The Essential Skills is one of the pathways within the Skills in Demand Visa program.

The government is considering the Essential Skills pathway in the context of the care and support economy, which has become essential to the quality of Australian life. 


  • It's a pathway for lower-paid workers with essential skills
  • This visa might include individuals earning a salary under the TSMIT, which is currently AU$ 70,000 a year (AU$ 73,150 from 1st July 2024)
  • The Essential Skills pathway is likely to have similarities with the current Labour Agreement visas

Key features for the Essential Skills visa include:  

  • The Essential Skills Visa will provide a four-year work visa.
  • Visa holders will have the ability to move between sponsors with 180 days to find a new sponsor.
  • The time spent with any approved employer will count toward permanent residence requirements. This will avoid the clock resetting with each employer.
  • The Essential Skills Visa will have a clear path to permanent residency in Australia.
  • There will be a public register of sponsors to assist individuals in finding a new sponsor.

We will update this page as soon as we receive more information about the Essential Skills Visa.

Other Skills in Demand Pathways: 

Specialist Skills Pathway

Core Skills Pathway

Click here to learn more about the Skills in Demand Visa.

This article is updated regularly. Last updated: 3 June 2024

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