February 12, 2024

How to Immigrate to Australia as a Social Worker in 2024

Australia's social fabric thrives on the dedication of its social workers, and the demand for these skilled professionals continues to rise. If you're a passionate social worker yearning for new horizons, immigrating to Australia can offer a fulfilling career path and an enriching life experience. Let's delve into the intricate yet achievable process of making this dream a reality.

Why Australia for Social Workers?

Australia faces a significant shortage of social workers, with the profession listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This means experienced and qualified social workers are highly sought-after and enjoy a clear pathway to permanent residency. Additionally, Australia offers:

  1. Excellent work-life balance: Enjoy a healthy work culture with generous leave entitlements and flexible working arrangements.
  2. Competitive salaries: Social workers in Australia earn attractive salaries, making it a financially rewarding career choice.
  3. Multicultural society: Embrace diversity and contribute to a vibrant and inclusive community.
  4. High quality of life: Experience a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle with access to world-class healthcare and education.

Qualifying as a Social Worker in Australia

While there's no mandatory registration for social workers, having an accredited Bachelor's degree in Social Work is highly recommended for employment and migration purposes. Additionally, you'll need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Skill assessment: Obtain a positive skills assessment from the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). This involves meeting specific criteria related to your qualifications, experience, and English proficiency.
  2. English language proficiency: Demonstrate your English language skills by achieving a minimum score of 7.0 in each band of the IELTS test.

Key Visa Options for Social Workers

Three principal visa options stand out for aspiring social worker immigrants:

  1. 189 Skilled Independent Visa: This points-based permanent residency visa demands meticulous calculations through the Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Aim for a minimum of 65 points encompassing your age, education, work experience, English language proficiency, and other valuable attributes. With recent invitations extended to social workers meeting this threshold, a focused approach can unlock your permanent residency aspirations.
  2. 190 State Nominated Visa: As the name suggests, this permanent residency visa requires nomination by a specific state or territory. Each state prioritizes different occupations, necessitating research into individual requirements. Social workers are currently favored across all state occupation lists, presenting numerous opportunities.
  3. 491 Skilled Regional Visa: This five-year temporary visa, with a pathway to permanent residency through the 191 visa, holds particular appeal. Nomination requirements are generally more relaxed compared to the 190 visa, and Medicare access is granted even prior to permanent residency. Explore each state's specific criteria to find the best fit for your profile.

State-Specific Requirements

Each state and territory has its nomination criteria, so research specific requirements for your preferred location. Some states waive certain requirements, like work experience, for graduates in high-demand professions like social work.

Essential Documents and Steps for Immigrating to Australia as a Social Worker

The road to becoming a social worker in Australia involves gathering documentation and navigating key steps. Here's a breakdown to help you stay organized:



  1. Passport: Valid passport with at least six months' validity beyond your intended arrival date.
  2. Qualification certificates and transcripts: Certified copies of your social work degree and any additional relevant qualifications.
  3. Skill assessment: Positive skills assessment report from the AASW.
  4. English language test results: Official IELTS test results demonstrating the required score of 7.0 in each band.
  5. Employment references (Optional): At least two professional references from previous employers.
  6. Financial documents: Evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your initial stay (amount varies depending on visa type).
  7. Medical certificates: Health examinations as required by the Department of Home Affairs.

Additional (depending on visa type):

  1. State nomination application: If applying for a 190 or 491 visa, submit the relevant state nomination application forms and supporting documents.
  2. Job offer documentation: If sponsored by an employer, provide a valid job offer and sponsorship agreement.
  3. Police certificates: Character certificates from your current and previous countries of residence.


  1. Research & Eligibility Check: Research the different visa options and understand your eligibility based on your qualifications, experience, and age.
  2. Gather Documents: Start collecting all necessary documents as early as possible. Ensure they are official copies and translated into English if required.
  3. Skill Assessment: Apply for a skills assessment with the AASW. This process might involve providing additional documents specific to your qualifications.
  4. English Language Test: Take the IELTS test and achieve the required score. Consider preparation courses if needed.
  5. Choose Your Visa: Based on your research and eligibility, select the most suitable visa pathway (189, 190, or 491).
  6. Submit Expression of Interest (EOI): For the 189 visa, submit an EOI in SkillSelect and maintain an updated profile.
  7. State Nomination (optional): Apply for a state nomination if aiming for a 190 or 491 visa, meeting their specific requirements.
  8. Visa Application: Once invited, prepare and submit your complete visa application with all supporting documents.
  9. Medical Exam: Attend the required medical examination and submit the health report.
  10. Police Certificates: Obtain police certificates from relevant countries and include them in your application.
  11. Wait for Decision: The Department of Home Affairs will assess your application and provide a decision within the processing timeframe.
  12. Preparation & Departure: Upon visa approval, make travel arrangements, finalize financial logistics, and prepare for your new life in Australia.

Additional Tips

  1. Professional Guidance: Consider seeking professional advice from an immigration lawyer or immigration consultant to ensure a smooth and efficient application process.
  2. Stay Updated: Immigration policies can change. Subscribe to reliable sources for updates and ensure your application adheres to the latest requirements.
  3. Stay Organized: Maintain a well-organized file system for all your documents and information throughout the process.

Remember, successfully immigrating requires careful planning, accurate documentation, and adherence to deadlines. By following these steps and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can increase your chances of a smooth transition to your new career as a social worker in Australia.

Streamline Your Move to Australia with Pelican Migration Consultants

Migrating to Australia as a social worker can be complex, but with the right guidance, your dream career Down Under is within reach. Pelican Migration Consultants, trusted immigration consultants in Dubai, specialize in helping social workers navigate the skilled migration process seamlessly.

Why Choose Pelican?

  1. Experience & Expertise: Our team of dedicated migration specialists holds extensive experience in securing Australian visas for social workers.
  2. Comprehensive Support: We guide you through every step, from skills assessment and visa selection to document preparation and application submission.
  3. State-Specific Knowledge: We stay updated on individual state nomination requirements, maximizing your chances of success.
  4. Streamlined Process: We handle the complexities of immigration, allowing you to focus on your professional and personal preparations.
  5. Transparent Communication: We maintain clear and transparent communication throughout your journey, ensuring you stay informed and empowered.

Contact Pelican Today!

Are you a social worker ready to embark on your Australian adventure? Let Pelican Migration Consultants help you make it a reality. Contact us today for a free consultation and discuss your individual immigration goals.