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Many people come to us daily intending to migrate to Australia but a lot of them have a problem with their occupations. And the Skilled Migration Program required a skilled occupation.

Many people don’t have a skilled occupation in their home country, while others don’t have work experience. In some other cases, clients have a skilled occupation, but it is not on the high-demand list of the Australian government. 

So one of the questions we are asked frequently is: 

Can I still immigrate to Australia if I don’t have a skilled occupation or an occupation that is in demand?

The answer is yes! This post will discuss the possibilities and paths for these two profiles: 

  • No academic qualification/ work experience
  • Occupation is not on the high-demand list

What are the possibilities and Australia’s migration paths for someone with no skilled occupation, who doesn’t have a career in a skilled occupation in their home country and who wants to start from scratch?

The first step is to identify what career they want to pursue in Australia and design a study plan that will match their migration goals. It is crucial to understand that the Australian immigration program is not based on courses but on skilled occupations and careers

So, migrating to Australia involves a combination of academic qualifications, courses completed in Australia, work experience and an advanced level of English.

What is the best occupation to migrate to Australia? 

If you are going to choose a new field of study and build a career from scratch trying to be on the right track for migrating to Australia, don’t waste time and choose an occupation that you are interested in pursuing, not one that would just work for visas or immigration purposes. Choose something that is a career and life goal and a way to develop professionally in Australia. This is the best way to strategically plan your visa/immigration path. 

Regardless of whether the profession is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), it’s best to choose a skilled occupation that you identify with. If the one you choose happens to be on the MLTSSL, that’s even better because the occupations on the Long Term List provide us with different visa options through the points-tested programs, including Subclasses 189, 190, and 491. 

Additionally, it potentially allows you to qualify for an employer sponsorship visa by obtaining the temporary sponsorship 482 visa and then, after 2 or 3 years of working for the employer, obtaining the permanent 186 Visa.

However, if the field you choose to study in Australia is on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), we still have a possibility to pursue a permanent visa process, but in this case, we will need to be a bit more careful in terms of the regions where you will study and live. The strategy for occupations on the STSOL mostly involves living in regional areas, which are areas outside of Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. These occupations in most cases qualify for Subclasses 190 and 491, as well as the regional sponsorship visa 494 and even the temporary sponsorship 482, although without a pathway to the permanent 186 visa.

What is the best course to migrate to Australia?

Once we identify the skilled occupation you want to pursue, we have to determine what kind of course and level of qualification you need to study here in Australia to get qualified in that area. 

Some occupations require a minimum qualification equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, while others are professional or technical careers that require a qualification at a certain level, such as a Certificate III, Certificate IV, or even a diploma in their area of expertise.

From there, the next step is to identify and understand which schools/Universities offer such courses within the budget that you would have to invest. And of course, here at Bravo Migration, we do all these case analyses one by one, focusing on your personal needs and resources. 

Just to give you an example: let’s say the conclusion we reach together is that you want to become a Chef. One strategy would be to take a two-year course, consisting of Certificate III and IV in Commercial Cookery, and a Diploma in Hospitality. 

After completing the courses, you will need at least one more year of experience to obtain professional recognition (skills assessment).

How to get work experience in Australia?

But the question many of you have at this stage is: what visa do I have to obtain after these two years of study to be able to get work permission, which many call a “work permit”, and then gain experience and have my new profession recognised? 

The ideal visa for this case is the 485 or Graduate Visa, which allows you to stay in Australia for 2 to 4 years with full-time work permission so that you have the possibility of obtaining this professional experience, which is a requirement to apply for the points-based system. 

Sponsorship opportunities are also a good strategy once you get qualified in a skilled occupation

In addition to preparing to apply for a Skilled Visa in two or three years, the strategy we always recommend is that, once you get in the job market, why not look into sponsorship visa opportunities?

Due to the demand for certain careers, many Australian companies choose to offer Work Visas to their employees, which can also potentially lead to a permanent visa after 2 or 3 years. And there are two pathways for that:

  • 482 visa: a temporary sponsorship visa that, after three years working for the same employer, allows you to apply for the permanent 186 Visa, as long as your occupation is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
  • 494 Visa: a temporary regional visa that leads you to a permanent visa down the track, even if your career is on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), via the 191 after 2 years of work. 

The best strategy to migrate to Australia without a skilled occupation

For those who have an occupation back home that is not on the Skilled Lists or getting professional recognition (Skills Assessment) is not possible, a career change and the pathways explained here might be a good option in most cases. 

There are many other variables that we take into consideration when creating a realistic strategy for you at Bravo Migration. Another is the person’s age: if you are over 40 and the occupation you decided to pursue requires a bachelor’s degree and, in many cases, work experience to add up the necessary points, this may not be the best strategy due to the time available. (Learn more about the age limit to migrate to Australia in this post)

That is why designing this strategy and planning these steps with an experienced Migration Agent is essential, crucial, and very important to create realistic paths that will allow you to obtain a permanent Visa in Australia down the track. We work in conjunction with our Study Division and provide integrated advice and assistance with Student Visas so you can start your migration journey knowing that you are on the right track.

If you want to create a solid strategy for your studies, contact us and plan your next steps towards permanent residency in Australia.