Skilled migration visas
When it comes to skilled migration, there are 3 visas that you can apply for in your residency journey. Which visa is best for you depends on your occupation, location and you may also be eligible to undertake and Expression of Interest (EOI) for more than one type. The 189,190 and 491 are all points based visas that are granted via Immigrations “skills select’ system. You need to have at least 65 points in order to be eligible for consideration. You first need to submit an EOI and then await invitation.
Points are allocated based on different aspects of your profile – such as age, education level, relevant skilled work experience, level of English and whether you have a partner or not (and whether your partner has competent English or a skilled occupation too). You will need a skills assessment and a minimum English score of competent, but ideally if you can score proficient you can be given 10 points towards your profile.
Skilled independent visa (subclass 189)
The 189 visa is a permanent visa that is known as the ‘skilled independent’ visa. It does not require you to be linked to any particular state or region or be sponsored by an employer. It’s wholly based on your points and your occupation meeting the ‘skill select’ criteria. Your EOI is ranked based on points and the skill select system with automatically send invitations out to EOIs who meet the points and occupations in highest demand.
In order to be eligible for the 189 visa, you need to have an occupation on the Medium to Long-term Skilled Strategic List (MLTSSL). These are the occupations most in demand when it comes to skilled migration in Australia. Occupations on this list are also eligible for the Graduate Skilled (485 visa).
Skilled state nominated visa (subclass 190)
The 190 visa is a permanent visa that is known as “state nominated” as it requires an Australian state or territory to nominate you, which will be determined by that states occupation list and criteria. You have to make a mini application to the state who then assess you against their requirements, and if suitable they will grant you 5 points and this will prompt immigrations automated Skill select system to send you an invitation to lodge the 190 visa.
As part of the application, you sign a declaration that you are going to stay in the nominating state for 2 years. The 190 visa can be a quicker pathway to permanent residency than the 189 visa which is highly competitive.
Skilled work regional visa (subclass 491)
The 491 visa is a regional temporary visa that is granted for 5 years, and offers a pathway to PR after 3 years. This visa was introduced in 2019 and has a large number of places designed to get more people migrating to regional Australia. Regional for this visa is considered anywhere outside Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. As with the 190, you need to be nominated by a region, and in turn be invited to lodge the visa and must meet the regions requirements. Each region has different requirements that can range for studying, to experience working in the region or even being eligible from overseas.
Once granted, this is not tied to an employer but does require you to live and work in a regional area for 3 years full time and you can then pathway to residency with the subclass 191 visa. Another benefit of this visa is you also have access to medicare (something usually reserved for permanent visas).