Skilled Migration Australia

Australian Visa and Immigration Advice SKILLED MIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA

Table of Contents

Australian Lawyers and Migration Agents - Skilled Migration Advice

In 2024, get in touch with our Registered Migration Agents and Lawyers for expert Consultations and assistance with your Skilled Migration visa application! Specialist assistance by phone or video callconsultations or arrange a fast meeting at our offices in: Brisbane, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, UK and Lisbon, Portugal.

Application Process for Skilled Independent, 189 Visa

  1. 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 - Apply for a Migration Skills Assessmenta and obtain a 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 uploading attachments of supporting 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 for Skilled Migration

Oulined below are the Points Test factors for the 189 and 190 Visa:

  1. 1. 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.
  2. 2. 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).
  3. 3. Qualifications - Points are awarded for qualifications, with the maximum points available for a Bachelors degree and Phd.
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. Australian Study - Points are available for a degree, diploma or trade qualification awarded by an Australian educational institution.
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. Partner Skills - Your spouse or de facto partner must also be an applicant for this visa and meet age, English and skill criteria.

Application Process for 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

Skilled Regional Visas

Two 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 above 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 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

Benefits of the Skilled Regional, Subclass 491 and 494 Visas

Outlined below are the 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. 1. Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.
  2. 2. Priority processing in Regional visas.
  3. 3. Access to Regional Occupations Lists - which provides more jobs compared to non-regional lists.
  4. 4. International students studying at Regional Universities will be eligible to access an additional year in Australia on a Post-Study Work visa.

Subclass 491 - 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

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I talk to about Australian Skilled visas? 

Our Migration Consultants can advise and assist you with your Skilled migration application, including document preparation, health and character, State Nominbnation and Migration Skills Assessment application.

What is the processing time for the Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa?

As at May 2024, the processing time for the 189 Visa is from 69 days to 8 months until a decision is made.

What is the processing time for the Subclass 190 State Nominated visa?

As at May 2024, the processing time for the 190 Visa is from 12 to 15 months until a decision is made.

What is the processing time for the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional visa?

As at May 2024, the processing time for the 491 Visa is from 12 to 24 months until a decision is made.

What other costs are required besides the Migration Agent fees?

There is a Migration Skills Assessment fee, Health examination and Chest x ray fee, Character certificate fee and English IELTS Test fee.

Can a Migration Skills Assessment application be prioritised?

Yes, it is possible to pay an additional fee for a faster priority Migration Skills Assessment application. For example, VetAssess standard process takes around 2 months applications, but Priority processing takes 10 working days for an additional $806 AUD.

What English Tests are acceptable?

The following English Tests are accepable for Australian migration:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  • Cambridge English (CAE) (also known as C1 Advanced)
  • Occupational English Test (OET), noting this is a test developed for health professionals
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT)

What is the most popular and trusted English Test for Australian Immigration?

The IELTS English Test - General or Academic appears to be the most popular and trusted English test for Australian immigration. 

What does the IELTS Test assess?

The IELTS test assesses Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. 

What Test Score is Proficient English?

  1. 1. IELTS Test - At least 7 for each of the 4 test components​.
  2. 2. TOEFL - At least 24 for listening, 24 for reading, 27 for writing and 23 for speaking.
  3. 3. PEARSON (PTE Academic) - At least 65 for each of the 4 test components​.

What Test Score is Superior English?

  1. 1. IELTS Test - At least 8 for each of the 4 test components​.
  2. 2. TOEFL - At least 28 for listening, 29 for reading, 30 for writing and 26 for speaking.
  3. 3. PEARSON (PTE Academic) - At least 79 for each of the 4 test components​.

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