Are you a skilled professional exploring non-employer-sponsored or general skilled work migration options that allow you to live and work anywhere in Australia, including Perth, Sydney and Melbourne permanently? Or is your business reviewing its options to engage skilled migrants that have already secured Permanent Residence? Not all work visas require employer sponsorship. If your occupation is on a relevant list of eligible skilled occupations, you may be able to apply to work and live in Australia under a Skilled Independent (189 – Points-tested Stream), Skilled Nominated (190) or Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (491) Visa. An added benefit is that all of these visas allow the visa applicant to include their eligible dependent family members. These visas can only be applied for after being invited by the Government to apply.
#1 Potential applicants whose occupation is on a relevant Skilled Occupation List can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to let the Department of Home Affairs know of their intention to apply for a General Skilled Migration Visa.
#2 Once the EOI is submitted, applicants will be ranked against others that have lodged an EOI for their occupation. The EOI will be stored in the system and is valid for 2 years. Before receiving an invitation to apply for a visa, the EOI can be updated at any time if circumstances change. For example, if the applicant has gained new qualifications that can add to their points score and improve their rankings.
#3 Invitations are issued regularly via ‘invitation rounds’.
#4 Once an invitation is received, the applicant has 60 days to submit a complete visa application along with all necessary supporting documents.
#5 The application will be assessed by the Department of Home Affairs, and they will check that the applicant meets all the requirements for the visa they have been invited to apply for.
#6 If the application is successful, the visa will be granted. If the application is unsuccessful, the applicant will have the opportunity to appeal the decision or reapply.
#7 For provisional visas such as the 491 Visa, the visa holder will have to meet certain requirements throughout their 494 Visa period to become eligible to apply for Permanent Residence through the 191 Visa.
#8 After meeting the requirements, the visa holder can apply for Permanent Residence and if granted, will be able to live and work in Australia indefinitely.
It’s important to note that the above process may vary depending on the type of visa and the individual circumstances of the applicant.
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Generally, the minimum score to receive an invitation for Independent Skilled Visas is 65 points, however, this does vary according to the occupation a person is applying under. The Expression of Interest process is highly competitive and you may need even more points than the minimum required for your occupation if others apply with more points than you. Invitations are issued based on points rankings. Applicants must declare that they have a suitable skills assessment and provide this when they lodge their application. They will also need to achieve a ‘competent’ level of English and be under 45 at the time they receive the invitation. After receiving an invitation to apply for a General Skilled Visa, you can proceed with preparing the visa application and continue your journey to migration.
Like for many other visas, the Department of Home Affairs requires the main applicant and any dependent family members who apply for the visa to meet specific health and character requirements. The applicants may need to have health examinations to prove they meet the health requirement. To prove that the applicants have good character, the Department may also request documents such as police certificates. The visa applicant will also need to pay any debts to the Australian Government if funds are owed. All applicants who are 18 years or older must also read and sign the Australian Values Statement. Applicants who have had a visa cancelled or refused may be ineligible for this visa – you may wish to seek professional migration advice if so.
The Skilled Independent (189) Visa grants permanent residence to invited workers with skills needed in Australia, allowing them to live and work anywhere in the country permanently. There are two streams within the 189 visa: the Points-tested stream and the New Zealand stream.
Eligible applicants for the Points-tested stream must meet certain age, English language proficiency, education, and points-based assessment requirements and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system.
Eligible New Zealand citizens who have demonstrated commitment and contributed to Australia can apply for the New Zealand stream. The visa holder is allowed to bring their eligible family members to Australia and can apply for Australian citizenship after meeting certain residence requirements. The visa holder must also meet health and character requirements before the visa can be granted.
The Skilled Nominated (190) Visa grants permanent residence similar to the Skilled Independent (189) Visa (Points-tested stream) but requires applicants to be nominated by the State or Territory governments.
Each state or territory has their own requirements for nominations, and the applicants will be ranked against other applicants in the state or territory rather than the whole country, which increases the chances of being invited. Points will be added for the nomination.
Similar to the 189 Visa, 190 visa holders can live and work anywhere in Australia once the visa is granted.
Nomination by a state or territory is not guaranteed and depends on the availability of nomination places and the competitiveness of the applicant’s profile. The 190 visa holder may have an advantage in finding work in their nominated state or territory, but living in the nominated state or territory is not mandatory.
The visa holder must also meet health and character requirements before the visa can be granted.
The 491 Regional Visa requires an invitation from the Department to apply. Potential applicants can be nominated by State or Territory Governments or sponsored by an eligible relative.
The 491 Visa is a points-tested visa; applicants must meet certain age, English language proficiency, and education requirements, as well as earn a certain number of points on a points-based assessment. It also requires applicants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system, and be invited to apply for the visa based on their EOI and points score.
Unlike the 189 and 190 Visas, the 491 Visa is a provisional visa instead of a visa that provides direct Permanent Residence.
491 Visa holders must meet specific requirements throughout their 494 Visa period to become eligible to apply for Permanent Residence through the 191 Visa. For example, 491 Visa holders must live and work in a Designated Regional Area for at least 3 years before applying for Permanent Residence through the 191 Visa.
The 491 Visa is considered a regional visa, eligible occupations include those on a Regional Skilled Occupation List, which may reflect a broader or different set of skills than lists for non-regional areas. This means skilled migrants with different skill sets may be able to access opportunities to migrate to Australia through this visa.
At Interstaff, we always keep up to date with the latest visa and migration news from the Department of Home Affairs so that we can provide accurate information in all our services. Our migration agents would be happy to assess your eligibility for Permanent Residence through an Independent Skilled Visa or the General Skilled Migration pathway to Australia. We begin by reviewing a copy of your resume including your skills, experience, and qualifications and then advise on the options available and the requirements for applying. During a consultation, our migration agent will also provide advice on how you can maximise your points and any visa conditions that you may need to be aware of so you can make a more informed decision. After the consultation, you can choose to engage our services to manage your visa application and receive ongoing advice on how to prepare the evidence requirements.
If you would like to understand your options to migrate anywhere to Australia, including Perth, Sydney and Melbourne through General Skilled Migration pathways, we encourage you to get in touch with Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents on 08 9221 3388 (Perth Head Office), 1800 449 858 (Free Call Within Australia) or +61 8 9221 3388 for International clients.
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