Occupational Trainees & Professional Development Visas

Help with applying for a visa: Contact us on (02) 8268 4000 for expert advice, preferably well ahead of the expiry of any current visa.

An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law (as certified by the Law Society of New South Wales) leads our team of migration lawyers and agents.

Craddock Murray Neumann is a law firm, which can also assist with applications to the Migration Review Tribunal and the Federal Court if a visa application is unsuccessful. (Migration agents who are not lawyers cannot assist with applications to the Federal Court).

Occupational Trainees

Occupational Trainee Visas (Subclass 442) are available to people who want to complete occupational training in an Australian workplace. The length for which an Occupational Trainee Visa (Subclass 442) will be granted depends on the length of the training program you will be undertaking in Australia, and can be granted for up to two years. If the training will take more than two years, you may apply for a second Occupational Trainee Visa (Subclass 442).

To apply for an Occupational Trainee Visa (Subclass 442) you must:

  • be outside Australia;
  • apply to come to Australia to complete occupational training;
  • be sponsored by an ‘eligible sponsoring organisation’ which has been approved to act as a ‘occupational trainee sponsor’;
  • make arrangements to receive occupational training in Australia;
  • be at least 18 years old (except in special circumstances);
  • have the required level of English language proficiency;
  • prove that you have enough money to pay for your journey to Australia and to pay for your stay in Australia (note that you may be paid by your sponsoring organisation for your work in Australia);
  • prove that you have health insurance for all of the time you will spend in Australia;
  • meet relevant health and character requirements; and
  • make an Australian Values Statement.

To be an ‘eligible sponsoring organisation’, the organisation must:

  • be an Australian organisation, an Australian government agency or a foreign government agency operating in Australia;
  • be approved or apply to be approved as an ‘occupational trainee sponsor’;
  • have a good business record;
  • conduct business in compliance with Australian laws;
  • meet relevant ‘sponsor obligations’ imposed by the Occupational Trainee Visa (Subclass 442);

If you come to Australia on an Occupational Trainee Visa (Subclass 442) you must:

  • continue the occupational training program for which your visa was granted;
  • actively participate in your occupational training;
  • not engage in activities that will affect your occupational training;
  • communicate with your ‘occupational trainee supervisor’ about changes in your personal circumstances or concerns about your occupational training; and
  • hold health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia.

If your ‘occupational trainee supervisor’ stops your training, you must find another ‘occupational trainee supervisor’ who is prepared to train you, or must leave Australia.

Professional Development Visa (Subclass 470)

The Subclass 470 visa:
  • is suitable if you are a professional, manager or government official intending to participate in professional development or training in Australia;
  • allows the holder to reside in Australia for 18 months;

The Australian professional development or training provider applies for the Subclass 470 visa on behalf of all proposed participants.

There are 4 eligibility criteria for this visa:

1.    the overseas employer is recognised as an “eligible employer” and has allowed its employees or other people to participate in a professional development or training program;

2.    the proposed visa holder is an employee or a person invited to participate in a professional development or training program;

3.    the Australian professional development or training provider is recognised as a “professional development sponsor”; and

4.    the proposed professional development or training program meets specific requirements stipulated by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Once a Subclass 470 visa has been granted:

  • the Australian professional development or training provider must:
    • record their adherence to their obligations,
    • provide records and information upon request under the relevant laws,
    • comply with the instructions of inspectors administering the Migration Act 1958 (Cth),
    • pay for the removal of unlawful non-citizens upon written request;
    • and in some cases, pay a security bond and offer accommodation.
  • the overseas employer must
  • support the participants during the whole program,
  • comply with the professional development agreement,
  • inform the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of any changes impacting their participation;
  • and ensure that the payments for the program can be met.
  • the participant must
    • complete the professional development or training program,
    • inform the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of any changes impacting on their participation,
    • have health insurance;
    • and comply with their payment obligations under the professional development agreement.

Warning: this page states the law as at as at 21.12.11. The law is complex. The law may have changed when you read this page. Contact us to confirm your rights.


SkillSelect and Expressions of Interest – visa applications based on employment or business skills
Date: Aug 21, 2014

If you want to migrate to Australia based on your employment or business skills, SkillSelect is an on-line system that assists with the process.

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