The Australian Skilled Migration Program is aimed at attracting highly skilled people to work in Australia. Successful applicants and their immediate families are granted outright permanent residence in Australia or a provisional visa that leads to permanent residence after a minimum of 2 years (depending on the visa subclass applied for).
Getting skilled migrants to Australia is imperative to the country’s economy – especially as it continues to grow having survived falling into recession during the recent global economic crisis.
To be eligible for a Skilled Migration Visa you must meet the following basic criteria –
Age: You must be over 18 and under 45 years of age when you apply.
Occupation: You must work in a skilled occupation and have the necessary skills and qualifications that fit this occupation. The occupation must be on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List (SOL). Click here to see the SOL.
English language: You must have a competent level of English language ability. If you do not hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada or the USA, this requires sitting the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination.
Qualifications: You must have post-secondary qualifications such as a university degree, diploma or full trade qualifications.
Recent Work Experience: You must have worked in a skilled occupation on the SOL for at least 12 of the last 24 months.
In addition to the above basic criteria you must pass the visa points test and a skills assessment by the relevant Australian assessing body. See relevant assessing authorities here.
There are three general types of Skilled Migration Visa offered by the Australian Government. All these skilled visas require that you meet the above basic criteria in addition to their own specific requirements and a respective minimum score on the visa points test.
These three types of Skilled Migration Visa are –
** Please be aware that the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) are currently reviewing the general skilled migration program and that both the Skilled Occupation list and the points assessment criteria are likely to change on 1st July 2011. We will add updates to our news pages as information is released.
This visa provides outright permanent residency and allows migrants to live wherever they wish in Australia. This visa uses a points test to select visa applicants with characteristics needed in the Australian labour market. .
If you wish to find out if you are eligible for a Skilled Independent Visa use our Online Visa Assessment online.
These visas depend on sponsorship by an Australian state or territory government. In return for receiving sponsorship you are required to live in the sponsoring state or territory for at least your first 2 years in Australia. See State or Territory Skilled Occupations List.
The subclass 176 Skilled State Sponsored Visa provides outright permanent residence and allows you to live anywhere within the sponsoring state.
The subclass 475 Skilled Regional State Sponsored Visa is a provisional visa that leads to permanent residence after a minimum of 2 years. It requires you to live and work in a regional area outside of the capital city in the sponsoring state (although the entirety of South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory are classified as regional areas).
All states and territories offer sponsorship and each has their own lists of occupations that they sponsor under subclass 176 and 475. Each state also has their own eligibility requirements for sponsorship that applicants must meet.
If you wish to find out if you are eligible for either of the Skilled State Sponsored Visas use Our Online Visa Assessment.
If you are fortunate to have an eligible relative permanently living in Australia, they can sponsor you under the Skilled Migration Program. An eligible relative is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who is a parent, non-dependent child, sibling, niece/nephew or aunt/uncle.
Should you have one of the above relatives in Australia they can sponsor you for a subclass 176 Skilled Family Sponsored Visa which provides outright permanent residency and allows you to live anywhere in Australia.
The subclass 475 Skilled Regional Family Sponsored Visa allows all of the above relatives to provide sponsorship and also extends this to first cousins and grandparents. The relative must however permanently reside in a designated area (this includes all of Australia except Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Newcastle and Wollongong). By having a relative in a designated area you also qualify for an additional 25 points which is a huge benefit in passing the visa points test. A subclass 475 visa is a provisional visa that leads to permanent residency after a minimum of 2 years. It also requires you to live and work in designated area of Australia for at least your first 2 years in the country.
If you wish to find out if you are eligible for either of the Skilled Family Sponsored Visas use our Online Visa Assessment.