General Skilled Migration Visas
If you are a qualified and experienced professional, and your occupation is in high demand in Australia, then you may be eligible to live and work here temporarily or permanently under the General Skilled Migration program
You will need to fulfil certain criteria to be eligible for the General Skilled Migration visa. For example, you will need to submit an Expression of Interest, meet a minimum points threshold at the time of the invitation, obtain a skills assessment, have a competent level of English, be less than 45 years old and meet certain health and character requirements.
Skilled Visa Options
Here are the six types of general skilled visas.
- Skilled Independent (Subclass 189): This visa does not require sponsorship by a relative or State/Territory government.
- Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190): This is a permanent visa. It requires nomination by a State/Territory government. The worker applying for this visa will not need employer sponsorship, but will need the minimum pass mark of 65 points and will also be invited to apply by the Australian Government. Here is a list of the occupations that may be eligible.
- Nominated or State Sponsored (Provisional) (Subclass 489): This is a temporary visa. It allows the applicant to live in low-populated areas in Australia for up to four years. It requires sponsorship by a relative living in a designated area. Alternatively, the applicant can be sponsored by a State/Territory government. To be eligible, the applicant must demonstrate their experience and skills within an eligible occupation.
- Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887): This is a permanent visa. It is a continuation of the 489 visa – when you have lived in a regional/low-populated area for two years, and have been in employment for 12 months in that area full-time, you may be eligible for this permanent visa.
- Graduate Visa (Subclass 485): This temporary visa is suitable for international students. If they have graduated from an Australian tertiary institution after two years of study, and they wish to remain for further study or work, they may be eligible for this visa and remain temporarily in Australia.
- Recognised Graduate (Subclass 476): This visa is specifically for engineering graduates. These applicants may be able to stay in Australia for up to 18 months for relevant work experience.
Employer Sponsored Visas
Every business knows that its success lies in the quality of its team. Sometimes excellent talent can be sourced through foreign workers on temporary or permanent visas. Businesses can look at sponsoring foreign workers through three main types of employee-sponsored visas:
- Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) Visa: Under this visa, employers need to demonstrate that they have made the effort to recruit from the Australian labour market before they lodge a nomination application. The labour market testing (LMT) must be for a period of four weeks at least (consecutively). Employers must provide evidence and documentation of their LMT efforts when they lodge the application. In addition, they must pay a fee called the Skilling Australians Fund Charge (SAF Charge) if they choose to nominate workers for temporary and permanent work visas. This visa involves three stages:
- Business sponsorship: Australian businesses who wish to sponsor employees can sponsor under the Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS). Alternatively, foreign registered companies can sponsor employees if they satisfy certain conditions.
- Nomination: The business must now nominate a position for the worker to fill. The business must select a recognised occupation from the list of occupations and it must pay income that meets the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold. For certain occupations, the employer may be required to demonstrate evidence of Labour Market Testing (LMT).
- Visa: After the business has sponsored the worker and nominated an occupation and position, the worker can apply for a visa to fill the position. However, the visa is not automatically granted. The worker must meet certain eligibility criteria including a skills assessment, English competency assessment and health and character criteria.
If the visa is granted, it may be valid for up to four years with extensions.
- Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Subclass 186): This permanent visa allows sponsored employees to work in metropolitan and regional areas for an approved sponsor and nominated position. The SAF Charge also applies to this visa. There are three pathways to this visa:
- Temporary Residence Transition: The employee will have been on a 457 visa for at least two years or a TSS 482 for at least three years with the same employer.
- Direct Entry Stream: The employee will need to satisfy skills competencies and demonstrate they have been in the relevant occupation for at least 3 years.
- Labour Agreement stream: This pathway is through a labour agreement.
- Regional Sponsored Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Subclass 187): This visa allows sponsored employees to work in regional Australia. It is permanent. However, the SAF Charge also applies to this visa. The position must be approved by a Regional Certifying body. The business must nominate a position and the employee must satisfy certain eligibility requirements.
Whether you require assistance with general skilled migration visas or employer sponsored visas, our immigration team has the experience and expertise to help you navigate your way through the Australian visa application process quickly and cost-effectively.