General Skilled Migration

The General Skilled Migration program is by far the best way to migrate to Australia, if you are eligible for it. It does not require sponsorship by an employer or a partner, neither do you have to commit to investing large amount of money. You cannot apply directly for this visa but instead must be invited to apply based on your score on a points test that ranks people based on their age, experience, education and qualities.

All General Skilled Migration visas have the same basic process:

1.    Identify a skilled occupation 

2.    Apply for and receive a positive skills assessment for your skilled occupation

3.    Lodge an expression of interest in SkillSelect  

4.    If you receive an invitation to apply, apply for the visa to migrate to Australia

There are three subclasses under the General Skilled Migration program, and depending on the specific visa you are aiming for there may be more or less steps involved in your Australian visa process.

General Requirements

There are some criteria that are the same across all General Skill Migration program visas:

·         You must have English skills of at least IELTS 6 or equivalent  

·         You must have a positive skills assessment in the occupation you are nominating

·         You must not have turned 50 at the time you receive an invitation to apply

·       You must score a minimum of 60 points on the General Skilled Migration points test . Please note that some occupations require more than 60 points to receive an invitation to apply.

General Skilled Migration Visa Subclasses

There are three subclasses of Australian visa under the General Skilled Migration program:

Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa  (without any sponsorship or nomination)

Subclass 189 is relevant for tradespersons and eligible professionals with the ability to directly contribute to the Australian economy. For this category you must have an occupation on the MLTSSL. Click here for more information about subclass 189 skilled independent visas.

Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa (permanent nominated or sponsored visa)

This visa is for people who do not do not have an occupation on the MLTSSL but do have an occupation on a state or territory’s migration plan list. It is also for people who need an extra 5 points to reach the minimum points score. You will have to commit to living and working in your nominating state or territory for at least two years. 

Subclass 489 Skilled Regional Visa  (provisional nominated or sponsored visa)

This visa is for candidates who need a further boost of points to reach the 60-point pass mark, as sponsorship for a subclass 489 visa gives 5 points more than a 190 visa. It is provisional, which means that candidates must live and work in their sponsoring state or territory for two years before applying for a subclass 887 permanent visa. Applicants can be sponsored either by a state or territory, or an eligible family member.

Skilled Graduate Visa Subclass

Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa

This visa bridges the gap between graduating from an Australian institution with a degree or trade certificate and having enough experience to apply under the General Skilled Migration program. If you have recently graduated from an Australian university or other higher education provider you may be eligible for this visa.