Work Experience is Everything

Three months into the operation of the Subclass 482 visa it is interesting to reflect on the adjustments on the ground.  Work experience in your occupation has become everything. There is now no employer sponsorship without work experience – even in regional areas.  So if qualifications were gained overseas and there is difficulty accumulating experience at home, how best to obtain Australian work experience? The obvious option is by applying for a student visa to study the next qualification level in Australia.  

Work experience accumulated on a student visa can only be gained on a part time basis which makes the road to employer sponsorship slow.  Nevertheless the 2 years’ full time experience (or equivalent in part time hours) required for a Subclass 482 temporary skill shortage visa can continue accumulating whilst awaiting assessment of the visa application.  Some may be prepared to take a gamble that advertised processing times are indicative of the further time they may have to accumulate the required work experience.

Skilled migration comes into focus here too if a successful skills assessment can be obtained with the qualification already held.  Paid part time work of at least 20 hours per week undertaken post qualification can gain the same benefit as full time work in the General Points Test.

The purpose of applying for a student visa is also in issue when considering the ‘genuine student’ criteria.  Of course the main purpose for applying for a student visa is to improve qualifications with a view to increasing career prospects anywhere in the world.  Generally the attraction of work permission on a student visa will not negatively affect this criterion if the intended study is to be at university level.  

Any work found whilst holding a student visa must be at the appropriate skill level in the skilled occupation of the qualification already held or in a closely related occupation to count towards potential work sponsorship or skilled migration.

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