Moving to Melbourne?

Connect with fellow expats in Melbourne
Join exciting events and groups
Get information in our Melbourne guides
Exchange tips about expat life in Melbourne

Visas for Melbourne, Australia

Are you planning to relocate to Melbourne? Australia’s second-largest city beats its rival Sydney in many respects. Expatriates appreciate the quality of life and the city’s diverse heritage. The InterNations guide on moving to Melbourne introduces the metropolis, visa types, and residential areas.
Before you can arrive safely in Melbourne, you need to find the right Australian visa for yourself.
If you would like to move to Melbourne as a foreign assignee or immigrant, you first need to figure out the correct visa you will need. There are the many types of visas available. The official “visa finder” from the Australian Department for Immigration and Citizenship can help you find the correct one for your stay in Melbourne. The criteria for choosing the right visa include:
  • your nationality
  • the country where you live and where you apply from
  • the duration of your stay
  • your reason for coming to Melbourne (e.g. “for business”, “to live and work there”, or “to live with my partner/child/parent”)

Visa Options for Melbourne: Temporary Work Skilled (457)

Despite the many visa options available to applicants, two or three specific visas will apply to most expatriates interested in relocating to Melbourne.

The first of these options is the so-called “Standard Business Sponsorship (Temporary Work Skilled) Visa” (No. 457). This name is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Don’t worry about the bureaucratic-sounding visa title, though! Just remember the number 457. If you are an expat on an intra-company transfer or with a limited job offer from an Australia-based company, this is the visa you need.

In the year 2013, 126,350 of the 457 visas were issued. In 2015, there were numerous changes to the 457 skilled visa program. For an example, one major change was that the Australian government started focusing on and monitoring the 457 visa sponsors. This strengthened the requirements for companies bringing temporary workers from overseas. 

The 457 visa enables you to live and work in Melbourne for up to four years. You can leave and re-enter the country as many times as you want. What is even more important, you are also allowed to bring your secondary applicants with you, that means your spouse (including unmarried and/or same-sex partners), unmarried children under the age of 18, and elderly relatives that are dependent on your financial support. These secondary visa holders can then live, work or study in Melbourne as well, until the 457 visa expires.

Temporary Work Skilled (457): Eligibility

You need to fulfill certain requirements in order to receive a 457 visa for a temporary stay in Australia. These criteria are as follows:

  • You must have a job offer from a legally entitled employer in Australia, who has officially applied to sponsor you. You need to accept the offer and sign the contract before you can start your application.
  • Moreover, you should have a suitable professional background for the sponsored job. If you need a specific license for selected professions or a skills assessment for certain trades, take care of that first. (Ask your Australian embassy/ consulate or the DIAC for further information on skills assessment tests, etc.)
  • You also need to make arrangements for medical insurance cover (more on that in our article on living in Melbourne) and fulfil some health requirements. The latter may include a general check-up exam, a chest x-ray for TBC, and, in some cases, blood tests for HIV and other diseases. The blood tests mostly apply to medical staff, though.
  • As proof of your English language skills, you should take the IELTS exam and achieve at least five points in each of its four parts.
  • Lastly, you need proof of your good character (i.e. in some cases, a police certificate), and you must sign an Australian values statement to respect the local way of life and obey the local laws.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary back-up documents before you start the application process. You can also apply for an Australian visa online with the DIAC. 

Other Visa Options: Skilled Migration

In July 2012, the Australian government introduced an important change to their skilled migration program. If you are interested in moving to Melbourne as a skilled worker, business person, or investor, and want to settle there on a permanent basis, you need to enter your data into the official SkillSelect data base.

The national or regional government then invites only the people with a specific occupation and a high number of points for other factors (e.g. age, language skills, etc.) to submit their visa application. When a certain quota for a field of employment has been reached, they will issue no more invitations over a certain time period. Without an invitation, you can not apply for a permanent visa.

Please note, though, that even a permanent visa only allows you to reside and work in Melbourne permanently without a previous job offer. You still need to find a way to earn a living once you have moved there.



We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Alain Nguyen

"It was easier getting to know other expatriates in Melbourne with this platform and to share our previous experiences in Australia. "

Samantha Greene

"I love the idea of going out with other expats here in Melbourne and exploring the nightlife this city has to offer. "

Global Expat Guide