Australian Skilled Visa
If you are interested in obtaining Australian residency, there are several visas options that may be open to you based on your occupation. These include both employer sponsored visa options and skilled migrant visa options. Employer sponsored visas require you to find an employer willing to sponsor you and for you to work with that employer in the position they have nominated you for. However, if you don’t have an employer wishing to sponsor your or you don’t want to be tied to a specific employer, an Australian skilled visa may be a better option for you.
In order to be eligible for a skilled migrant visa, your occupation will need to be on at least one of the two skilled occupation lists for migration to Australia:
If your occupation is on both of these lists, you will have more Australian skilled visa options available to you.
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Types of Skilled Migrant Visas
There are currently 4 different types of skilled migrant visas which you can apply for:
Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489)
This is a temporary visa that lets you to live and work in certain regional areas of Australia for up to four years. Don’t be turned off by the idea of living in a regional area as most of Australia is considered regional for the purpose of this visa. The only areas that you cannot live in to meet the requirements of this visa are: Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Wollongong, the greater Brisbane area, the Gold Coast, the Melbourne metropolitan area or Perth and its surrounding areas. Your occupation must also appear on CSOL in order to be eligible for this visa.
There are 3 different pathways you can use to apply for this visa:
Skilled Regional (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 887)
This is a permanent residency visa for those who have lived in a specified regional area of Australia for at least 2 years and worked full-time in a specified regional area of Australia for at least 1 year before applying. To be eligible you will also need to have held an eligible visa such as a Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489) for at least 2 years before applying.
If you are relying on state sponsorship to obtain this visa, the areas that you cannot live in in order to be eligible are the same as those for the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489). However, there are slight differences to the residential requirement if you wish to be sponsored by an eligible relative. In this case the areas of Australia that will not meet the residential requirements include Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Brisbane metropolitan area.
Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)
This is a permanent residency visa for those who are sponsored by a state or territory government. In order to be eligible for this visa your occupation must be on CSOL and you must submit an expression of interest and be invited to apply. See ‘Receiving an Initiation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa’ below for more details on how to apply for this visa.
Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)
This is a permanent residency visa and does not require sponsorship by a state/territory government or an eligible family member. This makes it the most attractive skilled visa option as there are no restrictions on where you can work and live with this visa. In order to be eligible for this visa your nominated occupation must appear on the SOL. In order to apply for this visa you must submit an expression of interest and be invited to apply. See ‘Receiving an Initiation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa’ below for more details on how to apply for this visa.
Other General Requirement of Skilled Migrant Visas
In order to be eligible for an Australian skilled visa you will usually also have to meet the following requirements:
Receiving an Invitation to Apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa
In order to be invited to apply for the invited pathway, you must submit an expression of interest and wait to receive an invitation to apply for a visa. In submitting an expression of interest you must reach the minimum number of points in the points test and be able to support your claims for how you reached that many points. If you cannot support your claims your invitation to apply will be withdrawn. An expression of interest is valid for 2 years, however, is not a visa application in itself and does not give you the right to stay in Australia.
If you are relying on state or territory sponsorship, be aware that not all states give nominations for all occupations that appear on the CSOL. If a state or territory does offer sponsorship for your occupation, you may also have to meet additional criteria specified by that state/territory government.
If you receive an invitation to apply for an Australian skilled visa, you will then have 60 days in which you must apply for that visa.
Applying for a Skilled Migrant Visa
If you are considering applying for an Australian skilled visa contact the Migration Place today on (07) 3229 4025. Our lawyers are experienced in handling all stages of Australian skilled visas, from finding the right visa for you, obtaining skills assessments, meeting the points test all the way through to obtaining successful visa grants. If your visa application is not properly prepared you could lose your application fee and it could lead to problems if you wish to apply for another visa in the further. Don’t risk your Australian residency with a poorly prepared application, call the Migration Place today.