Australia has long been a favourite destination for migrants, to the benefit of both those emigrating and their host country. Skilled migrants in particular have helped shape Australia and make a major contribution to its economy. The Australian Department of Home Affairs issues three Australian skills visa types which will particularly suit skilled migrants wishing to come to Australia independently, rather than being sponsored by an employer.
Introductory Guide To Australian General Skilled Migration Visas And Temporary Graduate Visas
The Australian Skilled Migration Program
The General Skilled Migration Visa program is designed for skilled professionals and tradespeople, providing a range of permanent residence visa options for non-sponsored individuals (and their families) with in-demand skills. There is also a temporary residence option for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution.
You should consider applying for these Australian skilled migration visas if you have an appropriate level of qualification, English language ability and experience, but don’t have a specific job offer in Australia.
You are able to apply for Australian skills visas in your own right, without needing an employer sponsorship.
COVID-19 Special Provisions
Under normal circumstances, the applicant and included family members can apply for this visa if they live abroad or within Australia. However, as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions, invitations are only being offered to applicants already within Australia. We will keep this section updated with the latest information.
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4 Tips To Get Your General Skills Migration Application Right
Expect Some Challenges When Applying
There are a lot of ways you can run into problems when applying for a General Skilled Migration Visa. The documentation required is extensive, and you need to ensure that your professional skill or trade is on the Department of Home Affairs’ skilled migration list of occupations. You’ll also need to undergo a detailed skills assessment via an approved assessment body.
So, it’s important to partner with migration experts who can guide you through the whole Australian skilled migration process. Four Corners Emigration will do just this, handling your General Skilled Migration Visa or Temporary Graduate Visa application from start to finish. This includes skills assessments, dealing with the Department of Home Affairs and managing all of your documentation.
We’ve helped tens of thousands of people apply for these visas since 1997, with a 99% success rate. It gives us great satisfaction to help people apply for Australian skills visas and plan for their future in Australia.
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Three Types Of General Skilled Migration Visa
Depending on your particular situation and current location, there are three types of Australian Skills Visa you could apply for.
1. Skilled Independent Visa – Subclass 189 – Points Tested Stream
This Australian Skilled Migration Visa allows skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member, or nominated by a State or Territory government, to live in Australia permanently. You can include family members in your visa application, and once you have the visa you can also sponsor eligible relatives to join you in permanent residence in Australia. In most cases, you will also be able to apply for Australian citizenship.
To begin the process you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form to the Department of Home Affairs and wait to see if you are invited to apply for a visa. Four Corners Emigration can help you to submit the EOI.
Eligibility conditions apply, which are discussed in more detail below, and a visa application fee is payable.
2. Skilled Nominated Visa – Subclass 190 – State Or Territory Nomination
In common with the subclass 189 visa, this visa allows skilled workers, and family members included in the application, to live in Australia permanently, sponsor relatives to come to Australia, and apply for citizenship. The main difference is that suitable candidates for this visa are identified by State and Territory governments, or government agencies, based on information provided by hopeful migrants in their Expression of Interest (EOI) form. A successful assessment will result in an invitation to apply for a nominated visa.
Once again there are eligibility conditions to be met (details below) and a visa application fee to pay.
3. Temporary Graduate Visa – Subclass 485
Existing visa holders who are international students can apply for this Australian Skills Visa in order to temporarily extend their stay, and work in Australia after they graduate from an Australian educational institution. You can only apply for this visa once (as the primary applicant) and you can include your family in the application.
There are two streams to this visa:
- Graduate Work stream. This is for applicants who have completed a qualification relevant to an occupation on the Department of Home Affairs skilled occupations list. Visa holders can stay in Australia for up to 18 months (five years for Hong Kong passport holders).
- Post-Study Work stream. Designed for holders of an Australian higher education degree qualification. Visa holders can stay in Australia for between two and four years (five years for Hong Kong passport holders).
Find Out Where To Start With Your General Skilled Migration Visa
Eligibility Requirements For Australian Skilled Migration
189 Visa & 190 Visa
These two visas have very similar eligibility requirements, which are:
- Age limit. You must be under 45 when you are invited to apply, so ideally not more than 43 when you submit your EOI, since it may be quite a while before you receive an invitation.
- Relevant occupation. Your skills and/or qualifications must relate to an occupation on the skilled occupations list, and your skills need to be assessed by an approved body.
- Nomination. For the subclass 190 visa only, you need to be nominated by an Australian State or Territory, or government agency.
- Points test. Based on your EOI information you will be scored on factors such as age, English language competence, and work experience and qualifications. You must score at least 65 in this test, and to be able to back up your information with documentary evidence.
- English language proficiency. Your English language ability must be at least competent, and you may have to take a test if you do not come from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or Ireland.
- Health and character. You and accompanying family members must pass the required tests.
- Australian values. The Life in Australia booklet is required reading, and you must sign an Australian Values Statement.
- No government debt. Neither you nor any member of your family can owe money to the Australian Government.
- No visa cancellation or denial. A previous visa that was cancelled, or a visa application that was denied, may make you ineligible.
There are slightly different lists of acceptable occupations for the two visa subclasses, and the subclass 190 nomination visa requires the holder to live and work in their nominating region for at least two years.
The 485 visa has a different set of eligibility requirements. The common components of both the Graduate and Post-Study Work Streams are:
- Age limit. You must be under 50.
- Complete an approved course. The course must be conducted in English and listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), and there are other specifications about course length and completion times.
- English language proficiency. If you do not hold a passport from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or Ireland, you must meet a specified level of proficiency in one of five approved English language tests.
- Health insurance. Visa holders do not qualify for Medicare and must have adequate private health insurance unless a citizen of a country with a reciprocal healthcare agreement.
- Features in common with 189 and 190 visas: Health and character, Australian values, government debt and visa cancellation/denial stipulations are identical to those shown for 189 and 190 visas above.
The Do’s And Don’ts Of Applying For General Skills Migration
Benefits Of Working With A Specialist Immigration Agent At Four Corners Emigration
Professional Migration Specialists
Four Corners Emigration is one of the world’s leading migration specialists, assisting over 61,000 individuals, small businesses and multinationals since 1996. We provide expert advice and visa services for temporary and permanent entry to Australia and work with organisations and individuals currently in Australia and around the world.
Providing You With Support And Stability
Our aim is to ensure our clients have access to accurate advice, strategies and support to realise their goal of migrating to Australia. Through expert knowledge and professionalism supported by exemplary customer service, we aspire to be the market leader and most trusted supplier of migration services in the world.
We have a highly successful track record across a wide range of industries and professional fields and are committed to delivering tailored, people-focused visa solutions providing you with stability and the peace of mind you deserve.
Our Promise To You
Our promise is an expression of our values – quality, leadership, integrity and care.
We take responsibility for the QUALITY of our work; we provide LEADERSHIP not only as a company but as individuals; we act with INTEGRITY in all we do, and we CARE deeply about our clients.
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What Our Clients Have To Say About Working With Us
Four Corners was recommended to me by an acquaintance who had worked with the firm numerous times. From the beginning of the process they set and managed my expectations, communicated regularly and made valuable recommendations that resulted in a permanent residence Employer Sponsored Visa. I recommend Four Corners and their work highly. They deliver the desired outcome!
Without Four Corners, we would not be planning to leave for Australia so soon! They have been very informative, patient and most important of all – efficient. Because of Four Corners, we can start a brand new exciting life and our future is looking very bright. If anyone we know needs help with a Visa, Four Corners will be the first and only place we recommend.
Having struggled with the Visa process through using an agency that was not up to standard, I was introduced to Four Corners. They transformed the process and our Visa application was successful, with minimum stress. The team is friendly, approachable and knowledgeable and make the entire process appear easy.
Thank you to all the team at Four Corners for your friendly and professional advice over the past months, and for making my stay in this lovely city possible.
Impressed with the efficient way in which Four Corners steered the application through and a special thanks for the personal touch which is so important. A very good start to our new life near our family.