SKILLED MIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA, 189 AND 190 VISA
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 Asssessment 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 2022 for advice and assistance with your Skilled Migration visa
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:
2. MLTSSL List
- Accountant (General) - ANZSCO Code: 221111
- Electrical Engineer - ANZSCO Code: 233311
- Registered Nurse nec - ANZSCO Code: 254499
- To be eligible for the 189 visa, the
selected occupations must be listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills
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
There are a wide range of Skills Assessment Authorities that cover
different occupations. For example, Accountants and Auditors would be assessed by
4. Expression of Interest (EOI)
- CPA Australia
- Institute of Public Accountants
- Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand
- 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
- 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
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 15 October 2021, 75% of 189 Visa appications are processed within 18 months and 90% of applications are processed within 29 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
Occupation Ceilings for the 2020 - 2021 Program Year
An 'occupation ceiling' may be applied to invitations issued under the Skilled Independent 189 Visa, and Skilled Regional (provisional) visas. Therefore, there will be a reasonable upper
limit on how many EOIs can be invited for skilled migration from an occupation group.
Note that Occupation ceilings do not apply to State or Territory Nominated or Business Innovation and Investment visa subclasses.
||Occupation Ceiling Value 2020-21
||Child Care Centre Managers
||Health and Welfare Services Managers
||Other Specialist Managers
||Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers
||Artistic Directors, and Media Producers and Presenters
||Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers*
||Actuaries, Mathematicians and Statisticians
||Land Economists and Valuers
||Architects and Landscape Architects
||Cartographers and Surveyors
||Chemical and Materials Engineers
||Civil Engineering Professionals
||Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers*
||Other Engineering Professionals*
||Agricultural and Forestry Scientists
||Chemists, and Food and Wine Scientists
||Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists
||Medical Laboratory Scientists
||Other Natural and Physical Science Professionals
||Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers
||Secondary School Teachers
||Special Education Teachers
||University Lecturers and Tutors
||Medical Imaging Professionals
||Optometrists and Orthoptists
||Other Health Diagnostic and Promotion Professionals
||Chiropractors and Osteopaths
||Speech Professionals and Audiologists
||General Practitioners and Resident Medical officers
||Internal Medicine Specialists
||Other Medical Practitioners
||ICT Business and Systems Analysts*
||Multimedia Specialists and Web Developers
||Software and Applications Programmers*
||Database and Systems Administrators and ICT Security Specialists
||Computer Network Professionals*
||Telecommunications Engineering Professionals
||Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians
||Electrical Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians
||Telecommunications Technical Specialists
||Sheetmetal Trades Workers
||Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers
||Metal Fitters and Machinists
||Precision Metal Trades Workers
||Bricklayers and Stonemasons
||Carpenters and Joiners
||Painting Trades Workers
||Wall and Floor Tilers
||Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics
||Electrical Distribution Trades Workers
||Electronics Trades Workers
||Animal Attendants and Trainers
||Boat Builders and Shipwrights
||Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials
*Occupations that are subject to pro rata arrangements. For
Accountants (2211) the occupational ceiling also re-selects volumes in other
skilled visa categories.
The Priority Migration Skilled Occupations List
As at July 2021, there are 44 occupations which fill critical skills needs to support Australia’s
economic recovery from COVID-19. The list is based on expert advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with Commonwealth departments:
- Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
- Construction Project Manager (133111)
- Accountant (General) (221111)
- Management Accountant (221112)
- Taxation Accountant (221113)
- External Auditor (221213)
- Internal Auditor (221214)
- Surveyor (232212)
- Cartographer (232213)
- Other Spatial Scientist (232214)
- Civil Engineer (233211)
- Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
- Structural Engineer (233214)
- Transport Engineer (233215)
- Electrical Engineer (233311)
- Mechanical Engineer (233512)
- Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum) (233611)
- Petroleum Engineer (233612)
- Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)
- Veterinarian (234711)
- Hospital Pharmacist (251511)*
- Industrial Pharmacist (251512)*
- Retail Pharmacist (251513)*
- Orthotist or Prosthetist (251912)
- General Practitioner (253111)
- Resident Medical Officer (253112)
- Psychiatrist (253411)
- Medical Practitioners nec (253999)
- Midwife (254111)
- Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
- Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
- Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
- Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
- Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
- Registered Nurses nec (254499)
- Multimedia Specialist (261211)
- Analyst Programmer (261311)
- Developer Programmer (261312)
- Software Engineer (261313)
- Software and Applications Programmers nec (261399)
- ICT Security Specialist (262112)
- Social Worker (272511)
- Maintenance Planner (312911)
- Chef (351311)
Australian visas for Pharmacists to be fast-tracked to support Vaccine rollout - 29 July 2021
The federal government will fast-track the visas of pharmacists to support the nation’s ongoing
COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
On 28 July 2021, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced the occupation would be added to the
Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
, which outlines priority visa processing.
The decision comes as thousands of pharmacies across Australia are invited to join the vaccine rollout to help accelerate the program.
"With thousands of community pharmacies across Australia being invited to join the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, it’s all hands to the pump as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues," Mr Hawke said.
The three new visa categories added to list include:
- Hospital Pharmacist (251511)
- Retail Pharmacist (251513)
- Industrial Pharmacist (251512)
New Zealand Stream - 189 Visa
This Visa allows eligible New Zealand citizens, who have shown a commitment and contribution to live and work in Australia permanently. See the eligibility criteria below:
- Hold a New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa
- Usually resided in Australia for at least the last 5 years
- Started living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016
- Have a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold for each of the required income years prior to lodging an application.
For example, the Applicant must have a Taxable Income of $53,900 AUD for the 2020-21 Income year.
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 Nomination - 190 and 491 Skilled Visas
See below the Visa Nomination Program for each State and
Territory of Australia for 2021/22:
- The major changes to the 2021-22 program are:
i. The removal of the minimum experience and hours worked requirement.
ii. An increase in the number of target sectors.
iii. Applicants must have STEM skills and have a Skill Level 1 or 2 occupation. Applicants for subclass 491 nomination may also have a Skill Level 3 occupation using their STEMM skills.
- Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in
SkillSelect, selecting either NSW or Any as your
desired state. You do not need to contact the NSW Government after you have
submitted your EOI. You will only receive correspondence from NSW if you are
invited to apply. Due to the large number of candidates in the selection pool, and
the limited number of places available to the NSW Government, the selection process
is extremely competitive. The vast majority of candidates will not be invited to
apply for NSW 190 nomination. For the 491 Visa, the submission windows for the 2021-22 financial year are August, October, January and March.
Invitations to apply will be issued up to seven days after the submission window closing.
On 21 December 2021, the NSW state government announced changes to its current visa process. It said offshore applicants skilled in certain ANZSCO unit groups are now eligible for NSW nomination. Applicants will need to show three years work experience in certain occupations.
In addition, Offshore applicants can only apply in selected occupations. Some of these identified ANZSCO unit groups include engineering managers, health and welfare service managers, production managers, primary and secondary school teachers, pharmacists, dental practitioners, midwives,
registered nurses, social workers, hairdressers, plumbers and electricians.
- The Skilled Nominated 190 Visa is a is a
point-tested visa for skilled workers and postgraduate alumni who wish to live and
work in Queensland permanently. The Queensland postgraduate degree stream offers
streamlined conditions for Masters and PhD graduates from a Queensland-based
university. The Skilled Work Regional, 491 Visa is a 5-year points-tested visa
which leads to permanent residency and requires nominated skilled workers to be
employed and live in regional Queensland.
4. Western Australia
- In 2021-22, WA has expanded its occupation lists, but the most noticeable change in the
program is that applicants who apply for General Stream, do not have to be currently studying, working or living in the state to receive a
nomination. All they need is a job offer in the state to be eligible for this stream. The WA state nomination is unique and positive as it is open to applicants throughout
Australia rather than limiting it to the state.
5. South Australia
- To apply for the 190 or 491 Visa, you
must have a nomination from the Government of South Australia and meet all
nomination requirements, as well as the Department of Home Affairs eligibility
criteria. State nomination is provided to meet the State's skills needs and
is granted based on the applicant's genuine interest and intention to live
and work in South Australia. In submitting your application you are indicating that
you intend to live and work in South Australia with a view to long-term
- If you are nominated by the Tasmanian
Government for the 491 or 190 visa, you must live in Tasmania for two years after
the visa has been granted. You may be eligible to apply for permanent residency
through the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa after you have
lived in Tasmania for at least three years and earned a minimum taxable income that
meets the minimum threshold determined by the Department of Home Affairs for at
least 3 years (currently set at AU$53,900).
- Under the ACT Migration Agreement, the ACT is
allocated a fixed number of nominations each year. The Australian Government has
directed that the nominations provided to states and territories are to focus on
applicants critical to supporting the COVID-19 response. This includes individuals
providing critical or specialist medical services, those with critical skills
required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services, and people who
deliver services in sectors critical to Australia's economic
8. Northern Territory
- A condition of NT Government
nomination is that you agree to work, live and settle for at least three years in
the NT after your visa has been granted. The NT Government will consider your
employment prospects in the NT and whether they meet the needs of NT industries
when making a decision to offer you a nomination.
State/Territory Nomination for the Program Year 2021-2022
See below the Status of appliactions for State/Territory
Nomination, as at 11 February 2022:
- VICTORIA - OPEN - Make an EOI, then submit a Registration of Interest
for Victorian State Nomination. Victoria’s Skilled Migration Program for 2021-22 opened to new Registrations of
Interest (ROIs) on 7 July 2021. The Department of Home Affairs has provided Victoria with 3,500 subclass 190 places, and 500 subclass 491 places. The Victorian Government are currently
seeking applicants working in Target sectors with STEMM skills.
- QUEENSLAND - OPEN - The Skilled Migration Program is currently open. In the 2021–22 Skilled Migration program year, Migration Queensland will remain open until the nomination allocation (quota) is filled. As for the Skilled Migration Program, Migration
Queensland will only accept “decision-ready” applications. If an application is not complete or contains out-of-date documents, these applications will not be considered.
- NSW - OPEN - New South Wales continues to be the state with the highest number of allocations for its skilled nomination program. It has received 4,000 places for Subclass 190 and
3,640 for Subclass 491, a significant increase from last year’s total which stood at 6,350. The state has now invited applications for Subclass 491. Note that fulfilling the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee that applicants will be invited to apply
for nomination. The amount of EOI's submitted for NSW greatly exceeds the places available. As such, the vast majority of EOIs will not be invited to apply.
- WA - CLOSED - As at February 2022, Western Australia has met their quota of places for the State nomination program for 2021-22. Migration Services is continuing to process applications for State nomination, however, any applications which meet the requirements to be approved will be
placed on hold.On 4 August 2021, the Premier Mark McGowan wrote to the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs requesting an additional 5,000 places under the State nomination program. In the event that additional places become available and Migration Services can proceed with the nomination, applicants will be contacted.
- SA - OPEN - From 20 July 2021, Skilled Migrants meeting the South Australian state nomination requirements will be able to directly apply for nomination. Note that State nomination is provided to meet the State’s skills needs and is granted based on the applicant’s genuine interest and intention to live
and work in South Australia.
- TASMANIA - OPEN - Tasmania’s nomination quota for the 2021–22 program year is: Subclass 491 – 2200 places and Subclass 190 – 1100 places. Around 500 of these places are expected to be used for applications carried
over from the 2020-21 program year.
- ACT - OPEN - The Australian Government allocates the ACT a fixed number of nomination places each financial year. The 2021-22 allocation is 2000 nomination places: ACT permanent 190 nomination: 600 places and ACT provisional
491 nomination: 1400 places.
- NT - OPEN FOR ONSHORE APPLICATIONS ONLY - The 2021-22 migration program is well underway and the Northern Territory remains open for new onshore nomination applications. However, Offshore applications remain closed while the national border restrictions stay in place. Applicants must ensure that they meet the published
eligibility criteria for nomination prior to applying. These criteria will be strictly applied.
Initial/First Entry to Australia for Skilled visa holders, in 2021
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
Registrations of Interest (ROI's) in Victoria, as at 31 August 2021
For the 2021-22 Program, there are no submission windows. You may submit a ROI at any time between 7 July 2021 and 29 April 2022. The first 170 invitations to apply for subclass 190 visa nomination
for the 2021-22 program were sent to successful candidates on 20-24 August 2021. These invitations were sent to the best candidates working in six different sectors. Whilst the Health sector did feature strongly,
62 per cent of invitations were sent to candidates working in other sectors.
- Advanced Manufacturing - Lowest Points Score = 95 points. Top Occupations: 1. Mechanical Engineer. 2. Engineering Technologist 3. Electrical Engineer.
- Agri-food - Lowest Points Score = 90 points. Top Occupations: 1. Food Technologist. 2. Mechanical Engineer. 3. Engineering Technologist.
- Health - Lowest Points Score = 90 points. Top Occupations: 1. Medical Practitioners NEC. 2. Resident Medical Officer / Physiotherapist. 3. Occupational Therapist.
- Life Sciences - Lowest Points Score = 95 points. Top Occupations: 1. Secondary School Teacher. 2. Food Technologist. 3. Chemical Engineer.
- Medical Research - Lowest Points Score = 90 points. Top Occupations: 1. Software Engineer. 2. Biomedical Engineer / Industrial Engineer / Life Scientist NEC.
- New Energy, Emissions Reduction and Circular Economy - Lowest Points Score = 95 points. 1. Electrical Engineer. 2. Mechanical Engineer. 3. Developer Programmer / Engineering Technologist
Skilled Regional Visas
Two new skilled regional provisional visas were introduced in
- 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
Benefits of the New 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
- 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
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':
- Gold Coast
- Sunshine Coast
- Lake Macquarie
Note the following Regional Incentives for Applicants living in Regional
Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.
Priority processing oin Regional visas.
Access to Regional Occupations Lists - which provides more jobs compared
to non-regional lists.
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
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
- 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
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.
- Must be younger than 31 years of age.
4. Engineering Qualification
- Completed one of the
following eligible engineering qualifications, in the past 2 years:
5. Major Sequence of Study
- Bachelors degree
- Masters degree
- Doctoral degree
- Post Graduate diploma
- 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.
Skilled Migrants are Priority Entrants, as at 21 November 2021
The government has been working on plans to bring in-demand skilled migrants back into the country, quarantine free, by Christmas, possibly from countries such as Korea and Japan.
Mr Frydenberg told The Australian Financial Review that in meetings with business leaders last week the key message was loud and clear: "The most pressing issue raised was workforce shortages and the need to reopen our borders allowing skilled migration to recommence". "In the last two years
prior to the pandemic, Australia averaged around 110,000 skilled migrants every year. At the same time, the international student market is a significant income earner for the country," he said.
"Safely reopening our borders to skilled migrants and overseas students will accelerate our economic recovery by helping address labour market shortages and allowing businesses to expand and grow with confidence."
The government announcement will focus on overseas students (worth about $40 billion a year to the economy), skilled workers and humanitarian visa holders, a cohort of more than 200,000 people.
The Immigration Minister, Mr Hawke said the government will extend Skilled Regional Provisional (subclass 489, 491 and 494) visa by three years for visa holders impacted due to the COVID-19 international travel restrictions.
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