Seeking Work on Arrival in Australia versus Job Sponsorship

I will answer that very important question in just a minute, but first…

I have finally managed to put down my paintbrushes having prepared my house for sale ahead of our upcoming house move. That means I have time to add one more post before the end of this year.

I haven’t been completely ignoring this website though, I’ve recently added a new and quite important page.

Study English for free

study-englishYes, that’s right, qualifying new immigrants can get free English lessons here through a government scheme. To find out more about that, please check out:

My final post of the year though is also on a very important subject and one that I will be talking about in much more detail in 2017.

anz-nov-16Jobs in Australia

This is a reprint of an article I wrote recently for Australia and New Zealand magazine and which appeared in their November edition last month. If you are thinking of moving to Australia, the dilemma I’m about to describe may be the biggest you will face.

Visa first, or job?

visa-or-jobSome of the most popular pages on my website are those about getting a job in Australia. For many people, being able to secure work when they arrive is essential if their move to Australia is going to be successful. It can be almost as crucial as qualifying for a visa to come to Australia in the first place.

So, do you secure a job first in Australia and then organise the visa? Or do you get your visa first, move to Australia, and then look for work?

Australia has a different class of visa for each of these two scenarios, but that’s not for discussion here. If you are unsure of which visa you should go for, you really should speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your options.

What I can tell you though is it is possible to secure a job sponsorship first, and then off the back of that, successfully apply for a visa to come to Australia. Alternatively you could apply for a visa independently and if granted that visa, come here and then look for a job when you arrive. For as long as I’ve been running my website, and that’s about eight years, I have been asked which is the best way to go.

In those eight years, my answer has slowly changed, and for good reason. Initially, I probably favoured getting the visa first and looking for a job on arrival. Around 2008 to 2010 Australia had a lively job market, much better than the UK’s I would have said. Most people arriving with a recognised skill found work quite easily.

Harder WorkThe big advantage of visa first is you can move to anywhere you want in Australia, you don’t have to live in a specific state or territory. You are not tied to a particular employer when you get here and you don’t even need to get a job in your recognised skill.

This is the visa my wife and I arrived on in 2007 and it was perfect for us. We wanted a change of direction in our employment when we got here and we both decided to go self-employed and start new ventures. This kind of visa allowed us to do it; it certainly offers more freedom.

visaToday though, things are very different. Australia’s job market is the slowest it’s been since I’ve lived here. Official figures suggest Australia currently has around 171,000 job vacancies compared with the UK’s 750,000. One popular online job portal puts the figures as 125,000 vacancies in Australia compared with just over 1.1 million in the UK.

Whichever of those figures you believe, even after adjusting for population differences, the UK job market is undoubtedly the stronger the moment. In 2010, when I did my first job vacancies comparisons between the two countries, Australia actually had significantly more job vacancies than the UK despite its much smaller population.

Coming to Australia to look for a job at the moment is risky; there are no guarantees of success. The problem is, securing a job sponsorship before you arrive here has never been harder either. So the visa or job first question is tougher than ever to answer.

These days I recommend researching both possibilities thoroughly before deciding what’s best for you.

That’s the end of the article as it appeared in the magazine, but as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, some of the most popular pages I have on this website are about getting a job in Australia. So if this is a subject of great interest to you, here’s some more suggested reading:

Christmas in Australia

For those of you looking for a cheery Christmas message as my final post of the year rather than a job, this is for you. It’s courtesy of Snake Catcher Victoria Australia, and Facebook. It’s a picture of a Christmas tree.

If you look closely, I’m sure you will notice that it’s a Christmas tree with a very special Christmas surprise. Potentially this thing could give you the biggest Christmas surprise of your life, and your last.

But Christmas in Australia isn’t all about killer tiger snakes wrapping themselves around your Christmas tree; it’s more about barbecues, beaches and the back garden as we enjoy our outdoorsy Christmas.

For everything you need to know about Christmas in Australia, for the fourth year running I’m giving away the same old tired links to almost every single article I’ve ever written on this website about Christmas. This isn’t just my gift, again, to you, but it can also be your gift to anybody you know.

Just send them this link:

It’s the ideal Christmas gift to anybody holed up indoors on Christmas Day in a cold and possibly darkened room anywhere in the world where Christmases are cold and it also gets dark early in the afternoons, who really want to know what it’s like to spend Christmas in a hot, sunny and bright country.

Like Australia.

merry-christmasYes, my gift to you and everyone. They don’t call me Scrooge for nothing.

Merry Christmas to you all, have a great one, see you in 2017.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Jim A July 1, 2017, 11:22 pm |
    • BobinOz July 3, 2017, 7:01 pm |

      Thanks for the list Jim, very useful and not as many changes as I thought there might be this year.

  • satya January 7, 2017, 1:01 pm |

    Hi Sir, I have 9+ year of experience into security and have two years gap after my college. I was searching for jobs in government sector. So for this two years I do not have experience certificate and in the middle of my 9+ years exp I have 8 months gap as I was doing courses and certifications. Can i try for PR or not please suggest.

  • Akpowene victor johnkary December 27, 2016, 8:43 pm |

    Hello Bob, Akpowene is my name.I am a pastor and my wife is a teacher also with kids.we need ivitations to relocate from Nigeria to Australia we need good friends.we are hard working -victorakpowene@gmailcom Thanks.

    • BobinOz December 28, 2016, 9:18 pm |

      Check out my answer to Victor below, hopefully the link will help you.

  • Vikas December 25, 2016, 7:51 am |

    Hi Bob really good to see you back. Missed your blog. All the best with selling your house.
    And Merry Christmas to you and your family

    • BobinOz December 28, 2016, 9:16 pm |

      Thanks Vikas, I appreciate your kind words. Hope you and all of yours had a great Christmas as well. Cheers, Bob

  • victor December 25, 2016, 6:42 am |

    Hi bob, kindly assist me with any job sponsorship please. I really need it sir. Here is my emaill address:, thanks sir

  • Sam December 21, 2016, 10:20 pm |

    Another great article Bob. Times are tough here for sure, we landed 6 months ago with a PR visa in hand and whilst I managed to get work quickly my hubby is still struggling. The competition is feirce in his field of work, with many recruiters saying they are getting over 200 cv’s per role advertised. Ironically he was the main visa applicant and is on the shortage list haha. Anyway, we are still,loving living here.

    Happy Christmas Bob and good luck with the house sale x

    • Mel December 21, 2016, 11:48 pm |

      We are in the same boat. Whilst in the long run, a skilled independent visa is the best for us as we’ve chosen where to live and what state (Sunshine Coast, QLD) etc. However, coming on my visa where my job was on the skilled list (teacher of hearing impaired), there are no jobs! Hubby is a mechanic and got offered 5 jobs further south (Gold Coast) wen we arrived but once we moved here after 2 months, he did get one after applying for lots along with other applicants so we feel lucky. I’m just gutted that I’ve trained for 5 years for a job I adore and was ignorantly presuming, because it was on the skills shortage list, I’d find work once we arrived here. Still loving it here but one wage is not what we want. Going back to supply teaching in the new year but that is hard to get into as there are enough Australians to do that job x

      • BobinOz December 23, 2016, 7:52 pm |

        I’m not really surprised to hear this has happened to you both. I have heard, anecdotally, that the skills shortages lists are pretty much three years or so out of date with the reality. I heard that direct out of a recruiter’s mouth, I really don’t know how true (or not) it is, but the stories of both of you seem to further verify the statement.

        The good news though, for both of you, is that you each have one income earner in the family which is really quite essential. Certainly not as good as two though. The first job is often the most difficult to secure for new immigrants, it seems once you are on the ladder, so to speak, then more opportunities seem to appear.

        Keep applying and stick at it, that’s the only way to go. Even accepting work that diversifies slightly from what you usually do can be the way forward, which, by sounds, is exactly what you intend to do next year Mel. Hopefully it will work out for you and maybe lead to something better.

        And Sam, thanks for the kind words and yes, I do hope we have a bit of luck selling our house. Hope your husband finds a suitable job soon, and I hope you both have a great Christmas, even though I know it’s going to be weird for you what with the heat. Cheers, Bob

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