Skilled Visas

Visas for people to work and stay in Australia with skills and required and published on Skilled Occupation lists

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Skilled Visa (Permanent - Points Test)

(Subclass 189 & 190)

SKILLED VISA (PERMANENT)

Subclass 189 & 190

SUBCLASS 189 – ​Skilled Independent Visa

This visa allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident. It is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, family member or state or territory. This visa lets you and any family members who have also been granted this visa:

  • Stay in Australian indefinitely

  • Work and study in Australia

  • Enrol in Medicare – Australia’s health care scheme

  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence

  • Travel to and from Australia

 Eligibility

To be eligible for this visa, you must have been invited by the Department of Home Affairs. To gain this invitation, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.

SkillSelect

SkillSelect is an online service based on current economic needs provided by the Home Affairs that helps the Government see what jobs are required, when they are required and where they are required. You will be asked to provide a range of information in your EOI depending on the visa you want to be considered for, such as basic personal information, education history and work experience.

Once Home Affairs has received your EOI, the SkillSelect system might invite you to lodge a visa application. You must be able to support the claims you make in your EOI with documentation and have this documentation ready to provide when making your application. An invitation to make a visa application might be issued within a short time-frame after you submit your EOI. You will have 60 days from the date of invitation to make a valid visa application. During this time, you cannot change the information in your expression of interest.

Family

You may include any of the following family members in your visa application at the time of lodgement:

Your partner (married or de facto)

You or your partner’s dependent children

Other dependent relatives

These family members must be able to show that they are related to you and they must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements. You may add your partner or any other dependent family member at any time until your visa is decided.

Points test

You must score at least 65 points on the points test to be eligible to be invited to apply for this visa. You can gain points for certain factors such as age, qualifications, work experience and English language ability.

SUBCLASS 190 – Skilled Nominated Visa

This visa requires you to have been nominated by a state or territory in Australia. The primary applicant must be less than 45 years of age. All other requirements and eligibility criteria remain the same as the subclass 189 (independent) visa. 

 

Skilled Visa (for New Zealand Citizens)

(Subclass 189)

 SKILLED VISA FOR NEW ZEALAND CITIZENS 

Requirements 

  • The main applicant must hold a subclass 444 visa while secondary applicants can hold any substantive visa or a Bridging Visa A, B or C. 

  • All family members (including those that are not included in the application) must meet the character requirement. 

  • All family members (including those that are not included in the application) must meet the health requirement though this can be waived in some circumstances.

  • There is no age requirement or points test. 

  • There is no definition for being usually resident in the Legislation currently so the standard dictionary meaning applies. This could include evidence of owning assets, employment, family or maintaining a home. 

  • The main applicant must have been usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of 5 years immediately before the date of application and have commenced that period of usual residence on or before 19 February 2016.

  • The applicant must have a tax assessment notice that shows a taxable income of at least a specified amount in the past 5 years immediately before the date of application. These are currently: 

    • 2012/13: $51,400​

    • 2013/14: $53,900

    • 2014/15: $53,900

    • 2015/16: $53,900

    • 2016/17: $53,900

  • Exemptions for having an income under the specified amount are applicable in the event of the following situations:

    • The applicant was receiving compensation for an injury and if the applicant was to return to New Zealand, the compensation would cease. ​

    • The applicant was unable to leave Australia due to a child being placed in their primary care and restrictions were in place to prevent them from leaving Australia 

    • The applicant had an approved period of maternal, paternal or carers leave. In addition to this, the applicant must have been earning at or above the threshold before and after the leave occurred. 

*Family members include Spouse/Partner and dependent children under the age of 23.

Fees 

An initial visa application charge (VAC) of $720 for the main applicant, $360 for family members over 18 and $180 for family members under 18 years. 

A second VAC payable before the visa is granted (obviously once all the requirements are met so this will not be payable if the visa cannot be granted) of $2880 for the main applicant, $1440 for family members over the age of 18 and $720 for family members under the age of 18 years.

Temporary Graduate Visa

(Subclass 485)

TEMPORARY GRADUATE VISA

Subclass 485

This visa is for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational Institution. This visa lets you live, work and study in Australia temporarily after you have finished your studies. There are two streams – a Graduate Work Stream and a Post Study Work Stream.  There are common requirements for both streams as well as some requirements that are specific to each stream.

 COMMON CRITERIA

To apply for a subclass 485 visa you must meet the following:

  • Younger than 50 years of age

  • In Australia

  • Hold an eligible visa

  • Meet the Australian study requirement

  • Meet the English language requirement

  • Hold adequate health insurance

Eligible Visas

You must hold an eligible visa to apply for this visa as the primary applicant. You can meet this requirement if any of the following applies to you:

  • You hold a student visa

  • You have held an eligible student visa at any time in the past six months and:

    • You now hold a Bridging Visa A or B or

    • You now hold a substantive visa.

In addition, you must not:

  • If you hold a bridging visa, have had a visa application refused since last entering Australia

  • Have any condition on your current visa that prevents your stay in Australia.

 

English Language Ability

Your visa application must include evidence that you have met the English language requirement. You can show this by:

  • If you have a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom. The United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and you are a citizen of that country

  • You have achieved a level of at least Competent English

    • IELTS: overall score of 6 and no less than 5 in each component.

    • PTE Academic: overall score of 50 which no less than 36 in each component.

    • TOEFL iBT: overall score of at least 64

    • OET: overall score of at least ‘B’

    • CAE: overall score of at least 169, with no less than 154 in each test component

  • You must have sat the English language test in the three years before you apply, and the results should be lodged with your application.

 

Health Requirement

You must meet certain health requirements. The examinations that are required depend on your personal circumstances which include your country of citizenship, the time spent in any other country in the last five years and your intended activities in Australia. The health examinations are required for you and any dependent family members included in your application.

Character Requirements

 When you apply for this visa you must provide evidence of having applied for an Australian Federal Police (AFP) check in the 12 months before you apply. This also applies to all dependent family members in the application who are 16 years of age or older. In addition to the AFP check, the government may also ask you to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age.

 

Debts to the Australian Government

 You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted. This also applies for any family members listed in your application who intend on living in Australia.

 

Health Insurance Requirements

You must have adequate health insurance unless you are covered by Medicare. You should ensure that your insurance will provide at least the level of coverage required for the purpose of your stay. Your health insurer could be in either Australia or your home country.

STREAM CRITERIA

Graduate Work Stream Criteria

In addition to the common criteria, you must meet the following:

  • The study that you have undertaken in Australia must be relevant to an occupation that is on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

  • You must have applied for a skills assessment at the time of application

Skills Assessment

 Your application must include evidence that you have applied for a skills assessment by a relevant assessing authority. By the time of visa grant, your skills must have been assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated skilled occupation. A skills assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, or for a period of three years from the assessment’s date of issue. In some cases the skills assessment will only be relevant for a subclass 485 visa.

 Visa validity

 This visa is valid for 18 months from the date of grant.  You must maintain health insurance for the whole validity of the visa.

 Post Study Work Stream Criteria

 In addition to the common criteria, you must meet the following:

  • The study that you have undertaken in Australia must be at least at a Bachelor Degree level

  • You must have applied for your first student visa after 5 November 2011

Visa validity

This visa is valid for:

  • 2 years from the date of grant if you have completed a Bachelor degree or Master by coursework. 

  • 3 years from the date of grant if you have completed a Master by research

  • 4 years if you have completed a PhD

You must maintain health insurance for the whole validity of the visa.

Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa

(Subclass 489)

 

SKILLED REGIONAL (PROVISIONAL) VISA

Subclass 489

There are three provisional visa streams under this visa subclass; the extended stay pathway, the invited pathway and the subsequent entry pathway. This visa allows you and your dependants live, work and study in a specified region of Australia for up to 4 years. 

Common Criteria 

All three pathways have the same set of common criteria which are:

  • The applicants must meet both health & character requirements 

  • The applicants must not have any outstanding debts to the Australian Government

​Invited Pathway 

An applicant for this visa can either be nominated by an Australian State or Territory or sponsored by an eligible relative in a designated area of Australia. In addition to the common criteria, the following eligibility criteria applies: 

Occupation:

  • If the applicant is being nominated by an Australian State or Territory, the occupation must be on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
  • If the applicant is being sponsored by a relative, the occupation must be on the Medium Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
  • The applicant must have a positive skills assessment in their nominated occupation

Points Test: 

  • The applicant must score at least 65 points

Age: 

  • The applicant must be less than 45 years of age at the time of invitation ​

English:

  • The applicant must have at least competent English ​

    Extended Stay Pathway 

    This visa is for applicants who hold a specific provisional regional visa (SC 475, 487, 495 and 496). In addition to the common criteria, the following eligibility criteria applies: 

    The applicant must be currently holding a valid SC 475, 487,495 or 496 visa. 

    • The applicant must not have held more than one of the previously mentioned visa subclasses. 

    • The applicant must have complied with all conditions of the previously held visa. 

    • If the applicant’s current skilled visa required a state nomination, the applicant must live and work in a specified area in the same state as the nomination.

    Subsequent Entry Pathway 

    This visa pathway is for applicants who is a member of the family unit of a person who currently holds a 489 visa. In addition to the common criteria, the following eligibility criteria applies: 

    • Applicants who are at least 18 years of age must have at least functional English. If this is not the case, a second instalment fee applies. 

    Pathway to Permanent Residency 

    After the applicants have lived in Australia for 2 years and have worked 1 year full time, the applicants may be eligible for Permanent Residency through the 887 Stream. 

    Registered Migration Agent

    MARN registration number

    Code of Conduct

    Qualified Education Agent

    QEAC registration number

     

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