There are various visa options in the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program for applicants looking to move to Australia on the basis of their skills. Apart from having to meet the basic requirements, applicants for any of the below visas will also be required to pass a points test based on various parameters such as age, language, education and experience.
- At the time of application, you must be under 50;
- You should have sufficient competency in the English language;
- Your nominated occupation must be found on the Australian Skilled Occupations List (SOL) and must match your skills and qualifications;
- Before applying, you must have your skills assessed by the appropriate assessing authority designated to your nominated occupation;
- You must undergo a health assessment and a medical examination;
- You must meet the character assessment requirements.
The points test measures various parameters such as age, language, education and work experience. For the independent, nominated and provisional nominated visas, you need to have at least 60 points to progress the application.
Given Australia’s high demand for skilled workers who are looking to settle in the country, the most points for age are awarded to those between the ages of 18 and 39 (25 to 30 points). In terms of language requirements, proficiency in English is highly sought after, with up to 20 points being awarded for a score of 8 or more out of 10 in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
Up to 20 points can be awarded for any combination of overseas- and Australian-based skilled employment, with the higher length of service awarded the most points. In the same vein, up to 20 points can be granted for a doctorate degree (either in Australia or of a suitable level from an international institution), with lesser points awarded for bachelors degrees or diplomas.
Other points can be gathered from living and studying in regional areas, partner skill requirements, or nomination for a certain state or territory.
Skilled Occupation List
The Australian Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is used to determine if the applicant has the capability to add value to Australian society through their employment. It can be but generally has little to do with the number of qualifications you have, but based purely on where the Australian government feels there is a skills shortage. Some occupations – particularly those in the mining and construction industries – receive more points than others as that is where the skills shortage in Australia is.
When applying for a skilled visa, you are required to nominate an occupation from the SOL (and/or the Consolidated SOL if you have been nominated by a state or territory). The list is updated regularly, so it is advisable to keep up to date with any announcements from the Department of Immigration regarding the SOL.
Once you have nominated your appropriate occupation, you will be assessed by the appropriate Assessment
Visa Processing Priorities
Each visa subclass has a particular processing priority, which only determines how quickly your visa application will be processed once lodged, and does not affect your visa eligibility in any way.
|Processing Priority Group
|Processing timeframe (approximate)
|Priority Group 1
|5 – 8 months
|Priority Group 2
|Priority Group 3
|Priority Group 4
|Priority Group 5
|Assessment will commence when all cases in priority groups 1-4 are finalised
State Migration Plans
Under the Australian General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, each state and territory government has designed its own plan to determine which applicants are eligible for the relevant state sponsored visas as mentioned above. It is advisable to check on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for further details on each state’s plan, as they can change regularly and at different times.
SkillSelect is the current online tool that you will need to use to assist you in obtaining employer sponsorship. It controls the eligibility criteria for each visa and the application process, thereby reducing the time you spend on finding the best route into Australia via General Skilled Migration. In order to begin the application process, you will need to submit an EOI through SkillSelect, whereafter you will need to be selected to apply for the visa, and will have 60 days to complete the application. However, if you aren’t selected, your EOI will remain valid for two years, during which time you are able to update it with any new experience or details you deem fit for use in the application process.
Other Australian visa types:
Australian Skilled Migration Visas
Australian Business Visas
Australian Employer-sponsored Visas
Australian Investor Retirement Visa
Australian Student Visas
Australian Family and Spouse Visa
Australian Resident Return Visa
Australian Working Holiday Visa
Australian Travel Visa