Applying for a working visa in Australia for Malaysians - 2024 guide

Hannes Ausmees

Considering a move to Australia to work and explore? With so much on offer, it’s no surprise that Australia is a popular expat destination for people from around the globe. But if you’re planning on an extended stay there you’ll probably need a job to support yourself - which means making sure you have all the paperwork in place before you head off.

If you need to apply for a visa to work in Australia as a skilled employee, or if you’re considering getting a working holiday visa in Australia for Malaysian citizens, this guide is for you. We’ll cover the type of visas that may suit you and a step by step guide on how to get a work visa in Australia. We’ll also touch on how the Wise account and card can help you to manage your money across MYR, AUD and more - with low fees and the Google exchange rate.

Table of contents


Are Malaysians allowed to work in Australia?

Yes. Malaysians can work in Australia as long as they hold the correct visa for the type of work they’re doing.

If you plan to travel to Australia - even as a tourist - you’ll need the correct visa or travel authority in place before you head off. If you’re expecting to work when you’re there, you’ll need to make sure you pick the right visa type to cover you. Common options are the working holiday visa for Malaysians, and a specialist skilled worker visa. We’ll look in more detail at each of these visa types and how to apply for them in just a moment.

Malaysian working in Australia - visa options

There are dozens of different visa types for Australia, and it’s important to pick the right one to cover whatever activity you plan on doing while you’re there. To explore your options you can use the helpful visa finder tool¹ on the Australian immigration authority’s website. Just enter a few details about your nationality, the type of thing you want to do in Australia and how long you’ll stay to get a list of potential options.

To work in Australia there are 2 main options:

  • A working holiday visa²
  • A skill shortage work visa³

The working holiday visa for Malaysians offers 1,100 places every year⁴. You’ll be able to apply online as long as there are still available visas - submit your application early for the best chance of being successful. Working holiday visas allow holders to stay in Australia for up to 12 months, and do a mix of travel and work - so you can earn some money to pay for things while you’re there. You’ll need to be aged between 18 - 30 to apply, but you don’t have to line up a job before you travel.

To apply for a skill shortage visa you’ll normally need to already have been offered a job by an employer or organisation in Australia. The employer will need to demonstrate they can’t find an Australian with the right skills and experience to fill the role, and the type of work will usually need to be on one of several skill shortage lists which are approved by the government.

There are several different Australian skill shortage visas, depending on the region you want to live in, how long you’re likely to stay, and the sponsoring organisation.

To paint a picture of how to apply for your Australian work visa we’ll walk through a couple of specific examples - applying for a working holiday visa for Malaysians, and applying for the subclass 482 visa, which is a medium term visa for temporary skill shortage occupations.

How to apply for a working holiday visa in Australia for Malaysians

If you’re eligible for a working holiday visa you’ll be able to complete your application online. At the time of writing 50% of applications are processed in under 1 day - but do apply in good time to give you the best chance of success.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Log in or create an ImmiAccount online
  2. Gather the documents you need for your visa application
  3. Complete your application online and and attach images of your documents to your application
  4. ​Pay the application fee online
  5. Note the transaction reference number

You’ll be notified of any issues with your application online. This may happen if you’re required to provide extra paperwork, get health exams or provide biometrics for example.

Once everything that’s needed has been checked you’ll receive a decision on your application online, which will include your visa grant number, the visa conditions and the visa start date if you’ve been approved. If your visa is not granted for any reason you’ll also be notified in writing, including information about your right to appeal if applicable.

How to apply for an Australian work visa (subclass 482)

If you’re planning on moving to Australia for a professional or skilled job, the chances are that you’ll need one of several different skill shortage visa types. The process for applying for any of these visas is similar, but different visas can be used for different types of employment and lengths of stay. To give an example, we’ll walk through how to apply for the subclass 482 visa, which you can apply for if you’ve already been offered an eligible job in Australia. There are a few things you’ll need to do before you can apply - including:

  • Your employer will need to nominate you for a visa - to show they’ve done this they will give you a Transaction Reference Number (TRN)
  • You’ll need to gather a full suite of documents including proof of your identity and professional status - exactly what’s needed depends on your occupation
  • You may also need to get your skills assessed - this varies based on your occupation
  • You may also need to arrange health exams and English proficiency tests

Once you have everything you need:

  1. Log in or create an ImmiAccount online
  2. Gather the documents you need for your visa application
  3. Complete your application online and and attach images of your documents to your application
  4. Pay the application fee online
  5. Note the transaction reference number

Planning to work in Australia? Get AUD bank details without leaving Malaysia with the Wise account

Opening a bank account in a new country is always a hassle, and often overly complex and bureaucratic.

For Malaysians going to work in Australia, opening a Wise account can save a lot of headaches. A Wise account is an easy-to-open international account that supports 40+ currencies and provides 10 sets of bank details - with no extra costs, hidden fees or maintenance charges. If you open a free Wise account right now, you can instantly⁵ get your personal AUD bank details which can be used to receive money like a local from Australia. You’ll also get 9 more sets of bank details (including MYR, USD, SGD, and GBP).


Add a linked international Wise card to spend money abroad without worrying about bad exchange rates. Just top up your Wise account with MYR or any other currency and the card will automatically convert your money to AUD with the mid-market exchange rate. Easy - and one less thing to worry about.

Get a free Wise account today!

Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

Working visas in Australia for Malaysians - conclusion

If you dream of working in Australia you have a few options. If you’re eligible for a working holiday visa that can be a flexible way to get a taste of life in Australia while earning a bit of cash to cover your stay. Alternatively, if you want a longer term job opportunity, a skills shortage visa might be right for you. These offer options for professionals in occupations which are in shortage either nationally or regionally in Australia to move over to work for a specific employer. You’ll need to have a job lined up in advance - but you may be able to stay for up to 4 or 5 years once approved.

Use this guide alongside the information and tools offered by the Australian immigration authority to find the right visa for your requirements - and while you’re getting your move planned, why not open a free online Wise account to hold, spend, send and receive payments in AUD, MYR and 40+ other currencies, with low fees and the Google exchange rate every time.


  1. Australia visa finder
  2. Immigration authority - working holiday visa
  3. Immigration authority - subclass 482 visa
  4. Australian High Commission in Malaysia - working holiday visa
  5. Eligibility is subject to verification of customers identity.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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