One big factor in deciding where to immigrate, is the immigration system itself. Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you. Canada is a great country, especially for immigrants, but another popular destination is Australia.
Before you make any decisions, take a look at our comparison of immigration programs between Canada vs Australia, and determine which immigration program gives you better options!
So, you’re trying to decide whether you should live Down Under, or in the Great North White? Well, first let’s compare two popular immigration programs: Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program and Australia’s Skilled Independent program (subclass 189).
Both of these programs target new immigrants with skilled work experience. As well, neither of the programs require applicants to have a connection to the country in terms of work experience, educational experience, or a job offer. This means that these two immigration programs are excellent choices for highly qualified skilled workers from any country, regardless of whether or not they have any relation to the country to which they wish to immigrate.
The end result of both of these programs is permanent resident status. It allows holders to enter and exit the country as often as they’d like and provides a clear pathway to citizenship in the country.
Similarly, both of these programs utilize points-based systems to determine eligibility and to select applicants. We’ve taken the time to compare these points systems below.
Those who are familiar with Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program will know that the program requires candidates to have at least 1 year of full-time, skilled work experience. Canada defines skilled work experience as any job at National Occupational Classification TEER level 0, 1, 2 or 3.
Similarly, Australia’s Skilled Independent program requires candidates to prove that they are qualified to work in one of the program’s eligible occupations. Australian immigration maintains a Skilled Independent Occupations List indicating all of the program’s eligible occupations. In order to be eligible, a candidate must consult with the proper Assessing Authority (included on the list) to receive proof that they are eligible to practice that profession in Australia. If an occupation is not on the list, or if an applicant has not consulted with the Assessing Authority, then they are not eligible for this program.
|Medium and Longterm Strategic Skills List|
|1||construction project manager||VETASSESS|
|2||engineering manager||(a) Engineers Australia; or
|3||child care centre manager||TRA|
|4||nursing clinical director||ANMAC|
|5||primary health organisation manager||VETASSESS|
|6||welfare centre manager||ACWA|
|7||accountant (general)||(a) CPAA; or
(b) CAANZ; or
|8||management accountant||(a) CPAA; or
(b) IPA; or
|9||taxation accountant||(a) CPAA; or
(b) IPA; or
|10||external auditor||(a) CPAA; or
(b) IPA; or
|20||other spatial scientist||VETASSESS|
|21||chemical engineer||Engineers Australia|
|22||materials engineer||Engineers Australia|
|23||civil engineer||Engineers Australia|
|24||geotechnical engineer||Engineers Australia|
|26||structural engineer||Engineers Australia|
|27||transport engineer||Engineers Australia|
|28||electrical engineer||Engineers Australia|
|29||electronics engineer||Engineers Australia|
|30||industrial engineer||Engineers Australia|
|31||mechanical engineer||Engineers Australia|
|32||production or plant engineer||Engineers Australia|
|33||aeronautical engineer||Engineers Australia|
|34||agricultural engineer||Engineers Australia|
|35||biomedical engineer||Engineers Australia|
|36||engineering technologist||Engineers Australia|
|37||environmental engineer||Engineers Australia|
|38||naval architect||Engineers Australia|
|42||medical laboratory scientist||AIMS|
|44||physicist (medical physicist only)||ACPSEM|
|45||early childhood (pre‑primary school) teacher||AITSL|
|46||secondary school teacher||AITSL|
|47||special needs teacher||AITSL|
|48||teacher of the hearing impaired||AITSL|
|49||teacher of the sight impaired||AITSL|
|50||special education teachers (nec)||AITSL|
|51||medical diagnostic radiographer||ASMIRT|
|52||medical radiation therapist||ASMIRT|
|53||nuclear medicine technologist||ANZSNM|
|56||orthotist or prosthetist||AOPA|
|61||podiatrist||(a) APodA; or
|65||specialist physician (general medicine)||MedBA|
|71||intensive care specialist||MedBA|
|74||renal medicine specialist||MedBA|
|76||thoracic medicine specialist||MedBA|
|77||specialist physicians (nec)||MedBA|
|85||plastic and reconstructive surgeon||MedBA|
|89||emergency medicine specialist||MedBA|
|90||obstetrician and gynaecologist||MedBA|
|93||diagnostic and interventional radiologist||MedBA|
|95||medical practitioners (nec)||MedBA|
|98||registered nurse (aged care)||ANMAC|
|99||registered nurse (child and family health)||ANMAC|
|100||registered nurse (community health)||ANMAC|
|101||registered nurse (critical care and emergency)||ANMAC|
|102||registered nurse (developmental disability)||ANMAC|
|103||registered nurse (disability and rehabilitation)||ANMAC|
|104||registered nurse (medical)||ANMAC|
|105||registered nurse (medical practice)||ANMAC|
|106||registered nurse (mental health)||ANMAC|
|107||registered nurse (perioperative)||ANMAC|
|108||registered nurse (surgical)||ANMAC|
|109||registered nurse (paediatrics)||ANMAC|
|110||registered nurses (nec)||ANMAC|
|111||ICT business analyst||ACS|
|116||ICT security specialist||ACS|
|117||computer network and systems engineer||ACS|
|118||telecommunications engineer||Engineers Australia|
|119||telecommunications network engineer||Engineers Australia|
|120||barrister||a legal admissions authority of a State or Territory|
|121||solicitor||a legal admissions authority of a State or Territory|
|127||civil engineering draftsperson||(a) Engineers Australia; or
|128||civil engineering technician||VETASSESS|
|129||electrical engineering draftsperson||Engineers Australia|
|130||electrical engineering technician||TRA|
|131||radio communications technician||TRA|
|132||telecommunications field engineer||Engineers Australia|
|133||telecommunications network planner||Engineers Australia|
|134||telecommunications technical officer or technologist||Engineers Australia|
|136||motor mechanic (general)||TRA|
|137||diesel motor mechanic||TRA|
|139||small engine mechanic||TRA|
|140||sheetmetal trades worker||TRA|
|143||welder (first class)||TRA|
|145||fitter and turner||TRA|
|147||metal machinist (first class)||TRA|
|152||carpenter and joiner||TRA|
|155||painting trades worker||TRA|
|159||wall and floor tiler||TRA|
|161||airconditioning and mechanical services plumber||TRA|
|166||electrician (special class)||TRA|
|168||airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic||TRA|
|169||technical cable jointer||TRA|
|170||electronic equipment trades worker||TRA|
|171||electronic instrument trades worker (general)||TRA|
|172||electronic instrument trades worker (special class)||TRA|
|175||boat builder and repairer||TRA|
Both programs utilize points-assessment grids to determine eligibility of candidates for immigration. The grids assign points for age, language proficiency, work experience, education, and other unique factors. In Canada, you must score a minimum of 67 points out of 100 in order to be eligible, while Australia’s program requires a minimum of 60 points out of 135
|Maximum Points per Factor|
|Foreign Work Experience||15||15|
|In-Country Work Experience||20||10|
If you meet the minimum points requirement, you are eligible to submit your interest in the program. However, please bear in mind that for both countries simply meeting the minimum points requirement does not guarantee that you will be able to immigrate. Meeting the minimum points is only the first step in the application procedure.
Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is contained within the Express Entry immigration system, which manages immigration applications electronically. Through Express Entry, candidates who meet the 67 points first must create an Express Entry profile through the online immigration web portal. The Express Entry profile acts as an Expression of Interest (EOI), indicating that the candidate is interested in Canadian immigration.
Once a candidate creates their Express Entry profile, they are assigned a score, called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Note: The CRS score is a scoring system out of 1200 points, completely separate from the eligibility points grid we discussed above. An Express Entry profile remains valid for up to 12 months, if the profile is not selected within 12 months the candidate must resubmit.
Approximately every two weeks, the Canadian government conducts an Express Entry draw, inviting the candidates in the pool with the highest CRS scores to submit official applications for permanent residence. If an applicant is successful, they receive permanent resident status for themselves, and all accompanying family members who were included on the application.
The application procedure for the Australian Skilled Independent Visa program is similar to Canada’s Express Entry system. First, candidates who meet the minimum of 60 points must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) using Australia’s online system: SkillSelect. Unlike Canada, Australia does not have a secondary points system, and simply uses its eligibility grid to rank candidates against one another.
Australian immigration issues invitations approximately twice per month. Candidates with the highest ranking EOIs will be invited to apply. If multiple candidates have the same ranking score, the candidate whose profile was submitted earlier will be prioritized. SkillSelect EOIs are valid for up to 2 years. If an EOI is not invited within 2 years, it will expire.
It should be noted that the Australian Independent Skills program determines occupation ceilings each year. Each eligible occupation is given a maximum quota and if that quota is met then no other professionals in that occupation will be invited until the next year.
After receiving an invitation, an applicant is given 60 days to submit an official application for Australian permanent residence. If the applicant is successful, they receive permanent resident status for themselves and any accompanying family members (including partner and children).
Canada demonstrates an advantage in terms of both processing time and cost of immigration.
Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program charges total fees of $1365 CAD per adult applicant, plus an additional $230 per child. Though, applicants to Express Entry programs should be aware of the various other costs they can expect during the immigration process.
Australia’s Independent Skills program costs $3800 CAD for the principal applicant, plus an additional $2330 CAD for a spouse or partner, and $960 CAD per child. As with Canadian immigration, Australian applicants should expect a range of other costs for documentation, postage, etc.
Canada’s Express Entry system boasts a speedy processing time and aims to process 80% of all applications within 6 months of receipt. Australia’s Independent Skills program states that 75% of applications are processed within 8 months of receipt. Though processing times can fluctuate for both countries and its recommend to check current processing times when thinking of applying.
As stated at the beginning of the article, both of these programs are ideal for high-skilled workers without a connection to either Canada or Australia. If a worker has a connection to the country, perhaps they completed their studies in Canada or they have a job offer in Australia, then they may have additional options.
Canada, for example, also manages the Canadian Experience Class, another program within Express Entry which prioritizes foreign nationals with at least 12 months of work experience in Canada. As well, Canada has a host of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) which often select candidates who have some sort of regional connection.
As well, Australia operates several immigration programs for skilled workers with connections to the country. There are visas available to those with an employer nomination, to those from certain regions, and for those with special skills.
If you would like to learn more about your own eligibility for Canadian immigration, simply complete our free online assessment. One of our experts will review your eligibility and contact you to discuss your options!
Canada Permanent Residence
Nigerian immigration to Canada has become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, Nigeria is one of the main source countries of Canada’s immigrant population; […]
Yes! Most people who come to Canada as international students are eligible to drive in Canada. But, it depends on the province where you’re studying […]
Canada is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students coming from all over the world. Before you can come to study in Canada, there are a few […]
International Students | Study Permit
Studying in Canada is a dream come true for many international students. When you receive a letter of acceptance from a Canadian school, it might […]
Study Permit | Work in Canada
Looking to change from a study permit to a work permit? The process will depend on where you are at in your program.
Canada Permanent Residence
Canada consistently ranks among the most popular destinations for newcomers to immigrate to. So it comes as no surprise that there are many great reasons […]