Skills in Demand visa in Australia: How will it work? (2024)

Emma-Jane Stogdon

In December 2023, the Australian government announced their new Migration Strategy to simplify the skilled migration system, as a way to both protect workers and meet skill shortages. Among other things, it announced a new Skills in Demand visa, with full details and implementation expected by the end of 2024.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything we know so far about Australia’s newly announced Skills in Demand visa.

What is the new Australia Skills in Demand Visa?

The Skills in Demand Visa is a four-year temporary skilled worker visa and is part of the Australian government's Migration Strategy.

The new visa ensures a new approach to occupation lists, including faster visa processing and enhanced worker mobility. For example, workers will be able to change their jobs, instead of being forced to stay with one employer who is sponsoring them.1

The purpose of this visa is to motivate skilled professionals to move to Australia from the UK and other countries to boost their economy.

UK and Australia handshake with world map in background, each hand is painted like the flag

Will it replace the Temporary Skilled Shortage (subclass 482) visa?

Yes, the Skills in Demand visa will replace the Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa.1 The subclass 482 visa enables an employer to sponsor a skilled worker to fill a position when there is no suitably skilled Australian worker.

When will it come into effect?

Australia’s new Skills in Demand visa was announced on the 11th of December 2023, but more details will be available by the end of 2024, which is when the visa is due to come to effect.1

What are the requirements for the Skills in Demand visa in Australia?

In order to apply for the Skills in Demand visa in Australia, you must meet some general eligibility criteria, such as certain health and character requirements.1

The Skills in Demand visa will be divided into three pathways or tiers, each with specific skill requirements.

Australian flags flying on a government building

Skills in Demand visa: the three tiers at a glance1

The Skills in Demand visa’s three-tiered system is based on annual earnings and employment conditions. Here’s an overview:

Specialist Skills PathwayCore Skills PathwayEssential Skills Pathway
Requires guaranteed annual earnings of at least $135,000 AUDRequires guaranteed annual earnings of at least $70,000 AUDFor those with earnings under $70,000 AUD per year but working in essential skill occupations
Priority 7 day processing21 day processing21 day processing
Any occupation except trades workers, machinery operators, drivers and labourersSkills in short supply that are on the new Core Skills Occupation ListMainly the care and support industry

Specialist skills pathway

The goal of this pathway is to attract top talent and highly skilled workers that are beneficial to Australia’s national productivity. They could bring significant financial economic benefits to the country, as well as knowledge and ideas.1

Core skills pathway

This pathway is available to applicants whose job is on the new Core Skills Occupation List. The goal of the Core skills pathway is to meet targeted workforce needs. It’s the one that will bring the most migrant workers out of the three.1

Essential skills pathway

The Essential skills pathway is yet to be developed, in consultation with state and

territory governments, businesses and unions. These skills aren’t paid as much, but they’re still very important.1

Australia skilled occupations shortage list2

Lists of occupations for the Essential skills and Specialist skills pathways don’t exist yet. There’s a draft of the new occupation list for the Core skills pathway and it should be completed by the end of the year2.

Here are some examples of current skills shortages from that list:

  • Anaesthetist (253211)
  • School principal (134311)
  • Midwife (254111)
  • Electrician (341111)
  • Environmental consultant (234312)
  • Artistic director (212111)

Explore Australia visa options

Close up of Australian visa

If this is not the visa for you, you can look through other options for staying in Australia.

For starters, the Working Holiday visa can help you determine whether you even want to move there permanently. It’s made for people under 30 (or 35 in some countries) who want to do short-term work and live in Australia for 12 months.3

If you want to study in or get a degree in Australia, you may want to explore the Student visa route. It’s eligible for up to 5 years. The Student visa (subclass 500) allows you to travel in and out of Australia and you can even work up to 48 hours a fortnight during your studies.4

If you want to apply for the new Skills in Demand visa, you’ll need to wait until the details are fully available. But for now, you can still apply for the Temporary Skilled Shortage (subclass 482) visa.

You’ll find all the details on the Australian government website. To apply it costs upward from $1,455 to $3,035 AUD and in two instalments. One when you apply and another payable before the grant of the visa5.

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And that’s all we know about the upcoming Skills in Demand visa. You should now have a better idea of how to apply for an Australian visa.

Don’t forget to check back after the new visa launches for more information and further confirmation on how much it costs, what it entails and what documents you’ll need.

Sources used in this article:

  1. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Australian government Migration Strategy
  2. Jobs and Skills Australia - Core Skills and Occupations List draft
  3. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
  4. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Student visa (subclass 500)
  5. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Visa pricing information

Sources last checked on date: 17-Apr-2024

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