In 2012-13 all the Australian skilled migration worker visas were replaced by the General Skilled Migration Program (Skillselect). The program has 7 visa subclasses, and most are point-based. To be considered for a Skilled Visa, the applicant must meet at least 65 points from the Skillselect points table.
Depending on your skillset, Australia offers a number of skilled visa options. Skilled visas are for individuals who wish to work and live in the country, temporarily or permanently. They are issued from anywhere between 18 months to indefinite permanent residence depending on your skill set. Most skilled visas can be acquired through a travel agency or the Australian visa office and can be applied from within or outside of Australia. Once approved, the skilled visa is linked to your passport for any airline or government employee to view.
All visas require an individual to hold a valid passport. Applicants can include family members when lodging the visa application. The government issued guideline suggests applying for a visa 1-3 years prior to visiting Australia. All visa conditions and laws should be complied with.
General Eligibility Criteria for All Applicants:
- Be invited to apply
- Be able to score 65 points or more
- Must be a certain age
- Must meet the skills requirement
- Must meet the English language requirement
- Must meet the health requirement
- Must meet the character requirement
- Pay your debt, if any to the Australian Government
- Have adequate health insurance
- Obey all conditions attached to your visa
General Activities Permitted While On A Skilled Visa:
- Stay in Australia
- Work and study
- Sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
- Enroll in Australia’s public health care scheme
- Travel to and from Australia for 5 years
- If eligible, become an Australian citizen
Australian Skilled Visa Subclass
The Australian skilled visa system currently has 7 subclasses.
Subclass 476- Recognized Graduate Visa
This visa allows recent engineering graduates to study, work or live in the country for up to 18 months. While the visa is valid, you can travel outside Australia and return as many times as you want.
To apply for this visa, you must:
- Have completed an engineering course from a specified institution within the past 2 years and been awarded a degree
- Be under 31 years of age
- Must not have previously been the primary holder of a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) visa or a Skilled Recognized Graduate (subclass 476) visa
Subclass 485- Graduate Temporary Visa
Migrant students who have completed at least 2 years of study in Australia are allowed to work and live in the country for between 18 months and 4 years on this visa. While the visa is valid, you can travel in and out of Australia. Unlike most Skilled Visas, applications for this visa is not by invitation only.
The subclass 485 visa has two streams under it
Graduate Work– The Graduate Work visa can be applied by students who have completed at least 2 years of study in the country and nominate an occupation on the Australian Skilled Occupation List (SOL). The study undertaken must be closely related to the nominated occupation.
Post-Study Works– On the post-study works visa, international students who have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher at an Australian higher education institution can be in the country for between 18 months and 4 years, depending on the applicant’s qualifications.
Subclass 489- Skilled Nominated or Sponsored Provisional Visa
This visa is valid for four years for skilled workers who are nominated by an Australian state or territory or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area to work and live in a regional or low population growth area.
The visa holders can apply for permanent residence in Australia after completing 2 years of living and 12 months of working in the designated area.
The Skilled Nominated or Sponsored Provisional visa in 2012-13 replaced both, the offshore Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa (subclass 475) and the onshore visa (subclass 487).
Subclass 482- Temporary Skill Shortage Visa
On this visa, an employer can sponsor a suitably skilled worker to fill a position they can’t source in Australia. You can stay from between 2 to 4 years on this visa.
The subclass 482 visa has four streams under it
For Short-term and Medium-term streams, you must hold at least 2 years of work experience in the nominated occupation. You can work only in the occupation you were nominated for and only for the nominator. You can stay in Australia for a period of time your employer nominates you for. This will be:
- up to 2 years in most cases
- up to 4 years if an ITO applies
For Labor agreement stream, besides the above-mentioned points, the employer has to have a labor agreement with the Australian government in effect.
Subsequent Entrant– For family members who wish to join the primary subclass 457 or TSS visa holder in Australia can be granted this visa if the sponsor of the primary applicant agrees to include you as a family member in the nomination.
Subclass 189- Skilled Independent Visa
This visa is for invited workers with skills, who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia. The Skilled Independent visa in 2012-13 replaced both, the offshore Skilled – Independent visa (subclass 175) and the onshore visa (subclass 885).
From the day you are invited to apply for this visa, you will have 60 days to submit your online application.
Subclass 190- Skilled Nominated Visa
This visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by an Australian state or territory and the visa holder can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.
The Skilled Nominated visa in 2012-13 replaced both, the offshore Skilled – Sponsored visa (subclass 176) and the onshore visa (subclass 886).
Subclass 887- Skilled Regional Visa
A second stage no points-based permanent visa, the Skilled Regional visa grants legal permanent residence to its holders.
An applicant to obtain this visa must meet certain requirements at the time the application is lodged
- Must be in Australia when you apply for this visa
- Completed 2 years of living and 12 months of working in a specified regional area
- Must hold any of the following visa either as a main applicant or spouse or interdependent partner of the main applicant
- A provisional Skilled – Independent Regional visa (subclass 495)
- A provisional Skilled – Designated Area – Sponsored visa (subclass 496)
- A Bridging visa- because the applicant has made a valid application for a subclass 495 visa
The Skilled Regional visa on 1 September 2007 replaced both, the second stage Skilled – Designated Area Sponsored visa (subclass 883) and the State/Territory Nominated Independent visa (subclass 137).