Skilled worker visas

A Guide to Skilled Emigration

“Australia is open for business”

The possible Skilled Migration visas in which you may be nominated for under SkillSelect include Skilled Independent Visa subclass 189, State Nominated Visa subclass 190 and the Regional Sponsored Visa subclass 489. 

As skilled visas become more elusive, in recent years with a maximum age limit of 45-years and other restrictive measures, more of our clients are now turning to business and investment-related visas, our site is designed to provide comprehensive advice on how to be successful and why people are often rejected.

Alternative options

If you find you do not qualify for a skilled visa we are happy to discuss your investment options, which are not only a desirable option but an integral part of securing permanent residency on arrival for a growing number families each year.

Steps to189 Visas read more

The Best Option

Steps to success and how to avoid being rejected.
We provide a comprehensive guide with links to resources to help you build a winning case.

190 Visa Success read more

2nd Choice

State-sponsored skilled worker visas are increasing popular
Australia offers incentives to those willing to live in a designated State or Territory.

491 Visas Explored read more

3rd Choice

Skilled workers with family in Australia or secure sponsorship from the state.
Limited places are available and for those eligible to apply.

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Skilled Independent Visa subclass 189

The Skilled Independent visa is a permanent residence visa which does not require a nomination by an employer or Australian State or Territory. It is designed for skilled workers who want to work and live anywhere in Australia in an occupation on the MLTSSL. Provided you reach a certain number of points on the ‘Points Test,’ lodge an acceptable EOI and meet the other eligibility criteria, you will be able to live in Australia indefinitely.

 

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

In order to qualify for a 189 visa, you must demonstrate that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements:

  • Age - UNDER 45-years
  • English language ability
  • Previous Australian and Overseas skilled work experience
  • International Qualifications
  • Australian study requirements and awards
  • Credentialed community language qualifications
  • Regional Australian Study
  • Spouse skill qualifications
  • Professional year in Australia
  • Meet certain health and character requirements.
  • You must have lodged the 189 visa application within 60 days of your invitation to apply

189 Visa Checklist

How Long Does it Take?

You will have 60 calendar days to apply for your 189 visas after being invited to lodge an application. Once received, the Department of Immigration will then commence processing your application. While the average global processing time is 75% in 8 months, times may vary as an assessment of eligibility occurs on a case-by-case basis.

It is understandable that there are some circumstances where the processing time of your visa applications may be outside of your control. These include; the time for external agencies (namely health and police services) and the Government to conduct checks and provide supporting information.

While the above circumstances are unavoidable, there are some factors which will ensure faster processing time. These include:

  • Lodging a complete application, attached with all of the necessary supporting documents.
  • Being prompt in responding to any additional information that the Department requests.

Entitlements of the 189 Skilled Visa

The Skilled Independent visa will grant you permanent residence in Australia. It will allow you and your eligible family members:

  • The right to stay in Australia indefinitely.
  • Work and study rights in Australia.
  • The opportunity to enrol in Medicare – Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses.
  • Apply for Australian citizenship once you become eligible.
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence.
  • Travel to and from Australia for up to five years.

Fees & Costs

The cost of this visa is priced from $3,670. Please note this is only the flat rate and you may be asked to pay additional costs to cover requirements such as; health assessments, police certificates and biometrics.

If you wish to add additional family members to your application, an extra fee will be imposed upon your visa application.

If the additional family member is above the age of 18 and has less than Functional English, you will be subjected to a second instalment fee of $4,885, which is payable after you have satisfied all of the visa requirements listed above.

A 190 visa is an alternative for applicants who are unable to pass the ‘Points Test’ and receive the 189 visas above. In essence, it is the same as the Skilled Independent Visa in the sense that you undergo the SkillsSelect application process and are granted permanent residency rights once received. However, unlike the 189 visas, you must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory Government agency and have an occupation on the STSOL.

 

Quotas

Each state receives a quota from the Federal Govt. each year and places are often oversubscribed. States only will select those they believe shall provide the greatest benefit to their region or territory.

Who is the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 489 for?

The Skilled Regional visa is a temporary visa that provides three pathways for skilled workers who want to work and live in regional Australia.

 

This visa is an alternative for skilled workers who have the necessary qualifications or skills but are unable to pass the points tests as required to obtain a skilled independent visa or Nominated visa (Subclass 189 and 190).  A 489 visa provides three pathways for applicants to gain residence in Australia for up to four years, through a state sponsorship.

 

Like all Skilled visas, this visa is points test-based, however, the unique three-way pathway allows applicants to submit an application upon either receiving an invitation by the Department, holding a previous Skilled Regional visa, or having a family member who holds a certain class of visa.

 

The applicant will be restricted as to the areas in which they can reside and work, and this will be dependent upon whether it is a State/Territory Government or family sponsorship. If nominated by the State/Territory, applicants must work and live in a regional or a metropolitan area nominated by the State/Territory, that has low-population growth. If sponsored by a family member, applicants may work and live in the  Designated Areas of any State or Territory.

 

Eligibility for the 489 visas

Applicants for this visa first need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) online and then be invited by the Department to apply for the visa.

There are three pathways to qualify for the 489 visas. The specific pathway the applicant can elect will depend upon their circumstances at the time of the application:

 

  • Extended Stay pathway – applicants currently hold a subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496 visas.
  • Invited pathway – applicants have been nominated by a State or Territory government agency, or by an eligible relative, and were invited by the Department to apply.
  • Subsequent entry pathway – applicants who are a family member of someone who already holds a 475, 487, 489, 495 or 496 visa.

In order to qualify for any of the three pathways under a 489 visa, you will need to demonstrate that you meet certain health and character requirements.

 

Depending on which pathway you qualify for, you will need to demonstrate that you meet additional eligibility requirements.

 

In regards to the Extended Stay pathway, applicants will need to currently hold the provisional visas mentioned above and have complied with all the necessary visa conditions for a minimum of two years. It is also a requirement for the applicant to have held only one of these visas.

 

Applicants applying for a Nominated Skilled Visa through the invited pathway  must satisfy the following additional eligibility criteria:

 

  • That you have been nominated by an Australian State or Territory Government agency (if applicable).
  • That you have been sponsored by an eligible relative (if applicable – please see below for sponsor eligibility criteria).
  • That you have nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list.
  • That you were younger than 45 years of age when you received an invitation to apply for this visa.
  • That you have at least ‘competent’ English language ability at the time you were invited to apply.
  • Obtained a suitable skills assessment for your nominated occupation, based on the factors in the points test below:
    • Age
    • English language ability
    • Previous Australian and Overseas skilled work experience
    • International Qualifications
    • Australian study requirements and awards
    • Credentialed community language qualifications
    • Regional Australian Study
    • Spouse skill qualifications
    • Professional year in Australia
    • Achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation.
    • Meet certain health and character requirements.

If you are being sponsored by an eligible relative for this visa, please note that your sponsor will need to be:

  • At least 18 years of age;
  • Living in a designated area of Australia;
  • An Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen; and
  • You or your partner’s relative

If applying under the subsequent entry pathway, you will also need a family member to be a holder of one of the visa options listed above. Although there is no English language skill requirement for this pathway, it should be noted that entrants over the age of 18 would be subjected to an additional fee if they do not have Functional English ability. If this is the case, they will be required to undergo a Functional English test during the processing of their visa application, or during no more than 12 months prior to applying for the visa.

 

489 Visa Checklist

Invited Pathway

You will have 60 calendar days to apply for your 489 visas after being invited to lodge an application. Once received, the Department of Immigration will then commence processing your application. The average global processing time is 75% of applications in 8 months.

 

Extended and Subsequent Entry Pathways

The average global processing time is currently 75% of applications processed in 6 months.

 

Please note that the above global processing times for all three pathways are subject to change as an assessment of eligibility occurs on a case-by-case basis and vary on the applicant’s circumstances.

 

It is understandable that there are some circumstances that will impact the processing time of your visa application, that may be out of your control. These include; the time for external agencies, namely health and police services, and the Government, to conduct checks and provide supporting information.

 

While the above circumstances are unavoidable, there are some factors which will ensure faster processing time. These include:

 

  • Lodging a complete application, attached with all of the necessary supporting documents.
  • Being prompt in responding to any additional information the Department requests.

 

Fees & Costs

The cost of this visa depends upon which pathway you proceed with. Please refer to the price list below for details:

 

  • Invited pathway – from $3,670;
  • Extended pathway – from $325;
  • Subsequent entrants – from $325 if your family member was an extended pathway application, or $3670 if your family member was an invited pathway applicant.

Please note this is only the flat rate and you may be asked to pay additional costs to cover requirements such as health assessments, police certificates and biometrics.

 

If you wish to add additional family members to your application, an extra fee will be imposed upon your visa application.

 

If the additional family member is above the age of 18 and has less than Functional English, you will be subjected to a second instalment fee of $4,885 which is payable after you have fulfilled all of the visa requirements listed above.

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