommunications Field Engineer
  • Telecommunications Network Engineer
  • Transport Engineer

Click on the link below to see what prerequisites migrants need for each role.

Skilled Occupation List | Department of Home of Affairs

Remember that the National Skills Commission reviews the list regularly to respond to changes in the Australian labour market.

If you have already applied for a visa, use the link below to check the estimated processing time.

Global Visa Processing Times | Department of Home Affairs

Last Update: 3 March 2023

NEXT: Skill Shortages in Australia