One of the most frequent questions students completing their studies in Australia ask is if work experience is really necessary when applying for a skilled visa.
The answer is: well, it depends on which visa category you’re applying for. But, having work experience under your belt is always, always a big plus.
However, there are some visas, like the employer-sponsored and nominated visas, that do have some minimum work experience requirements.
How important is work experience?
Even though certain visa categories may not strictly require work experience, it still is an important factor when it comes to assessing your eligibility.
This is especially true for the Skilled (Independent), Skilled (Nominated) and Skilled (Regional) visas, which are points based and require you to pass a points test.
Employment experience is a key component of this test, where you are awarded points for Australian and overseas skilled experience in your nominated occupation. In this way, employment experience raises your points score and can help you attain the pass mark, which increases your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for the visa.
A quick overview of work experience requirements
Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) Visa
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Subclass 186) Visa & Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Subclass 187 Visa)
The subclass 186 and 187 visas are employer nominated permanent residence visas, each requiring 3 years of skilled employment experience in your nominated occupation.
Points-based Skilled Visas
There are three kinds of skilled visas:
Skilled (Regional) Subclass 489 Visa
How does work experience help my visa application?
- Australian skilled employment experience of 1-10 years will score 5-20 points
- Overseas skilled employment experience of 3-10 years will score 5-15 points
Keep in mind that achieving the pass mark of 65 points does not guarantee that you will get an invitation. The invitations go to the highest scoring applicants first and are sent out to the others afterwards.
You should try to score as many points above the minimum as you can to get the best chance of receiving an invitation. Work experience can help you boost your points score, which is why it is such an important component of your points test.
How can I gain work experience?
When should I seek expert advice?
As always, everyone’s situation is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s always best to consult an expert before taking the leap and applying because there are just so many factors to consider (and so many things that can go wrong).
A visa application process is very complex and nuanced, and the rules keep changing all the time. Even the slightest misstep can mean huge costs in both time and money if your visa application gets delayed, or in a worst-case scenario, rejected.