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Australia’s aged care industry is one of the largest in the country, however it is also in desperate need of more aged care workers. It is expected that 1.5 million Australians will be over the age of 85 by 2058, a large increase on the current number of elderly Australian residents.

Due to the shortage of available workers, direct care workers who are working in Aged Care are now eligible to be sponsored for a permanent resident visa. The Australian Government is now offering visa concessions under the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement in order to fast track permanent residency for aged care workers.

The new visa came into place in May this year. If you are in Australia and have 2 years work experience as a carer, you could be nominated by your employer to become permanent.

What is the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement?

The Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement is an agreement that aged care providers can use to sponsor overseas aged care workers for roles such as:

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Visas available under the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement

Subclass 186 - Employer Nomination Scheme permanent visa

Employers can sponsor overseas workers for permanent residence under the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa program.

  • Workers must have at least two years of full-time work experience in Australia in a relevant direct care occupation to successfully apply for this visa.

  • The required two years of work experience is not tied to a particular employer or visa subclass.

Subclass 482 - Temporary Skill Shortage visa (employer nominated)

Employers can use the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement to sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa in direct care occupations such as:

  • Nursing Support Worker

  • Personal Care Assistant

  • Aged or Disabled Carer

Employers need to have made recent and genuine attempts to recruit workers from the domestic workforce pool.

  • No post-qualification work experience is required.

  • Workers can apply for permanent residency within two years of their visa being granted.

What visa concessions are now available?

There are a number of visa concessions available for skilled aged care workers under the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement. These include:

  • Fast tracked two year pathway to permanent residency 

  • Streamlined visa nomination process

  • Priority visa application processing

  • Removal of the post qualification work experience requirement

  • Minimum annual salary of $51,222 AUD 

  • Reduced English language requirement for workers with relevant community language skills

The health care and social assistance industry now accounts for 15% of Australia's workforce, making it the largest employing industry in Australia. It's forecasted to grow faster than any other industry. Alice Guan (MARN1909953) , migration agent at IDP Melbourne

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Eligibility requirements for entry under the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement

Relevant qualification

  • Relevant AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) Certificate III or equivalent / higher qualification 


  • 12 months of relevant full-time work experience (or the part-time equivalent of this)

Positive skills assessment

All applicants must receive a positive skills assessment from the relevant authority.

If you received your aged care qualification in Australia, you will need a positive skills assessment from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council.

If you received your aged care qualification overseas, you will need a positive skills assessment from the Australian Community Workers Association.

The aged care industry labor agreement is a long-calling visa scheme that provides a pathway for occupations not previously included in any occupation list. For Australian-trained aged care workers, this agreement offers the advantage of having the skills assessment requirement waived. Skilled workers who apply for the visa under this agreement have the opportunity to transition to permanent residency after working for 2 years."Alice Guan (MARN1909953) , migration agent at IDP Melbourne

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IELTS requirements for aged care workers

Skilled aged care workers must achieve an overall IELTS band score of 5.0 unless they have relevant community language skills. 

Applicants who have community language skills used by culturally and linguistically diverse aged care providers only need to achieve an IELTS overall score of 4.5.

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What do aged care workers do?

Aged care workers assist the elderly with everyday activities and tasks. Daily tasks that an aged care worker may provide support with could include:

  • Help with showering, getting dressed and eating

  • Providing medications prescribed by a doctor

  • Preparing food and drinks

  • Cleaning, tidying and organising

  • Organising transport to appointments or social activities

  • Helping with physiotherapy exercises 

An aged care worker might work in a clients home, or they may work in a larger residential facility where many elderly clients live.

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Is aged care work right for me?

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The most important part of being an aged care worker is making sure that your elderly clients are happy, cared for and socially connected to others. If you enjoy taking care of people and bringing joy to others, aged care work might be for you!

Aged care work may be a rewarding career for people who are:

  • Patient

  • Responsible

  • Adaptable

  • Social

  • Caring

Employer sponsored visas and IELTS requirements

How to become an aged care worker

The qualification requirement to work as an aged carer in Australia is a Certificate III or higher in a relevant area of study. The entry level qualification options available are:

  • Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015)

  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) (CHC33015)

  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) (CHC33015)

These courses generally take six months to complete and provide students with the basic safety, legal and leadership skills they need to begin their new career with confidence. 

Additional courses available for further education in the aged care field include:

  • Certificate IV in Ageing Support (CHC43015)

  • Certificate IV in Leisure and Health (CHC43415)

IELTS requirement for aged care courses

In order to enrol in this course, students must achieve an IELTS overall band score of 5.5, with no individual band score being less than 5.0.

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Get expert advice from our registered MARA agents

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If you require assistance with Australian immigration or visa applications, seek expert migration guidance from IDP's team of multilingual migration agents.

Whether you're starting your stay in Australia or seeking an extension, IDP's registered agents can provide assistance. Whether your goal is to study and obtain permanent residency or have a temporary stay, they can help you with various visa types.

To receive support, book an appointment with one of their registered MARA agents located across most of Australia.

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Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent.