Skilled Migration


Table of Contents

Australian Lawyers and Migration Agents - Skilled Migration Advice

Our Australian Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents are experienced and ethical. We can assist clients in our offices in Brisbane, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, UK and Lisbon, Portugal. In addition, our Australian qualified Lawyers can advise clients worldwide, with a fast and efficient Consultation by telephone, where they advise you about:

  • Visa eligibility assessment
  • Information about the visa process
  • Advice regarding the Migration Skills Assessment application
  • Advice regarding supporting documents including: Qualification certificates, Work references and Identification
  • Advice regarding State or Territory Skilled Nomination
  • Advice regarding the Skilled Points Test score
  • Advice regarding how to sit an English language test and required score
  • Assistance in completion of Dept of Home Affairs Expression of Interest and Visa Application forms
  • Advice regarding how to apply for Police Clearance certificates
  • Preparation of Medical examination and Chest x-ray referral letter and advice where to undergo health checks
  • Visa Processing time guidance
  • Information about the Government Visa Application fee and Migration Agent / Lawyers fees for complete visa application assistance

Contact VisaConnect's Australian Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents in 2023 for advice and assistance with your Skilled Migration visa application!

Skilled Independent - 189 Visa

1. Nominate an occupation - listed on the Skills Occupation List, which is relevant to your education and employment background. Each occupation must have an ANZSCO Code, such as:

  • Accountant (General) - ANZSCO Code: 221111
  • Electrical Engineer - ANZSCO Code: 233311
  • Registered Nurse nec - ANZSCO Code: 254499

2. MLTSSL List - To be eligible for the 189 visa, the selected occupations must be listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

3. Skills Assessment - Suitable skills assessment in that occupation confirming that their qualifications and recent work experience have been recognised by the Australian authority. Skills assessments authorities assess applicant's educational qualifications and work experience and if their skills are recognised, they determine that the applicant is 'suitable for migration'. There are a wide range of Skills Assessment Authorities that cover different occupations. For example, Accountants and Auditors would be assessed by either:

  • CPA Australia
  • Institute of Public Accountants
  • Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand

4. Expression of Interest (EOI) - apply for an Expression of Interest on the SkillSelect online service, which includes information about your Age, Qualifications, Skills Assessment, Work experience and a points score is calculated. No actual evidence is required, at this stage. The EOI is valid for 2 years.

5. Invitation - If you are invited to apply for skilled migration, you will receive an Invitation from SkillSelect. You will have 60 days to make your visa application.

6. Online Visa Application - Apply online by completing Forms, and providing evidence to support the claims made in your Expression of Interest. Usually, you will upload certified copies of Identity documents (passport, Birth certificates etc.), and any other relevant information.

7. Health examination - Undergo a medical examination, Chest x ray and blood tests with an Australian Panel Doctor, in your city and country.

8. Character requirements - Apply for Police Clearance certificates in every country you and your spouse have lived in for 12 months or more, in the last 10 years.

9. Processing Times - As at 20 January 2023, 25% of 189 Visa appications are processed within 74 days, 50% of applications are processed within 80 days, 75% of applications are processed within 88 days and 90% of applications are processed within 3 months.

Points Test - Factors

  • Age - Must be Aged between 18 - 44 years. Maximum points available are for ages between 25 - 32 years but less points are still available for other age ranges.
  • English Language Ability - Points are available depending on your English level, which is determine by sitting an English test, such as IELTS. This tests knowledge in: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Levels of English ability are: Competent (IELTS 6.0) or Proficient (IELTS 7.0) or Superior (IELTS 8.0).
  • Qualifications - Points are awarded for qualifications, with the maximum points available for a Bachelors degree and Phd.
  • Skilled Employment - Points are awarded for work experience in your skilled occupation, based on duration of time in employment: 3, 5 or more than 8 years.
  • Australian Study - Points are available for a degree, diploma or trade qualification awarded by an Australian educational institution.
  • Specialist Education Qualification - A Masters degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least 2 academic years study in the following relevant fields: Natural and physical sciences, Information technology or Engineering and related technologies.
  • Professional Year in Australia - At the time of invitation to apply, you had completed a Professional Year. To be eligible for the award of these points your Professional Year must have been in Accounting, ICT/Computing or Engineering, and: in your nominated occupation or a closely related occupation and completed over a period of at least 12 months.
  • Credentialled community language - To be credentialled in a community language and eligible for the award of points you must have been accredited at the paraprofessional level or above, certified at the certified provisional level or above, or have a community language credential for interpreting or translating by NAATI.
  • Study in Regional Australia - You must have at least 1 degree, diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution that satisfies the Australian study requirement obtained while living and studying in an eligible area of regional Australia.
  • Partner Skills - Your spouse or de facto partner must also be an applicant for this visa and meet age, English and skill criteria.

Skilled Nominated - 190 Visa

  • Meet all the visa eligibility requirements for the Skilled Independent visa, as stated above.
  • To be eligible for the 190 visa, the selected occupations must be listed on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
  • Nomination by an Australian state or territory government agency, and your occupation must be listed on the State/Territory government Skills Occupation List.
  • Comply with residential conditions that are specified by the relevant state or territory government in the nomination.

State/Territory Nomination for the Program Year 2022-2023

See below the Status of appliactions for State/Territory Nomination, as at 25 January 2023:

  • VICTORIA - Victoria’s 2022-23 Skilled Migration Program is open. Nomination is open to applicants living in Victoria and overseas, the program provides skilled migrants with a pathway to permanent residency in Victoria, under the 190 or 491 visa pathways. The skills that successful applicants bring to Victoria benefits employers and the broader Victorian economy.
  • QUEENSLAND - To migrate to Queensland on a skilled visa, you must first obtain a nomination from the state. State migration is managed by the Queensland Government, through Migration Queensland, which is a business unit of Trade and Investment Queensland. State-nominated visas allow you to live and work permanently in Queensland. The following visa types are available: Permanent residency, which allows migrants to live and work in Queensland permanently – Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190). Provisional visa, which is a pathway to permanent residency – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).
  • NSW - To be considered for NSW nomination, at a minimum, you must meet the following basic criteria: Meet all requirements outlined by Home Affairs for this visa, Be skilled in an occupation that is: within an ANZSCO unit group identified on the NSW skills list for this visa; AND is eligible for the visa, Be currently residing in NSW, or offshore, and have continuously done so for a minimum period of six months and have submitted an EOI SkillSelect seeking nomination for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) only a and NSW only.
  • WA - WA Migration Services provides Western Australian State nomination to eligible applicants for two visa subclasses: Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190); and Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).
  • SA - State nomination enables the state government to nominate highly skilled migrants to meet South Australia’s skills needs. For skilled migrants, state nomination can assist you to qualify for a skilled migration visa from the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, providing additional points toward your visa application. There are two skilled migration visa options available for state nomination - 190 and 491 visas:
  • TASMANIA - The new Migration Tasmania Application Gateway is now open for registrations of interest and applications for skilled visa nomination from Tasmania. Anyone seeking Tasmanian nomination for a subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional or subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa must now first register in the Application Gateway.
  • ACT - The ACT Government offers Territory nomination under the following skilled migration streams: Skilled Nominated (permanent) subclass 190 visa and Skilled Regional (provisional) subclass 491 visa. If the ACT Government nominates your visa, you must commit to living and working in Canberra for at least 2 years.
  • NT - Accepting a nomination from Australia's NT Government means that you are agreeing to the following conditions: live and work in the NT in your skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation for at least three years from visa grant, let the NT Government know the status of your visa application - you need to do this when your visa is granted and when you arrive, regularly provide your current contact details to the NT Government and participate in surveys conducted by the NT Government.

Initial/First Entry to Australia for Skilled visa holders, in 2023

If an applicant holds a skilled visa and condition 8504 has been imposed, their visa grant letter will advise the date they should first arrive in Australia (initial entry date). Holders of skilled visas should try to enter Australia before their initial entry date.

However, the Department of Home Affairs understands that because of COVID-19 related impacts on travel, some visa holders have been unable to enter Australia by their initial entry date. Therefore, holders of valid skilled visas can still enter Australia after their initial entry date. Visa holders should try to arrive as close to their initial entry date as they can, subject to travel and border conditions.

Skilled Regional Visas

Two new skilled regional provisional visas were introduced in November 2019:

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) 494 visa - for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 visa - for people who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia

Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to live and work in regional Australia. Visas will be granted with a validity period of up to five years.

Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will be able to apply for a Permanent Residence visa. The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa will commence in November 2022.

To be eligible for permanent residence, holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia while holding one of the new Skilled Regional Provisional visa.

Benefits of the Skilled Regional, Subclass 491 and 494 Visas

  • Regional employers will have access to additional regional occupations to sponsor migrants and priority processing of regional visa applications. There will also be additional points for certain points-tested migrants who are sponsored to settle in regional Australia.
  • Employers in regional Australia, as well as State and Territory governments, who sponsor regional skilled migrants will have access to more occupations than equivalent non-regional visas.
  • Based on current occupation lists, the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to over 450 more occupations than closest non-regional equivalent visa, and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to over 70 more occupations than the closest non-regional equivalent visa.
  • Priority processing arrangements will be expanded to include all visa applications sponsored by regional employers as well as other visa applicants who will live and work in regional Australia.
  • Five additional points for regional nomination or sponsorship provide an extra incentive for potential migrants to consider settling in regional Australia.

Regional Areas - Applicable to 491 and 494 Visas

The following are a list of Cities and major Regional centres that are defined as a 'Regional Area':

  • Perth
  • Adelaide
  • Gold Coast
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Canberra
  • Newcastle
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Wollongong
  • Illawara
  • Geelong
  • Hobart

Note the following Regional Incentives for Applicants living in Regional Areas:

1. Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.

2. Priority processing in Regional visas.

3. Access to Regional Occupations Lists - which provides more jobs compared to non-regional lists.

4. International students studying at Regional Universities will be eligible to access an additional year in Australia on a Post-Study Work visa.

Subclass 191, Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa

Applicants who have held a 491 or 494 visa, can apply for permanent residence, from 16 November 2022, if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • New Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa is for applicants who hold a Subclass 491 or a Subclass 494 visa at the time of application; and
  • Hold a Regional Provisional visa when they apply for the Subclass 191 visa, and have held that visa for at least three years;
  • Have earned a minimum income for at least three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa; and
  • Have complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa 3 years minimum living in Regional Areas.

Skilled Recognition Graduate - 476 Visa

1. This is a temporary visa, but is a route to applying for permanent residence, with a skilled visa.

2. Engineering Graduates - This visa allows recent engineering graduates of eligible universities to gain up to 18 months of skilled work experience in their occupation.

3. Age - Must be younger than 31 years of age.

4. Engineering Qualification- Completed one of the following eligible engineering qualifications, in the past 2 years:

  • Bachelors degree
  • Masters degree
  • Doctoral degree
  • Post Graduate diploma

5. Major Sequence of Study - The qualification must contain a major sequence of study or specialisation in Engineering, including: Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering etc.) from a recognised institution.

6. English language Ability - IELTS Score of at least 6.0, but you are exempt from sitting the English test if you are a citizen and holding a passport of the UK, Canada, NZ or the US.

Australian Visa Assistance for Hong Kong Residents and BNO Passport Holders

Office Address and Telephone - VisaConnect Australia

Contact VisaConnect's Consultants at our Brisbane, Queensland, Australia office below:

VisaConnect - Qld, Australia
Level 1, 16 McDougall Street,
Milton, Brisbane,
Queensland 4064

Telephone: (+61) 7 3040 9589