Emigrate to Australia – Are you too old?

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What’s too old to emigrate to Australia anyway?

What is the cut off age for a visa to emigrate to Australia?  This is a common question that comes from people looking for information and advice on emigrating to Australia.

 The short answer is… “it depends.”

Firstly, what visa are you thinking about applying for to emigrate to Australia.  If it’s one of the skilled migration visas like the subclass 189 or 190, which are for Australian permanent residency then 50 is the age limit.  Once you get to your 50th birthday these visa categories are off the table.

Too Old to emigrate to Australia book
Find out more about my book, “2 Old 2 Emigrate?” here.

Now if you are lucky enough to still be in your twenties and along with your Irish passport (I’m stating Irish, but there are a host of other countries which are eligible), there is the working holiday visa option.  Cut off age for this is 30.  Sometimes the age limit of 30 for the Australian working holiday visa is confused as being the age limit for skilled migration visas which is 50.  If the Australian government pursued that approach no one in their 30s or beyond would have any chance of emigrating to Australia so, fortunately, the age limit is what it is.

Of course, if you don’t want to emigrate but just want to visit well then the tourist visa is ageless. You could be 20 or 80 years of age it doesn’t matter, Australia doesn’t discriminate on the age of potential tourists who want to make a visit to the great land Down Under.

Finally, the Australian work visas, the age limit is 50 but there are exceptions to the age limit unlike in the skilled migration visa classes where there is no negotiation.  If you are a highly skilled person who is being sponsored over to Australia on an Australian work visa like the subclass 457 temporary work visa for example than so long as you are under the age of 50 you will be fine satisfying the age requirement.  If you are over 50 but under 55 than there is still a possibility you will be okay but it will depend on a number of factors including the type of job you are being sponsored to perform and how much money you are being paid.

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Some tips

Here are few pointers to help you if you are over the age of 40 but under 50 and wondering if there is any hope of applying for a permanent visa.


  • Your occupation is key to unlocking the possibility of applying.  Unless you have an occupation that is degree qualified and in high demand, your options will be very limited to non-existent.
  • Being over 40 and having an occupation in high demand, the next question you have to ask yourself is, can I be sponsored by a state government.  For example, recently, I had a senior medical doctor who was turning 48 inquire about his eligibility.  I advised him to look at South Australia which is currently sponsoring a range of health professionals to its state.  Of course, he will have the added difficulty of jumping through the regulatory requirements of the Australian Medical Board to gain initial registration but the option is still alive while he is under the age limit of 50.

English Language proficiency

  • Be prepared to take an English language proficiency even if you think you speak English real good:).  Tests such a the International English Language Testing System, also known by its acronym IELTS and the PTE Academic test enable a person to prove they have superior English language ability which helps the overall eligibility.

So those 3 pointers sound helpful enough but how do they translate into a confirmation of your eligibility to emigrate to Australia.  For that, we have to look back to the general migration points test, which establishes that an applicant must have as a minimum 60 points to apply for a skilled migration visa.

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The Doctor and his pass mark

So if our good doctor wants to apply, we should break down his pass mark, based on the assumption that the Australian Medical Board approves him to practice and the good people of the South Australian migration also sponsor him.

Here is his pass mark calculation as I see it:

Age – Nil

Degree – 15

work experience – 15

Superior English – 20

State sponsorship – 10

Total:  60

Based on the above pass mark, the doctor is eligible to apply for Skilled migration (regional sponsored ) visa subclass 489.

On this visa he must live and work in Adelaide or any other part of South Australia for at least 2 years, after this, he can be sponsored on to a permanent residence visa.

Here is a quick video I made about Age Limits in relation to the skilled migration points test for Australia.

Enjoy! x

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