General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas

The Australian Skilled Migration visa program is for individuals and their families that do not have an offer of employment and sponsorship by an employer, or if they do, they would prefer to migrate independently to Australia.

Applicants may also have a skilled occupation that a State or Territory of Australia will nominate them for, or they have a close eligible relative who is able to sponsor them.

Basic Criteria

The threshold criteria for these Skilled Migration visas is as follows;

  • main applicant is under 45 years of age.
  • main applicant and their partner (if applicable) meets the required English language ability for their visa.
  • main applicant has an occupation on the appropriate Skilled Occupation Lists  for the visa that they are applying for.
  • main applicant, and their partner (if applicable), has had a positive skills assessment in a nominated occupation.
  • main applicant passes the points test – currently 65
  • main applicant and their dependents meet health and character criteria.

How does an applicant claim points?

The points that are available for the general skilled migration categories can come from:

  • Age
  • English language ability
  • Employment experience – both within Australia and outside Australia
  • Level of education obtained – trade, diploma, degree or Doctorate
  • Nomination by a state or territory
  • Sponsorship by an eligible relative
  • Foreign language ability
  • Partners – english language ability, skills and education
  • Study in Australia

GSM Visa options

Applicants who meet the base criteria and are invited to apply for a visa application do so under the SkillSelect process. The GSM options are:

  • Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) Visa
  • Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) Visa
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 491) Visa
    • Nomination by a State/Territory or
    • Sponsorship by an eligible relative

Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) Visa

The Subclass 189  is a five (5) year permanent residency visa. Applicants who are granted this visa can migrate to live anywhere in Australia.

The main applicant must have a skills assessment in an occupation on the MLTSSL (Medium Long Term Skill Shortages List).

Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) Visa

The Subclass 190 visa is a five (5) year permanent residency visa.

Applicants must be nominated by a state/territory authority. The state/territories determine what occupation they will nominate lists and other general eligibility criteria.  To discuss what state/territory options you have, please get in touch.

Applicants who are granted this visa are required to live in their nominated state/territory for at least 2 years upon arrival. They should also comply with any obligations requested, such as informing the authority of their arrival and contact address when migrating to Australia.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 491) Visa

The Subclass 491 is a temporary residents visa. It replaced the Subclass 489 visa on 16th November 2019.

There are two pathways:

  • Nomination by a State/Territory or
  • Sponsorship by an eligible relative

Pathway to permanent residency

The Subclass 491 provides a pathway to permanent residency through the Permanent Residence Skilled Regional (Subclass 191) visa.

This Subclass 191 visa is for people who have lived, worked and studied in designated regional area Australia on a previous eligible visa. The applicant/s must:
  • hold an eligible visa e.g. Subclass 491 visa
  • have lived for at least 3 years and have a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold for at least three years
  • have complied with the conditions of the eligible visa they have held

General Skilled Migration – always changing …

Skilled migration is always changing. Skills lists get renamed or replaced, occupations get removed or added, states and territories change their priority list on an ongoing basis. If you refer to our Blog you will see a number of posts discussing this.

Are you eligible?

If you would like to discuss these visas or your eligibility please get in touch.

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