How to Migrate to Australia as a Software Engineer

In this article, we will explain the Software Engineer Visa Options and Software Engineer Visa Sponsorship. We will look into the general process of how software engineers can migrate to Australia, as well as how we can best assist you in managing the migration journey.

Australia welcomes qualified software engineers to migrate to Australia as it is deemed to be an occupation that Australia is in great demand of. Software engineer (ANZSCO code: 261313) is currently on the Medium & Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) with access to the broad range of Australian immigration visa programs.

Software Engineers Migration to Australia

Software engineer belongs to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field and it is currently on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). This means Australian government considers software engineer as a critical occupation in order to help Australia recover its economy from COVID-19. Therefore, the processing of the nomination and visa application for software engineer will be given the highest priority. In other words, if you are a software engineer and looking for opportunities to migrate to Australia, right now is the perfect timing.

Software Engineer Visa and Visa Sponsorship

The following are a range of visas that software engineers may apply for immigration to Australia:

For software engineers, the most practical choices in the General Skilled Migration program are subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa and subclass 491 Skilled Regional (provisional) visa. The typical process is:

  • Seeking professional migration advice about your eligibility for Australian immigration and the action plan
  • Obtaining a satisfactory English test result to support your visa application
  • Obtaining a satisfactory skills assessment for your occupation
  • Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect
  • Securing a State Nomination through a Registration of Interest (ROI) and a solid application for the state nomination
  • Once state nomination has been approved, submitting your visa application as soon as possible within 60 days

If you are interested in seeking migration through employment and aiming to apply for subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa or 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa, the process will be different to the general skilled migration above. Before you can apply for the visa, we must ensure the employer is an approved sponsor prior to them submitting the nomination application for you. For the 482 visa, the employer will also need to go through the labour market testing before they can nominate an overseas worker. This is usually referred as Software Engineer Visa Sponsorship. It may sound complicated, but rest assured our experienced team at Ausdirect Migration will be able to provide you all the assistance and guidance you need along the way.

Skills assessment for Software Engineer (ANZSCO code: 261313) 

In order to apply for a permanent residency visa or provisional skilled visas through general skilled migration program, you are required to obtain a skills assessment. For software engineers, which fall under the scope of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, and the assessment authority is the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Software engineers’ main duty is utilizing techniques of engineering, mathematics and computer science to develop software. They also need to oversee the whole development cycle, which includes analyse client’s needs, design and develop software and conduct testing afterwards. For the ANZSCO job definition and description, please read ANZSCO 261313 SOFTWARE ENGINEER.

In order to apply for a skills assessment, you will need to provide the following documents:


  • Copy of your passport
  • CV/resume
  • Education qualifications (including academic transcript and award certificate/completion letter for Australian / International qualifications)
  • Employment references on company letterhead or third-party statutory declarations
  • Payment evidence

Based on the supporting documents you provided, the ACS will assess if your educational qualification and/or work experience are at a professional level and closely related to software engineer.

Once you have passed your skills assessment, ACS will issue a certificate to you, which verifies and recognizes your skills, qualifications, and work experience.

Contact Ausdirect Migration today to discuss your eligibility for the Skills Assessment, as this is one of the most important steps of your immigration journey.


Skills assessment for other ICT Skilled Occupations assessed by ACS

Besides software engineer (261313), ACS is also the assessing authority for other skilled occupations’ skills assessments. The list is as follows:


The occupations with * sign next to them, including software engineer, are on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).


English requirement for Software Engineers

Another important task is to sit an English exam. The minimum English requirement for applying for general skilled migration is “Competent” level. You will need to provide evidence to prove that in the 3 years before being invited to apply for the visa, you have obtained satisfying scores on one of the following test:


Test Score
International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic or General Training) At least 6 for each of the 4 components
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) At least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) At least 50 for each of the 4 components
Occupational English Test (OET) At least B for each of the 4 components
Cambridge C1 Advanced test At least 169 in each of the 4 components

If you hold a valid passport from the following countries, you will be deemed as having competent English and you will not need to take an English exam. The countries are the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, and Republic of Ireland.

Competent English is the minimum threshold for applying general skilled visas. If you can score higher grade, you will receive more points when lodging your Expression of Interest (EOI). If you are at proficient level, you will receive 10 points. If you are at superior level, you will receive 20 points.

For work visas, please find the English requirements in the definition of 186 ENS visa, 482 TSS visa and 494 SESR visas directly.



Prospects of Being a Software Engineer in Australia

Software engineer is a relatively large occupation. Software engineers work across the whole Australia. They are mostly full-time workers and average working hour per week is 42 (average is 44 hours). According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, the average salary for software engineer per year is $90,000 in Australia. Entry level positions starts at a lower salary and will increase as one becomes more experienced.


Useful Job Search Platforms in Australia

Are you looking for job opportunities in Australia as a software engineer? Here are some popular job search platforms that could potentially help you securing a job



Ausdirect Migration for Software Engineers

Our team at Ausdirect Migration is extremely experienced in managing migration programs in relation to Software Engineer occupation. Our founder David Wang, prior to setting up the migration law practice in Australia, has over 10 years senior experience in global top software companies and IT consulting firms i.e. SAP, IBM, Infosys in the capacity of Solution Architect, Principal Consultant, Team Manager and Project Manager in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and China on large scale multinational projects.

Our practice has provided top quality migration services to many ICT professionals globally and also ICT employers in Australia. We look forward to hearing from you and the opportunity to work with you along your immigration journey to Australia. We are confident to say our team has the best understanding and experience in the ICT sector and the associated immigration programs in Australia.

Contact Ausdirect Migration today to tailor the best suitable option(s) for your migration, and we will assist you in navigating every step of the process during the journey.