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Living & Working in Australia – A guide for Canadians looking to work in Australia

Australia is one of the top destinations for Canadians to work abroad. A combination of western style culture, beautiful cities, ample work opportunities along with sharing English as a common language make Australia an ideal place for Canadians seeking employment abroad. Additionally, like many western countries, Australian laws provide strong protection for employees in the workplace.

Obtaining a Work Visa for Australia

As with many other countries, Australia’s work visa program is highly diversified and places a premium on employee-sponsored applications. Additionally Australia’s work visas are most often granted in skilled occupations in which there is a shortage. You can see the skilled occupations list here:

Types of Australian Work Visas

While there are simply too many types of Australian work visas to list here, the following are the most commonly granted work visas for Canadians looking to work abroad in Australia: 

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) – This type of visa is designed for Canadians wishing to work in Australia without being employee, state or Australian government sponsored. This type of Visa allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident. Some requirements for this Visa include: possessing skills that are relevant to the skilled occupation list, passing an official skills assessment test, be under the age of 50, be competent in the English language. Additional requirements can be found here:

Employee Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) – This visa allows you to become a permanent resident of Australia by way of three potential streams: Temporary Residence Transition stream, Direct entry stream, and Agreement stream. Some of the requirements are: You have been nominated for work by an approved Australian employer that has demonstrated a clear commitment to your employment, are under the age of 50, meet a variety of skill and English language requirements. 

Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) – This visa is designed for younger people (Ages 18 to 31) that allows for work in Australia for up to one year. This visa is generally the easiest to acquire. Some of the requirements for this visa include: must be between the age of 18 to 31, you do not have a dependent child accompanying you at any time during your stay in Australia and have a valid passport from an eligible country (Canada is eligible).

Criminal Background Check Requirements for Australian Work Visas

While there are no official criminal background checks from the Australian government, the vast majority of companies in Australia will require an official criminal background check to be performed by the RCMP and submitted to them before they offer you a work contract and sponsor your work visa application. Additionally, most work visa applications for Australia ask specific questions related to whether you have ever been charged or convicted of a crime.

Pacific Fingerprint can help you with this step, which includes taking your fingerprints and preparing a C-216C fingerprint form as well as submitting your criminal background check application to the RCMP using encrypted software on your behalf.  Click here for more details on how we can help. (

Find out more about obtaining work visas and working in Australia: 


Please note that while we try to keep the information on this page as accurate as possible, foreign immigration requirements and policies change all the time. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the official Australian Government Department of Immigration and border Protection website:

Pacific Fingerprint does not provide any services related to obtaining an Australian work visa, with the exception of any necessary fingerprinting services for the purpose of a criminal background check that the Australian government or your place of employment may require.

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