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If you want to make the move to Australia, there are a number of visa options available. Skilled migration is one option available to skilled workers who meet the requirements of one of the skilled migration subclasses.

Skilled migrants add a lot to the Australian community. Regional Australia in particular greatly benefits from the skills and services of skilled migrants.

The Australian migration system can be complex to navigate and application mistakes can be expensive and may result in your application being rejected. Don’t leave it to chance. Contact our immigration team for a free initial consultation.

Our expert team are not only Immigration Lawyers, we are also registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority. That means we can assist you in making the right visa application and appeal an unfavourable decision by the Department of Home Affairs.

Skilled visa categories

There are four sub-categories of skilled visas. They are:

  • Subclass¬†189
  • Subclass¬†190
  • Subclass 491
  • Subclass 494

Visa Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa:

Subclass 189, or the Skilled Independent Visa, is divided into two sub-categories:

  • Points test stream
  • New Zealand¬†stream for New Zealand citizens who have demonstrated commitment and contribution to¬†Australia.

If your occupation is on the skilled occupation list, you can lodge an expression of interest on skillselect. 

While you are waiting, you should gather any necessary documents you relied on in your EOI for example, identification documents, English proficiency documents, qualifications, etc. You will be required to complete a skills assessment using a recognised skills assessing authority for your occupation, for example Tafe NSW.

Once your EOI has been assessed, you will be invited to apply for your visa. You have 60 days from the date of the invitation to apply.

You may be granted a Bridging Visa (temporary visa) while you wait for you application to be assessed. You will be notified once you apply.

Eligibility

  • You must have a suitable skill
  • Be invited to apply
  • Be under the age of 45
  • Score 65 points or more on skillselect when you lodge your EOI
  • Have competent English¬†
  • Meet the skills requirement
  • Meet the medical requirement
  • Paid any outstanding debts to the Australian Government e.g. taxes, fees, etc
  • Not had a Visa previously cancelled or refused.

What can I do

You will be able to:

  • Stay in Australia permanently (permanent residency)
  • Work and study
  • Enroll in Medicare
  • Sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
  • Travel to and from Australia for 5 years
  • Apply for Australian citizenship if you meet the eligibility requirements

Cost

  • $4115.00

Processing time

It can take between 17 months and 28 months to be approved for this Visa.

  • New Zealand stream

The New Zealand stream is slightly different. It requires applicants to:

  • Hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa (subclass 444)
  • Reside in Australia for the past 5 years
  • Started living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016
  • Have a taxable income at or above the income threshold for the year you are making your application.

The processing time for the New Zealand stream is slightly faster. It takes between 15 and 16 months.

Visa Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa

Subclass 190, or the Skilled Nominated Visa, is similar to the subclass 189 Visa, however, unlike the subclass 190 Visa, this Visa requires sponsorship by an Australian state or territory government.

Eligibility

  • You will need to submit an expression of interest to the Department of Home Affairs.¬†
  • After you submit your expression of interest, you may be nominated for the Visa by an Australian state or territory.¬†
  • You can only apply for this Visa if you have been nominated.
  • You will need to complete a relevant skills assessment prior to lodging your expression of interest.
  • You MUST be aged under 45 years when you are invited to apply.
  • You will need to accrue at least 65 points in the SkillSelect assessment.
  • You MUST be proficient in English.
  • You MUST pass the health assessment.
  • You MUST be of good character and pass the character test. For example, you cannot have certain criminal convictions.¬†
  • You have to pay any outstanding debts owed to the Australian Government. For example, income tax.¬†
  • You must NOT have had a previous Visa cancelled or refused.¬†

What can I do?

  • This Visa gives you permanent residency meaning you can stay in Australia indefinitely.
  • You can work and study in Australia.
  • You can apply for Medicare.
  • You can sponsor your family to move to Australia.
  • You can travel to and from Australia for five years.
  • You can apply for Australian citizenship if you meet the requirements.¬†

Cost

  • $4115.00 for the main applicant. Additional fees apply for¬†

Processing time

  • Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and the processing times vary.¬†¬†

Visa Subclass 491 Skilled Work Visa

The subclass 491 Visa is a Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa. There are two categories:

  • Main applicant¬†
  • Subsequent entrant – for a member of the main applicant’s family

Eligibility

Main applicant

  • You must be nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency, or an eligible relative can sponsor you.
  • You must have a nominated¬†occupation on the skilled occupation list.
  • Successfully complete the skills assessment for your occupation.
  • Be invited to apply.
  • Satisfy the points test

Subsequent entrant:

  • You must be a family member of a Visa Subclass¬†491 visa¬†holder.

What can I do?

  • Stay in Australia for 5 years
  • Live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you require while the Visa is valid
  • Apply for permanent residence 3 years after your Visa is granted

Cost

  • $4,115.00

Processing time

  • The average processing time for this Visa is 6 to 14 months.

Visa Subclass 494 Employer Sponsored Visa

  • The Visa subclass¬†494 is the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional¬†Visa (Provisional) Visa. It allows employers in regional Australia to identify labour shortages that are unable to be filled by suitably qualified Australian workers.

There are three categories:

  1. Employer sponsored stream = Regional employers address and identify labour shortages in their region. They can apply to sponsor skilled workers when they are unable to locate suitably qualified local workers. 
  2. Labour agreement = Skilled workers are nominated by employers who have a labour agreement. 
  3. Subsequent entrant = Family members of Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (provisional).

Eligibility

  • You must be nominated by an approved work sponsor.
  • You must have an occupation listed on the relevant skilled occupation list.¬†
  • You must have a suitable skills assessment for your occupation.
  • You must be under the age of 45.
  • You must meet minimum English language proficiency.

What can I do?

  • You can stay in Australia for up to 5 years.¬†
  • Employer-sponsored stream = Live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia; apply for permanent residency after 3 years from the time your visa is granted.
  • Labour agreement = Your employer must have a labour agreement with a state or territory government.
  • Subsequent entrant = You must be a family member of a Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional¬†Visa (provisional).

Cost

  • $4115.00

Processing time

  • Employer sponsored stream = The average processing time is 3 to 5 months.
  • Labour agreement stream = The Department of Home Affairs is currently unable to provide an estimate.
  • Subsequent entrant = The Department of Home Affairs is currently unable to provide an estimate.
  • To ensure your application is processed in a timely fashion, you should ensure that you have supplied all copies of any necessary paperwork, complete and file your skills assessment, etc within the set timeframe.

Skilled occupation list

There are currently 674 occupations set out on the skilled occupation list. Some of those occupations include:

  • Cardiologist
  • Carpenter
  • Accountant
  • Diesel Motor Mechanic
  • Electrician
  • Farrier
  • General Practitioner

Subclass 189, or the Skilled Independent Visa, is divided into two sub-categories:

  • Points test stream
  • New Zealand¬†stream for New Zealand citizens who have demonstrated commitment and contribution to¬†Australia.

If your occupation is on the skilled occupation list, you can lodge an expression of interest on skillselect. 

While you are waiting, you should gather any necessary documents you relied on in your EOI for example, identification documents, English proficiency documents, qualifications, etc. You will be required to complete a skills assessment using a recognised skills assessing authority for your occupation, for example Tafe NSW.

Once your EOI has been assessed, you will be invited to apply for your visa. You have 60 days from the date of the invitation to apply.

You may be granted a Bridging Visa (temporary visa) while you wait for you application to be assessed. You will be notified once you apply.

Eligibility

You must have a suitable skill

Be invited to apply

Be under the age of 45

Score 65 points or more on skillselect when you lodge your EOI

Have competent English 

Meet the skills requirement

Meet the medical requirement

Paid any outstanding debts to the Australian Government e.g. taxes, fees, etc

Not had a Visa previously cancelled or refused.

What can I do

You will be able to:

Stay in Australia permanently (permanent residency)

Work and study

Enroll in Medicare

Sponsor your relatives to come to Australia

Travel to and from Australia for 5 years

Apply for Australian citizenship if you meet the eligibility requirements

Cost

$4115.00

Processing time: 

It can take between 17 months and 28 months to be approved for this Visa.

  • New Zealand stream

The New Zealand stream is slightly different. It requires applicants to:

Hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa (subclass 444)

Reside in Australia for the past 5 years

Started living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016

Have a taxable income at or above the income threshold for the year you are making your application.

Processing times

The processing time for the New Zealand stream is slightly faster. It takes between 15 and 16 months.

 

Subclass 190, or the Skilled Nominated Visa, is similar to the subclass 189 Visa, however, unlike the subclass 190 Visa, this Visa requires sponsorship by an Australian state or territory government.

Eligibility

You will need to submit an expression of interest to the Department of Home Affairs. 

After you submit your expression of interest, you may be nominated for the Visa by an Australian state or territory. 

You can only apply for this Visa if you have been nominated.

You will need to complete a relevant skills assessment prior to lodging your expression of interest.

You MUST be aged under 45 years when you are invited to apply.

You will need to accrue at least 65 points in the SkillSelect assessment.

You MUST be proficient in English.

You MUST pass the health assessment.

You MUST be of good character and pass the character test. For example, you cannot have certain criminal convictions. 

You have to pay any outstanding debts owed to the Australian Government. For example, income tax. 

You must NOT have had a previous Visa cancelled or refused. 

What can I do?

This Visa gives you permanent residency meaning you can stay in Australia indefinitely.

You can work and study in Australia.

You can apply for Medicare.

You can sponsor your family to move to Australia.

You can travel to and from Australia for five years.

You can apply for Australian citizenship if you meet the requirements. 

Cost

$4115.00 for the main applicant. Additional fees apply for 

Processing time

Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and the processing times vary.

 

Subclass 190 requires sponsorship by an Australian state or territory government. Once you are successful, you will be granted permanent residency and can work or study in Australia. For further assistance, contact our Immigration team for a free initial consultation. 

Eligibility requirements

  • Be over the age of 60 years of age¬†
  • Be a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen when you apply and when the decision is made about your application
  • You intend to live in Australia or maintain a lasting link with Australia while overseas.

Cost

  • An application fee applies. The current fee is $180, however, a $20 concession fee is available for concession holders.
  • Children of applicants under the age of 16 can apply for free.

Processing time

  • From the date of application to approval, the processing time is 14 months to 16 months
  • From the date of application to ceremony, the processing time is 18-21 months.

Disclaimer

The above is general legal information and should not be considered legal advice. You should speak with one of our migration lawyers for legal advice tailored to your specific legal matter. The courts and tribunals deal with matters on a case by case basis. It should also be noted that there may be delays due to COVID-19.

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Frequently Asked Questions.

A skills assessment expires three years from the date it is issued.

The skilled occupation list currently identifies 674 occupations in demand in Australia. However, the priority migration skilled occupation list identifies 44 occupations in critical demand in Australia. Examples include medical, pharmaceutical, aged care and IT.

You will need to create a skillselect account on the Department of Homes Affairs website.

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