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Live and work in Australia on a skilled visa

There are a variety of visas for skilled migrants available for those wanting to make a permanent move to Australia. These visas are points-based and take into account a range of factors that vary depending on what kind of job you apply for, where in Australia you intend to move to and
your own personal skills and circumstances.

How the points-based system works

The Australian government operates a general skilled migration programme. It is essentially a points-based system with points awarded to applicants based on age, qualification, experience and English language skills.

Your occupation is the basis for your eligibility, so those holding occupations in demand will have the greatest visa options. Australian immigration officials frequently update both the national and regional skills list which determine which occupations are most needed.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

The Skilled Independent visa is a permanent resident visa. It is the most desirable visa as it gives the holder the freedom and flexibility to live and work anywhere in Australia.

Successful applicants must be under 50 years of age, score at least 60 points on the immigration points test and have an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).

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Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

The Skilled Nominated visa is a permanent resident visa, only granted to applicants who are nominated by a state or territory government.

The state governments have assessed their own labour market needs and formed lists of occupations in demand. In addition to receiving state nomination, the successful applicant must be under 50 years of age, score at least 60 points and have an occupation on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL). State nomination adds an additional five points to an applicant’s score, which could make the difference in meeting the 60 point threshold.

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Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

The Skilled Regional visa is a temporary work visa granted for four years.

This can be converted to a permanent residence visa once holders have lived in a specified regional area of Australia for at least two years and worked in this area for at least 12 months.

To qualify for this visa, an applicant must be nominated by a state government or sponsored by an eligible family member, as well as be under 50 years old, score 60 points and work in a suitable occupation from a skilled occupations list.

Nomination or sponsorship in this visa adds 10 points to an applicant’s score, a considerable contribution to the required 60 points.

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Skilled Recognised Graduate Visas (subclass 476)

This visa is specifically aimed at engineering graduates, under the age of 31, who wish to gain up to 18 months of skilled work experience in Australia.

You will need to have completed an engineering degree at a recognised institution within the last two years. This can be either a university or a technikon. You will also need to have had a major sequence of study, or a specialisation in:

  • Civil engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Electrical and electronics engineering
  • Mechanical, production and plant engineering
  • Mining and material engineering

All applicants outside of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the USA and the Republic of Ireland have to pass an English language test before they apply for this visa. You will also need to pass the character requirements that all visa applicants are subject to.

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