Work in Australia as a Chief Executive

Chief Executives of any age are eligible to live and work in Australia via the Skills in Demand Employer Sponsored Visa provided they secure a job offer and have the right skills and qualifications for the position.

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How to Work in Australia as a Chief Executive


The occupation Chief Executive is on the 2024 Australia Core Skills Occupation List (CSOL). This means Chief Executives are eligible for the Skills in Demand Visa.


This is an Employer Sponsored Work Visa, valid for four years and renewable once. The Skills in Demand Visa offers a pathway to Permanent Residence for Chief Executives with visa processing times of between 7 and 21 days.

Skills in Demand Visa criteria for a Chief Executive


  • Skills Assessment with the Institute of Managers & Leaders
  • Undergraduate or Masters Degree
  • 3 Years Experience in Senior Management
  • With 2 of these 3 years being as CEO or Managing Director
  • Lead an Organization with more than 50 employees
  • Pass Police and Background checks
  • Have no adverse medical conditions
  • Be competent in English
  • Receive an Offer of Full Time Employment as a Chief Executive

Employer Sponsored Work Visas for Chief Executives in Australia


In 2024, Australia introduced the Skills in Demand Visa, replacing the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Employer Sponsored Visa (Subclass 482). This new visa better aligns with the current economic needs of Australia by targeting specific skills that are in high demand such as Chief Executives.


Key Features of the Skills in Demand Visa for Chief Executive Jobs in Australia


The Skills in Demand Employer Sponsored Visa consists of three tiers aimed at different levels of Chief Executive:


Specialist Skills Pathway: For specialized Chief Executives earning a minimum salary of $135,000 the Skills in Demand work visa will be issued in less than 7 days.


Core Skills Pathway: This pathway is for professional Chief Executives with an employment offer paying more than AUD$70,000.


The ANZSCO Code for a Chief Executive in Australia is 111111 and the occupation is on the updated Core Skills Occupation List. Work visa applicants with a job offer will receive their visa in less than 21 days.


Essential Skills Pathway: Is for Chief Executives earning less than AUD$70,000 per year and work visa applicants will get their visa in 21 days or less.


The impact for Chief Executives wanting to work in Australia


With the Skills in Demand Visa the pathway to living and working in Australia as a Chief Executive has become much more simple and straightforward.


Compared to the Skilled Migration & TSS pathways, the SID Visa is the cheapest, easiest and quickest way to work in Australia as a Chief Executive.


The Skills in Demand Visa still requires employer sponsorship, yet all streams of the SID Visa provide clear pathways to permanent residency.


Skills in Demand Visa Requirements for CEOs


Skills Assessment


The first step is to getting a Job Offer with a Skills in Demand Visa is to get your Skills Assessed. This is a mandatory part of the process for an Employer Sponsored Visa as a Chief Executive. The Skills Assessment Authority for CEOs looking for work in Australia is the Institute of Managers & Leaders.


Skills Assessment for Chief Executives is a complicated process, involving many moving elements. You are required to validate and evidence your identity, skills, experience and qualifications.


Qualifications and Employment Experience


Applicants must satisfy the following employment requirements depending on their educational background:

If an applicant holds a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, the applicant must prove the have been employed in a senior management role for at least three years; plus in the role as Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director for at least two years.

If an applicant does not hold a degree they must have been employed in a senior management role for at least five years; plus in the role as CEO/MD for at least two years.


Only after Skills Assessment can you have meaningful conversations with employers because you are ‘Work Ready’.


English Language Competency


If an applicant’s Tertiary qualifications have been taught exclusively in English then an English Exam is not required. Additionally, if an applicant is a Citizen of the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland or Singapore then English Testing is not required.


Position Evaluation


The Institute of Managers & Leaders will evaluate your current position against the following criteria:

• determining objectives, strategies, policies and programs for organizations
• providing overall direction and management to organizations
• authorizing material, human and financial resources to implement organizational
policies and programs
• monitoring and evaluating performance of organizations against organizational
objectives and strategies
• consulting with senior subordinate staff and reviewing recommendations and reports
• preparing, or arranging for the preparation of, reports, budgets and forecasts and
presenting them to governing bodies
• representing the organization at official occasions, in negotiations, at conventions,
seminars, public hearings and forums, and liaising between areas of responsibility
• selecting, or approving the selection of senior staff
• ensuring the organization complies with company laws and other relevant legislation


Reporting Lines Criteria


To get successful Skills Assessment the assessor will consider the reporting lines in the Organization. As Chief Executive Officer you must be the most senior person in the Company.


The applicant is expected to have reported to the Board of Directors, the Head of the organization or equivalent; and is expected to have directed senior managerial staff in charge of main departments.


Migration Consultant LLC can assist with your Chief Executive Skills Assessment for Australia. All we require from you is the right information at the right time.

Unlock Dedicated Chief Executive Recruitment Services in Australia


After Skills Assessment you are ‘Job Ready’. There is no age limit for a Skills in Demand Visa for a Chief Executive to work in Australia. It is the best option available to live and work in Australia.


In 2024, Migration Consultant LLC acquired Top Jobs in Australia™, a dedicated recruitment firm specializing in the placement of Internationally qualified Chief Executives for the Skills in Demand Employer Sponsored Visa.


Our recruitment service is free to you although you must be ‘Job Ready’ first with your Skills assessment and Chief Executive Licensing in place.


If our recruitment team find you a job then there are no Visa fees to pay as we ensure these are covered and arranged by your new employer.


You are not obligated to use our Skills Assessment service, but Top Jobs in Australia™ cannot represent you without this in place first.


Take our free eligibility check to see if you are qualified to work in Australia as a Chief Executive and to check if you will pass the Skills Assessment process.

Benefits of the Skills in Demand Visa for Chief Executives


  • No age limit
  • Valid for 4 years, renewable once
  • Work in Australia as a Chief Executive
  • Enter and leave Australia when you choose
  • Change employers without losing work experience points
  • Your family are included
  • 180 days to find a new sponsor if you leave your role
  • Pathway to Permanent Residence
  • Visa Processing times of 21 days or less
  • Better work life balance

How Employers in Australia can hire Chief Executives from overseas?


Employers in Australia looking to hire Chief Executives from overseas with the “Skills in Demand Visa”will find this process now easier when compared with previous Employer Sponsored Visas.


The Skills in Demand visa builds on aspects of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa, simplifying certain requirements that were previously seen as overly complex.


Simplified Labor Market Testing


As of December 2023, the mandate for employers to advertise positions through Workforce Australia has been eliminated. Employers now need to run only two valid advertisements for their Chief Executive positions, down from the previous three.


Additionally, the period for which an advertisement must remain valid has extended from four to six months. Employers should complete their advertising within this six-month window before submitting a visa nomination application.


Looking ahead, the government will shift from requiring employer-driven advertising to relying on independent verification of labor market needs by Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA).


Revamped Fee Structure


Currently, sponsors face various fees including sponsorship ($420), nomination ($330) fees, and the Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) levy (up to $7200).


The new Skills in Demand visa for Chief Executives will introduce a trailing fee model, reducing the financial burden of upfront payments.


This change will also accommodate easier transitions for workers between employers, removing the hefty upfront cost burden from the initial sponsoring employer.


This adjustment represents a significant improvement for employers.


Enhanced Employer Compliance


The Migration Amendment (Strengthening Employer Compliance) Act, effective from 1 July 2024, introduces stricter penalties and establish new offenses for violations of sponsorship obligations.


The approval process for Chief Executive sponsorship applications will see increased scrutiny. Employer workplace practices, compliance history, any negative findings from regulatory bodies, and past bankruptcies will undergo thorough examination to ensure rigorous vetting.


Additional steps will be taken to enhance post-arrival monitoring and ensure employers adhere to fair pay and conditions for workers. This involves coordination with the tax system and the integration of Tax File Numbers and Single Touch Payroll systems.


These changes aim to streamline the hiring process under the Skills in Demand visa, making it more straightforward for employers to hire overseas qualified Chief Executivesand meet their obligations, while protecting the rights of their new hires.


*Top Jobs in Australia™ and Migration Consultant LLC only work with already approved employer sponsors which simplifies the hiring process between interviews and job offer.

What are the Job Prospects for a Chief Executive in Australia?

In Australia, CEOs are in high demand across diverse sectors such as finance, technology, healthcare, and natural resources. 


Australia's economic resilience makes it an attractive destination for CEOs seeking stability and growth opportunities. CEOs adept at navigating economic cycles, capitalizing on market trends, and driving operational efficiencies are particularly valued.


As an immigrating CEO, your skills in leadership, strategic planning, and financial management are critical assets. Australian employers value CEOs with a proven track record of transformative leadership and innovation.

Average salaries for Chief Executives working in Australia

New South Wales (NSW): Sydney, being a major financial hub, offers some of the highest CEO salaries in Australia. The average salary for a CEO in NSW is AUD 487,571 annually, which is 3.8% higher than the national average​.


Victoria (VIC): Melbourne commands high salaries for CEOs, with the average salary being slightly higher than the national average. Average CEO salaries in Victoria are AUD 442,744 annually​.


Queensland (QLD): In Brisbane, CEO salaries are a bit lower than in Sydney and Melbourne, averaging about 1.3% below the national average​.


Western Australia (WA): Perth is known for its resource-based economy, leading to competitive CEO salaries, which can average around AUD 448,000 annually, slightly above the national average by 1.6%​​.


South Australia (SA): Adelaide typically sees lower CEO salaries compared to the eastern states, with average salaries about 3.7% below the national average​.


Tasmania (TAS): CEO salaries in Tasmania are among the lowest in the country, reflecting the smaller market size and economic scale, with averages significantly below the national figures​.


Australian Capital Territory (ACT): Canberra, being the political center, also offers competitive salaries, although specific averages can vary widely depending on the public or private sector roles​.


Northern Territory (NT): Salaries in Northern Territory are generally on the lower end of the spectrum, reflecting its smaller economic scale and fewer large corporate headquarters​.


While there are regional differences, the factors influencing these variations include the concentration of industries, economic conditions, and cost of living in each state. High-demand industries such as finance and technology in Sydney and Melbourne drive up average salaries, while resource-rich states like Western Australia see competitive compensation for top executives.

What is the Cost of Skills Assessment as a CEO?

The cost of a skills assessment for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML) in Australia are:


Standard Skills Assessment


  • For applicants residing outside of Australia: AUD $750


  • For applicants residing within Australia: AUD $825


Express Assessment


An extra AUD $200 or AUD $220 for Australian residents

Do I need to do an English Test to work as a Chief Executive in Australia?

When applying for a skills assessment with the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML), you need to meet their English language criteria, particularly if your previous education and work experience were not in English.


The IML evaluates both your higher education degree and employment history for up to ten years, requiring you to demonstrate effective communication skills in English as part of the assessment process.


If you are a citizen of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, or Ireland, you are exempt from taking an English language test.


You can demonstrate English proficiency by taking accepted tests such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT), and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.

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