Migrate to Australia as a Social Worker

Visas & Skills Assessment



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Social Worker

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Specialist Physician (General Medicine)


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Welfare Center Manager

Migrate to Australia as a Social Worker (ANZSCO: 272511)

Australia has a critical shortage of Social Workers. If you are a qualified Social Worker aged under 45 then you are eligible to migrate to Australia provided you can score 65 points and have a positive Skills Assessment.

How to Migrate to Australia as a Social Worker


  • Be aged under 45
  • Score 65 Australian Immigration Points
  • Have a Positive Skills Assessment from Vetasses
  • Lodge an Expression of Interest
  • Receive an Invitation to Apply
  • Pay the Visa Fees
  • Pass Health and Character Checks

Criteria for Social Workers to Migrate to Australia


You need to meet the following criteria:


Score 65 Points


Social Workers migrating to Australia need to score at least 65 Immigration points. Points are awarded for age, experience, qualifications, education, English language skills and time spent in Australia.


Take this Free Visa Points Calculator for your score.


Skills Assessment


Social Workers are required to complete a Skills Assessment through the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).


English Language


Good English skills are vital for work, so you may need to take a test like IELTS. UK and USA Passport holders are exempt.


Health and Character


You’ll need to pass health and character checks.

Social Worker Skills Assessment for Australia


The Social Workers’ skill assessment authority is AASW.


There are five Criteria that must all be met for a positive assessment for migration and employment purposes:


  • The qualification must be a specific qualification major in social work.


  • The qualification must be regarded as a professional social work qualification in the country of training.


  • The learning outcomes of the professional social work qualification is comparable to the learning outcomes that graduates of AASW-accredited social work qualifications must demonstrate.


  • At least 980 hours of field education in at least two placements and with two contrasting practice foci, with a requirement that one placement must be in direct practice.


  • English language with only IELTS accepted at 7.0 each band


If you are unable to get the required English level, then you may be assessed as these other occupations:


  • Community Worker (ANZSCO 411711)
  • Welfare Center Manager (ANZSCO 134214)
  • Disabilities Services Officer (ANZSCO 411712)
  • Family Support Worker (ANZSCO 411713)
  • Residential Care Officer (ANZSCO 411715)
  • Youth Worker (ANZSCO 411716)


These alternative occupations are assessed by the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA), which offers an English language test waiver.


However, these alternative occupations are not on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skilled List which means you will have fewer Australian Immigration options.

What are the eligibility requirements for immigrating to Australia as a Social Worker?

Eligibility requirements include being aged under 45, scoring 65 points on the Australian Immigration Points Score, having the required skills, qualifications, and meeting health and character checks.

What visas are available for Social Workers moving to Australia?

There are three skilled migration programs through which social workers can secure a Australian Permanent Residency Visa.


Subclass 189 Visa – Skilled Independent Visa Pathway


The subclass 189 is a points based permanent residency visa.

Applicants must score a minimum 65 points to be eligible to lodge an Expression of Interest for a 189 Visa.


Subclass 190 - State Nominated  Visa


Subclass 190 is state nominated visa which means applicants must be invited by a state or territory to apply.


Subclass 491 Skilled Regional Visa Pathway


The state nomination requirement also applies to 491 skilled regional visa applications.


Subclass 491 converts to full Permanent Residence after three years, provided you can show that you've earned taxable income over $53,000.


The 491 visa gives you access to Medicare even though you have yet a full permanent resident.

New South Wales State Nomination criteria for Social Workers

Social Workers are in high demand in New South Wales and the occupation is on the  New South Wales Skilled Occupation List.


To be nominated by New South Wales for the subclass 190 or 491, the following criteria applies:


  • Applicants must have been living in New South Wales for at least 6 months.


  • Score 65 Points

Victoria State Nomination criteria for Social Workers

The State of Victoria only requires that applicants score a minimum 65 Immigration Points

South Australia State Nomination criteria for Social Workers

To be nominated by the State of South Australia for a migration visa, the following criteria applies:


  • Score a minimum 65 Points


  • Have been working as a Social Worker in South Australia in the last 3 months

What is the ANSZCO Code criteria for Social Workers moving to Australia

The ANZSCO Code for Social Workers is 272511


Occupations in this unit group have the following elements:


ANZSCO General Description: Social Workers assess the social needs of individuals, families and groups, assist and empower people to develop and use the skills and resources needed to resolve social and other problems.


ANZSCO Skill level: Social Workers should have a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher qualification. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification. They also need registration or licensing.


Job tasks for a Social Worker are:


  • acting as a facilitator between clients in need and community services


  • assessing resources for health, welfare, recreation, housing, employment and other community services


  • providing leadership and assistance for the implementation of pilot projects in community development and self-help, and planning and implementing research projects to address client needs, organisation goals and social policy


  • cooperating with community organisations, social agencies and voluntary groups to improve services and develop new services


  • conducting individual and family case interviews to identify the nature and extent of clients’ problems


  • assisting clients to understand and resolve problems by providing information, acting as a mediator and referring them to community and self-help agencies


  • analysing, developing, promoting and implementing social policies through the use of practice experience, research, analytic frameworks, and negotiation skills to respond to social need through a fair, equitable and effective allocation of social resources


  • monitoring the progress of clients by maintaining contact


  • compiling case records and reports


Skill assessing authority: AASW


Skilled Occupation List: Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)


Skilled Visa Options:


  • Subclass 189 Skilled (Independent) visa
  • Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) vis
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa

How do I get my Social Worker skills assessed for Australian immigration purposes

The Australian assessing authority for Social Workers is the Australian Association of Social Workers. They are responsible for evaluating your qualifications, experience and skills to ensure they meet Australian standards.

What are the processing times for skilled migration visas for Social Workers?

Expect the whole process to take between 7 and 16 months from absolute start of the visa process to the absolute end.

Can I include my family members in my immigration application as a Social Worker?

Yes! Your immediate family members are included.

What are the best places to look for work as a Social Worker in Australia?

The best places to search for Social Worker jobs in Australia include major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Suburban and rural areas are also excellent options for Social Workers migrating to Australia because they have a lower cost of living and a better work life balance. Smaller, regional communities also have a high demand for Social Workers.

What are the best places to look for work as a Social Worker in Australia?

Yes, you can use job search websites like Seek (www.seek.com.au) and Indeed (www.indeed.com.au).

These platforms list Social Worker positions across Australia.

You can also check out Horizon Jobs, which is an initiative from the Australian Association of Social Workers (https://www.aasw.asn.au/employment/horizon-career-centre/)

Additionally, as a Migration Consultant LLC client you have access to our dedicated Social Worker recruitment service for new migrants to Australia.