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I'd like to work in Australia (Either Bristbane or Sydney). I have a BS in Computer Science and work experience. I have save enough money to cover the cost of travel and other such expenses, and I have a passport.

What I need now is a work visa. My question is, should I try to get a visa before applying for jobs? From my research, I came to understand that I should get a sponsorship from an employer interested in hiring me. Is that right? Several applications have asked if I am eligible to work in Australia (am I a citizen or do I have a visa).

Edit: What I've already found.

According to http://www.immi.gov.au/FAQs/Pages/how-can-i-get-a-visa-to-work-in-australia.aspx :

If you have skills or qualifications that Australia needs, you can be sponsored by an employer or invited to apply for a visa by the Australian Government.

[...]

You can also apply for a visa if you want to participate in a specific professional, cultural or social activity in Australia.

This basically says I can either get sponsored, or apply on my own. My question isn't so much what my options are, but what potential employers prefer/require. If I apply for a job through the regular channels, do employers expect me to already be eligible for work? Or are they open to providing sponsorship?

  • Ask the Australian Embassy. And do your own googling for the answers. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 30 '15 at 2:03
  • I did search first. Please don't make assumptions. It's not as easy an answer to find as you would think. I've added more information to show some stuff I found. – Troncoso Jan 30 '15 at 2:16
  • Also, you might want to start with a WHV (work holiday visa) to start there. It's pretty cheap and it gives you the possibility to work there for 1 year (but maximum 6 months for the same company). Not perfect but definitely a simple solution. – dyesdyes Jan 30 '15 at 10:18
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My question isn't so much what my options are, but what potential employers prefer/require

It is not uncommon for employers to sponsor the visas of employees from other countries. I've worked at a number of companies where I had co-workers on sponsored visas.

However, it is an amount of effort for the employer. The smaller the company, the less likely it is that they will be in a position to do this. There are exceptions - I worked at a small game dev studio where half the company were on sponsored visas, but that's because the game dev industry in Australia is so small that it's hard to get good people without luring them from overseas.

If you can obtain a working visa yourself, you will certainly remove one barrier to employment.

If I apply for a job through the regular channels, do employers expect me to already be eligible for work? Or are they open to providing sponsorship?

Often, job ads will specify that candidates "must have permission to work in Australia" - translation, "we're not going to sponsor a visa". So you can skip straight past those ones if you need sponsorship.

If nothing is mentioned, all you can do is mention your visa status when you first contact the employer or recruiter, so any waste of time can be avoided if they are not in a position to sponsor.

It might be worthwhile to browse over some Australian job ads in your field to see how common it is for them to mention that visa sponsorship is or is not available.

  • Thank you very much for your reply. I haven't really seen any postings that say candidates must be permitted to work in Australia. They either ask "Are you eligible to work in Australia" or they say must be willing to work in Australia. So, I guess it's just down to whether or not an employer will sponsor me. – Troncoso Feb 3 '15 at 18:20

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