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Australia skills shortage: could your work experience win you a visa?

If you've always dreamed of living in the Land Down Under, there's never been a better opportunity. With an increasing skills shortage post-COVID-19, the Australian government is looking to recruit experienced immigrants via its Skilled Migration Program. The aim is to hire skilled professionals worldwide to kickstart the Australian economy. If selected, you could live and work in the country permanently.

Is there a shortage of Australian roles you're perfect for? Do you have the necessary experience to fill gaps in sectors such as healthcare, construction, IT and engineering? In this blog, we'll explain the Skilled Migration Program, which roles are most in demand, how to apply, how to move your belongings to Australia, and more.


Australia coastline

Australia visa increase for 2023/2024

If you have demonstrable work experience, Australia wants to hear from you. The 2023-2024 Migration Program, which has largely been on hold since 2020, includes a Skilled Migration branch. Due to a shortage of qualified Australian workers, the government is looking overseas to help plug the gap.

How does it benefit Australia? Filling in-demand vacancies with overseas skilled workers helps boost productivity. The influx of knowledgeable employees stimulates regional economies and encourages investors to spend. Skilled workers help to train existing employees, increasing productivity in the process. In other words, it's good for Australia and good for those of us who want to soak up some yearly sunshine!

In 2023-24, the Australian government plans to hand out 190,000 visas — the largest number since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 137,100 are for skilled foreign workers, making up 72% of the overall migration program. The rest consists of family and "Special Eligibility" visas.

Skilled visas are distributed in the following ways:

  • Employer-sponsored (35,000): skilled workers whose employers back them to live and work in Australia permanently.

  • Skilled independent (32,100): skilled workers with in-demand skills to live and work permanently.

  • State/region nominated (31,000): skilled workers outside the major cities whose employers back them to live and work permanently.

  • Business innovation (5,000): skilled workers who want to run their own business in Australia.

  • Global talent (5,000): exceptional talent or prominent individuals who can raise Australia's standing.

  • Distinguished talent (100): those with a demonstrable worldwide record of exceptional achievement.

Allocation of skilled foreign worker visas over the last 10 years:


Australia visa increase for 2023/2024

Source: Australian Government Department of Home Affairs


Australia jobs in demand for 2023

The Australian government is looking to hire from various backgrounds, jobs and sectors to inject some life into the economy. Do you have the knowledge and experience required to secure a precious visa for a job Down Under?

We've compiled the top 20 in-demand roles and their monthly average vacancies based on data from December 2022 via Jobs and Skills Australia.


Nurse icon


8,377 vacancies

Software programmer icon

Software programmers

6,269 vacancies

Carers icon

Aged and disabled carers

4,642 vacancies

Child carers icon


4,277 vacancies

Construction icon

Construction managers

4,230 vacancies

Mechanics icon


3,924 vacancies

Retail icon


3,777 vacancies

Chef icon



3,725 vacancies

Medical icon


3,352 vacancies

Medical icon

Metal fitters and machinists

3,137 vacancies

ICT icon

ICT business and systems analysts

3,053 vacancies

ICT icon

Civil engineering professionals

2,871 vacancies

Electricians icon



2,839 vacancies

Teachers icon

Early childhood teachers

2,493 vacancies

Project administrators icon

Project administrators

2,392 vacancies

Marketing icon

Marketing professionals

2,265 vacancies

Electricians icon



1,262 vacancies

Gardeners icon



1,015 vacancies

Mining icon


957 vacancies

Security icon

Database and ICT security

942 vacancies


Seven Seas Worldwide vans deriving under Sydney Bridge

Skilled visa processing priorities

Not all visa applications are treated equally. You could find that your application is fast-tracked or stuck at the back of the queue based on government policy priorities.

Healthcare professionals such as nurses and primary school teachers are likely to be approved much quicker than those in less in-demand roles. Plus, your chances are significantly boosted if you already hold an Australian passport but live outside the country.

Processing priority in order:

  1. Healthcare and teaching roles
  2. Employer-sponsored visas
  3. Regional area roles
  4. Applications that count towards the migration program, excluding Business Innovation and Investment visas
  5. All other visa applications


Australia skills shortage list

If your current work experience and skills are not in demand, don't worry. There's plenty of time to consider a career switch. Based on Australia's National Skills Commission's projections, occupations with the largest projected growth leading up to November 2026 and beyond are as follows:

  1. Aged and disabled carers
  2. Software and applications programmers
  3. Registered nurses
  4. General clerks
  5. Database and systems administrators and ICT security specialists
  6. Management and organisation analysts
  7. Solicitors
  8. Human resource managers
  9. Welfare support workers
  10. Accountants

In the meantime, consider upskilling, studying something relevant or retraining. If you have experience in a similar role, upskilling could be a simple process. For example, if you are a carer for the elderly, consider taking top-up training to work with people with disabilities. Doing so would likely be a short process and significantly improve your chance of securing a skilled visa.


What to consider when moving to Australia

Living and working permanently in Australia is a lifelong goal for many due to the stunning landscapes, diverse culture and high quality of life. Enjoy a laid-back lifestyle full of beautiful beaches, unique wildlife, endless watersports, and a welcoming society.

However, moving to the other side of the world is a big adjustment. There is much to plan, such as where to live, how to adjust to your new surroundings and the best way to say goodbye to your old life.

Consider how you'll cope emotionally without your family and friends nearby. Perhaps you could organise a leaving party to say goodbye personally. Modern technology, such as online video calls and social media, makes staying in touch easier than ever.



The Australian climate is warm all year round, especially in the summer months. Packing sunscreen, and lots of it, would be a good idea!


Much of the country is covered in desert land. So, most people choose to live in large cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and the Gold Coast. It might be wise to rent when you first arrive. Doing so lets you acclimatise to your new surroundings before making a costly purchase like a home.


Australian culture is similar to the USA, Canada and the UK, thanks to a common language and cultural connection via the British Commonwealth. Around 44% of the country identifies as Christian, and roughly 39% as non-religious.


Australians are generally laid-back people who like to socialise. Sports like Aussie rules football, cricket and soccer are prominent in everyday life. Due to a wealth of beaches and bushland, outdoor activities such as surfing, cycling, camping, rock climbing and hiking are enjoyed by many.

Enjoy a laid-back lifestyle full of beautiful beaches, unique wildlife, endless watersports, and a welcoming society.
Man canoeing under Sydney Bridge


How do I apply for an Australian skilled visa?

Independent, sponsored and regional Skilled Migration visas are allocated on a points-based system. Based on specific sections, you must meet certain criteria to qualify. You will be given either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 points for each section. The visa pass mark is 65, but does not guarantee an invitation to apply.

The following sections determine eligibility:

  • Age
  • English language ability
  • Work experience over the last ten years
  • Work experience in Australia over the last ten years
  • Education

Your application begins with a Skills Assessment, then an Expression of Interest (EOI). Once you've submitted your Expression of Interest, you'll be invited to formally apply if you have enough points. Finally, apply via an ImmiAccount, upload all requested documents, and await the decision. Fees begin at AUD 4,640.00, so be sure to budget this into your plans.

An Australian state or territory government agency must select you to qualify for a Skilled Nominated visa. All states and territories have their own deciding criteria and will have access to your EOI. Contact the state or territory directly for further information on what they are looking for.


People moving furniture out of house

What to pack when moving to Australia?

Australia is a large, warm island in the Southern and Eastern Hemispheres. If you're arriving from a colder climate, you'll unlikely need many of your current possessions. For example, there's little use for extra-thick woolly jumpers and beanie hats in the surfer's paradise of the Gold Coast!

Why not use the opportunity to say goodbye to things you no longer need? After all, the less you ship, the cheaper it is. We recommend having a thorough declutter before packing. It's unlikely you'll need hot water bottles or woolly jumpers in sunny Oz! eBay and Facebook marketplace are excellent resources for selling unwanted goods. Donate, recycle or waste the rest.

We make removals to Australia easy with our unique moving pod, the MoveCube®. It acts as your very own dedicated shipping container, protecting your household belongings during long journeys. With over 25 years of experience shipping goods globally, your prized possessions are in safe hands. We'll be with you every step of the way via our global network of depots, multilingual customer support, GPS tracking, and more. We even supply a free Starter Pack with each MoveCube® order to help you wrap and pack. 


About the author


Paul is a content writer here at Seven Seas Worldwide. He has a passion for communicating directly with customers in way that both informs and engages.