Skilled worker visas Australia

189 Skilled Visa Steps to Success

While each case is unique we can provide a brief overview of the 189 visa class, the qualifying criteria and more. To find out more about your eligibility complete our secure, confidential assessment for tailored advice from our experts on your options.

The 189 visa is a great way to emigrate to Australia and that is why it is the most popular visa class. The limited number approved each year, competition for places and the strict selection process making it one of the most difficult visas to secure.

Several changes are coming into effect later this year and will be complex. 

Unlike other skilled worker and employer-sponsored visas the 189 visa provides:

  • Permanent Residency on arrival
  • Access to FREE education
  • Allows you to purchase property in Australia
  • Access to Medicare
  • Citizenship in 4 years

Just like applying for a job

When applying for a skilled visa for Australia you are literally applying for a job with a company or in this case country who will check every little detail of your CV and your past. 

To make it onto the shortlist you MUST secure 65 points in the GSM points test. Once you make the shortlist you are entered into a competitive pool of candidates who have all secured 65 points or more.

Australia will then invite those candidates they like the most as and when their skills are required in Australia.

If you are not selected within 2-years you are thrown out of the pool and must re-apply.

In short, even after you make the shortlist and hold 65 points, you may never be selected if there are better candidates available or they do not want your skills, even though they are on the skills shortage list.

Key Success Criteria

Firstly, it is vital your skills are listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) find out if your skills are in demand here.


You must be under 45 to be eligible to apply. However, if you’re over 40-years your chances of being selected is significantly reduced. 


You must have a high standard of English. Even if your a British Citizen as securing 8 points in all four sections of an IELTS TEST will provide additional, much-needed points. Here is a link to IELTS to try a mock test today.


There is often confusion around what level of qualifications is required per job. For example, teachers can only qualify if they have a PGCE and will not qualify on a QTS. 

It is vital that you understand what qualifications and/or experience is required for your profession before applying to have your skills assessed.

Skills assessing bodies are private entities and will charge significant fees, even if your skills are not recognised. The best site to determine the skill level required is ANZCO Search.


In certain professions, experience pre-qualification is not recognised. In other cases where a tradesperson learned their skills on the job and does not hold an NVQ time will be deducted from the years of experience, a person is deemed to hold.

In the vast majority, if not all cases we recommend you have a minimum of 3-years experience before applying as a completion for places is high.

Health & Criminal Checks

A bizarre quirk of the Australian immigration system is that these reports are required at the end and not at the beginning. That said, they are easy to secure and only cost a few hundred dollars.

However, if you have a criminal record or an ongoing medical condition that is costing money to treat (beyond tablets from a Pharmacist we recommend you speak to an expert before you proceed. This advice includes your children.