Skilled Immigration to Australia

A skilled immigration visa allows skilled people to work and live in Australia. SkillSelect is Australia’s General Skilled Migration program which is a points-based system and indeed it is the most popular visa application pathway for skilled workers.
SkillSelect allows you to apply for a permanent Australian visa, such as a Skilled Independent Visa subclass 189. You will need to hold certain qualifications, work experience, and language ability requirements to be granted a skilled migrant visa in Australia which is the requirements that needed to be met.
Through the SkillSelect pathway, skilled workers of select occupations and professions can apply for Australian permanent residence on the basis of their skills only. This means they do not need to be sponsored by an employer.

skilled immigration

The Australian government changes the types of skilled occupations on the up to date lists from time to time. These changes reflect the shifting supply and demand for particular skills in Australia.
The most widely known skilled migrant visas include the following:

  • Skilled Independent Visa subclass 189; and
  • Skilled Nominated Visa subclass 190.

As the name suggests, the Skilled Independent Visa subclass 189 is a visa which is available for applicants who do not require sponsorship by an employer, nor a state or territory government in Australia.
The Skilled Nominated Visa subclass 190 is available to applicants who meet the criteria to be sponsored by a state or territory government as depicted by their name.
There was a temporary point-tested skilled migration visa which allows the holder to live and work in Australia for up to four years which is called Skilled Regional Visa subclass 489 but now it is closed and replaced by subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 Visa

  • State-Sponsored (Nominated)
  • Family-Sponsored

From 16 November 2019 no longer a 489 visa. The subclass 491 has currently replaced the Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa. 491 visa holders must live and work in regional Australia for three years before applying for permanent residency under the 191 visa category. (Previously 2 years under the 489
visa). The visa validity period will increase from four years to five years to allow applicants more time to meet this requirement.
This visa will be accessible for more people; with over 500 new occupations eligible under the new 491 visa. Moreover, the definition of regional Australia will be simplified and broadened to include all areas of Australia except the metropolitan areas of; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Perth. The notable changes here is that Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast will be classified as regional.
To help meet the demand in regional Australia, 491 visa applicants will receive priority processing. The State or Territory nomination requirements are likely to remain similar to those that are currently in place for the subclass 489 visa. Each State and Territory set their own nomination criterion. This can vary from evidencing your employability, previous time spent living in the state or meeting a financial capacity.
Having spent time living and working in the nominating state – for example, whilst on a working holiday visa or employee sponsorship – can make your application more attractive. Also having family and friends living in the state you are looking to migrate to may enhance your eligibility.

visa 491

The Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa is a permanent resident visa for points-tested skilled workers who want to work and live in Australia.

For this visa following requirements should be met
  • You may be in or outside Australia to lodge a valid visa application.
  • This visa allows you to work, study and live in Australia.
  • There are 2 different visa streams: Points-tested and New Zealand.
  • This is a Permanent resident visa and allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely.
Eligibility requirements
  • You must be under 45 years of age.
  • You must have a skilled occupation on the relevant Medium and Long Term Strategic Skilled List (MLTSSL).
  • You must be able to demonstrate ‘Competent English’.
  • You must have a positive skills assessment from the relevant skills assessing authority about your nominated occupation.
  • You must obtain the minimum score on the Points Test at the time of invitation to apply for the visa.
  • You must obtain an invitation to apply for the visa. To be invited you will need to submit an
  • Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and meet the required points test on a competitive basis.
  • You must satisfy certain Public Interest criteria and Special Return criteria.
  • You must meet health and character requirements.
Eligibility requirements – New Zealand stream
  • You must hold a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa.
  • You must have been a usual resident in Australia for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately before the date of the application. This continuous period of usual residence must have started on or before 19 February 2016.
  • Unless you are exempt, you must demonstrate that for the 4 most recently completed income years, your taxable income is not less than the minimum amount prescribed by the Minister.
  • You must satisfy certain Public Interest criteria and Special Return criteria.
  • You must meet health and character requirements.

Occupation Lists

There are two skilled occupation lists that are relevant to skilled migrant visa applications. One is the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) which is relevant for applicants applying for the Skilled Independent Visa subclass 189 and the other is the Consolidated Sponsor Occupation List (CSOL) which is relevant to those looking at a Skilled Nominated Visa subclass 190.
Importantly, most occupations on the CSOL are reflected in the SOL. This means that a person looking at applying for a Skilled Nominated Visa subclass 190 can meet the points test for either the SOL or the CSOL.

Be aware, however, that states and territories have their own skilled occupation lists. For example, see New South Wales’ skilled occupation list for 2016-2017. It is important to check the specific lists of your chosen state or territory to ensure you can be successfully nominated.

Not all work visas require a sponsor but having a sponsor can increase your chances of getting a visa. You can find a sponsor yourself.

Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated Visa

The Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190) is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers that allow you to live and work in Tasmania.
State nomination from Tasmania for this visa provides you with five additional points to help meet the Department of Home Affairs points test pass mark of 65 points. More information on this is available under ‘Eligibility’.
If you are nominated by the Tasmanian Government for this visa, you must live in Tasmania for two years after the visa has been granted.

How to apply

Your application for state nomination and application for the visa are two separate processes. The Tasmanian Government assesses your application for state nomination and the Department of Home Affairs assesses your visa application.
The processing time is affected by the overall quality and thoroughness of your application. It is recommended that you prepare as much of the necessary
documentation before applying to help avoid delays. Other factors that impact on processing times include changes in application volumes, seasonal peaks, and complex cases.
The current processing time for Tasmanian Government state nomination is detailed in the NEWS section of this website.  Please also refer to the following link for the Department of Home Affairs processing times.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for state nomination, you must meet the following requirements set out by the Department of Home Affairs. You must have:

  • not yet turned 45 years of age
  • nominated an occupation on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations
  • a valid and positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation
  • at least ‘Competent’ English language proficiency
  • at least 65 points on the Department of Home Affairs points test.

Please note that you also need to meet the Tasmanian Government nomination requirements to be eligible for state nomination.