Skilled Visas in Australia
Australia is one of the few countries with an open migration policy, actively attracting qualified personnel from around the world in accordance with the current needs of the country. Of course, the intake of temporary and permanent migrants are much needed to develop the Australian economy, through the establishment of new industries and businesses, to improve citizens quality of life.
Skilled visas allow qualified workers with occupations in demand to come to Australia for permanent or temporary residence. The main applicant has the opportunity to include eligible family members (partners, spouses, children) in the application. Temporary skilled visas may lead holders to Australian citizenship.
The ability to apply for a skilled visa is determined by point test obtained during the assessment of each of the following points: age, level of English, education, work experience, education and work experience in Australia, status (single or partnered) and partner situation, sponsorship state and some other additional factors, which we will discuss further.
Skilled stream visas usually do not require employer sponsorship. After obtaining a visa, skilled program participants will seek work by themselves. But in some cases, the applicant may require a job offer, which is one of the criteria for state selection of candidates. Also, states can set higher requirements for candidates than minimum criteria set by Department of Home Affairs (higher level of English, higher total point test score or more years of experience in the occupation).
Requirements for obtaining a skilled visa to Australia:
- The applicant’s occupation must be on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
- The qualifications of the main applicant must be assessed positively through a special procedure in one of the Australian skills assessment bodies. At the same time, for each type of occupation there is separate skills assessment body.
- The age of the main applicant must be less than 45 years.
- Applicant shoudl satisfy health and character requirements.
- Evidence of financial support for the applicant is required (for state sponsorship).
- You must submit an application, to express interest (EOI) through the Skill Select system and receive an invitation from the Department.
- Within 60 days, the applicant must provide all supporting documents, submit visa application and pay a fee for all members of your family included in the application.
- An approved visa have the conditions for entry and residence in Australia for all applicants included in the application.
Lists of occupations in demand:
There are several lists of occupations that are updated once or twice a year in accordance with the state’s needs for specialists:
- Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
- Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
- Regional Occupation List (ROL)
- The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
Applicants must decide what occupation to be suitable for migration and confirm that occupation is available on the list.
There are several stages for skilled visas:
- First stage. I always recommend preparing for the international English language exam (IELTS or its equivalents, which the Department accepts). This is a very important stage, as it can add up to 20 points to the total point test (depending on the score), and passing an exam by a partner will also add another 5 points.
- Second stage is the development of an individual migration strategy, where, depending on your occupation, qualifications, and education, I prepare an individual detailed plan of action and recommendations for each next step.
To get your individual consultation and personal migration strategy, please book here:
- The third and very creative stage will be the choice of an occupation in accordance with the total number of points for point test, SOL and ANZSCO (the standard for each of the existing occupations in Australia and New Zealand). This is followed by skills assesment.
I recommend that you start with skills assessment only after passing English exam, as the exam sometimes takes longer to prepare and reach the desired score/band, and a certificate is sometimes required as part of the skills assessment.
- The fourth step is Expression of Interest (EOI) / Registration of Interest (ROI) and, if you are applying for a regional visa, the step includes a state / territory sponsorship application. You have to check carefully state / territory visa options, as well as your career future in that state / territory.
- The final step in submitting documents is to lodge all required information for a visa application linked to your expression of interest within 60 days. Please be careful! Providing false or incomplete information about you and other members of your application may lead to a ban on obtaining any Australian visa from 3 to 10 years.
Types of Skilled Visas to Australia:
Independent skilled visa (Skilled independent visa) SC189 – a permanent visa, which immediately provides a permanent residence (otherwise PR or permanent residency). The holder of this visa have the opportunity to live in any state / territory and city of Australia, work and study, as well as have Medicare card.
Permanent regional visa (Skilled Nominated Visa) SC190 is also a permanent resident visa, however, the candidate is sponsored by the state / tererritory and must be resident of that state / territory for at least 2 years from arrival in Australia. The invitation from state / territory provides you with opportunity to get an additional 5 points in Point test.
Skilled Work Regional Temporary Visa SC491 is a provisional visa that is issued for 5 years. At the moment, this is one of the most likely to obtain skilled visas with state / territory sponsorship. The conditions of the visa require the applicant to stay in the relevant regional state / territory for 3 years or more from the moment of arrival in Australia. Often the states / territories have additional criteria for candidates, such as job offer, a preliminary visit to the state / territory, current work experience in a nominated profession. After 3 years, the applicant and family members, subject to certain criteria, can apply for a permanent residence visa.
This visa is also interesting because the applicant can get it not only through the sponsorship of the state / territory, but through the sponsorship of a family member living in regional Australia. If the applicant chooses 491 visas, he receives an additional 15 points to point test.
!!! There is a simple and affordable option to set up your own business in Australia with state / territory nomination with Regional Provisional skilled visa SC 491 under Small Business Owner Program, which offers Business visa potential applicants an alternative pathway.
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Consideration time for Skilled Visa Australia
After receiving an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs, you must send all documents and an application for a visa within 60 days. According to official statistics, applications are considered from 5 to 14 months.
The Global Talent visa processing is much faster because Australia is prioritizing applications for highly skilled professionals in STEM sector.
Consideration of the expression of interest (EOI) for inviting an applicant is less predictable and can take from 1 month to 2 years, depending on your case (points, occupation, chosen region).
I may call skilled stream visa the most complex one, because applicant has to consider the following factors when planning migration to Australia: location, occupation, career prospects in that location.
As a registered migration agent with 10 years of experience, I offer you comprehensive support in obtaining nominations and skilled visas, including:
- strategic planning,
- choice of occupation,
- preparation of documents for skills assessment,
- preparation of documents for Expression of Interest in the Skill Select system,
- comprehensive preparation and submission of an application for state / territory nomination,
- preparation and submission of visa application, including all family members,
- correspondence with the competent authorities during the consideration of your documents at each stage,
- managing your temporary interim visas during the process.