Australia's Skilled Migration Visas guide

Australia's Skilled Migration Visas:
Charting Your Future

Welcome to your guide on Australia’s Skilled Migration Visas, crafted to open doors for skilled professionals and their families. Here, we offer a detailed guide that spans various visa subclasses, each uniquely suited to meet the aspirations of those dreaming to work, live, and integrate into the Australian community. Dive into this comprehensive exploration of pathways that lead to enriching professional and personal experiences in Australia.

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

Direct Entry Stream

The Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186) caters to skilled workers nominated by Australian employers for permanent residency. This pathway facilitates a smooth integration into Australia’s workforce and community, offering endless opportunities for growth and development.

 

Who It’s For: Skilled professionals nominated by an Australian employer for permanent residency in Australia.

Stay: Permanent.

Key Features:

  • Grants permanent residency in Australia.
  • Enables living, working, and studying in Australia indefinitely.
  • Allows sponsorship of eligible family members for Australian residency.
  • Opportunity to apply for Australian citizenship, subject to eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • An occupation on the eligible skilled occupations list.
  • Minimum of 3 years relevant work experience.
  • Positive skills assessment, unless exempt.

Labour Agreement Stream

Tailored for skilled workers under labour agreements, the Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186) bridges the gap between Australian employers and global talent. It provides a permanent residency route under specific labour agreements.

 

Who It’s For: Professionals nominated under a labour agreement for permanent work in Australia.

Stay: Permanent.

Key Features:

  • Permanent residency for skilled workers under a labour agreement.
  • Freedom to live, work, and study indefinitely in Australia.
  • Sponsorship of eligible relatives for Australian residency.
  • Potential eligibility for Australian citizenship.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Current or future employment under a labour agreement.
  • Compliance with age, skills, and English language requirements of the agreement.

Temporary Residents Transition Stream

The Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186) offers a seamless transition to permanent residency for skilled workers in Australia on temporary visas, recognizing their valuable contributions to the Australian economy and society.

 

Who It’s For: Skilled workers transitioning from a temporary visa, nominated by their Australian employer.

Stay: Permanent.

Key Features:

  • Transition from certain temporary visas to permanent residency.
  • Full access to work, study, and live in Australia indefinitely.
  • Sponsorship of family members for Australian residency.
  • Prospects for Australian citizenship.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Holders of Subclass 457, TSS, or related Bridging visas.
  • At least 2 years of full-time work for the nominating employer.
  • Employer nomination approved within 6 months of application.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) - Temporary Residence Transition Stream

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (Subclass 187) is designed for skilled workers in regional Australia. This stream emphasises regional development by retaining valuable skills within these communities, offering a path to permanent residency.

 

Who It’s For: Skilled workers in regional Australia, nominated by their employer for permanent residency.

Stay: Permanent

Key Features:

  • Permanent residency in regional Australia.
  • Unlimited living, working, and studying in Australia.
  • Eligibility to sponsor family members for Australian residency.
  • Potential for Australian citizenship.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Transition from Subclass 457 or Subclass 482.
  • Full-time work in regional Australia for the nominating employer.
  • Employer nomination approved within the stipulated timeframe.

Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (subclass 191)

Regional Provisional Stream

The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (Subclass 191) supports individuals committed to regional Australia, providing a well-deserved pathway to permanent residency.

 

Who It’s For: Individuals transitioning to permanent residency after living and working in regional Australia.

Stay: Permanent.

Key Features:

  • Permanent residency for compliance with regional provisional visa conditions.
  • Freedom to work and study anywhere in Australia.
  • Sponsorship opportunities for family members and citizenship prospects.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Hold an eligible visa for a minimum of three years.
  • ATO notices of assessment for required income years.
  • Adherence to all conditions of the eligible visa.

Hong Kong Stream

The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (Subclass 191) caters to Hong Kong and British National (Overseas) passport holders, honoring their commitment to Australia with a permanent residency pathway.

 

Who It’s For: Committed Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holders seeking permanent residency.

Stay: Permanent.

Key Features:

  • Permanent residency for eligible Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holders.
  • Full access to live, work, and study anywhere in Australia.
  • Sponsorship of family members for permanent residence and citizenship opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holder.
  • Meeting the specific visa and residence requirements for the Hong Kong stream.

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 494)

Employer Sponsored Stream

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494) is a strategic move to bolster regional growth, connecting regional employers with global skilled talent.

 

Who It’s For: Skilled workers sponsored by regional employers to address regional labor shortages.

Stay: Permanent.

Key Features:

  • 5-year stay in designated regional areas.
  • Multiple entries and exits during the visa period.
  • Pathway to permanent residency after 3 years.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Nomination for a skilled occupation on the relevant list.
  • Minimum 3 years of relevant work experience.
  • Necessary skills assessment, unless exempt.
  • Obligation to work for the nominating sponsor.
  • Age limit of 45 years, unless exempt.
  • Meeting the English language proficiency standards.

Labour Agreement Stream

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494) under the Labour Agreement Stream caters to skilled workers who are nominated by employers engaged in a labour agreement with the Australian Government. This stream is tailored to support regional development by addressing labour shortages in specific regional areas through skilled migration. The visa plays a crucial role in balancing workforce needs in regional areas with the skills brought by overseas workers.

 

Who it’s for: Skilled workers nominated by employers who are part of a labour agreement with the Australian Government.

Stay: 5 years.

Key Features:

  • Allows living, working, and studying in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years under a labour agreement.
  • Provides the option to travel to and from Australia during the visa period.
  • Offers a pathway to apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time the visa is granted.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be nominated to work in a specified occupation as per the terms of a labour agreement.
  • Required to have at least 3 years of relevant work experience in the nominated occupation.
  • May need a relevant skills assessment, as specified in the labour agreement.
  • Obligated to work only for the nominating sponsor.
  • Must be under 45 years of age, unless otherwise stated in the labour agreement.
  • Need to meet minimum standards of English language proficiency.

Subsequent Entrant Stream

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494) in the Subsequent Entrant Stream is specifically designed for family members of primary SESR visa holders, facilitating family reunification in Australia. The visa allows these family members to live, work, and study in designated regional areas alongside the primary visa holder, promoting family unity in regional development. This stream plays a crucial role in supporting the well-being and integration of families within regional communities in Australia.

 

Who it’s for: Family members of a primary holder of the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (Provisional) Visa (subclass 494) who are applying separately to join them in Australia.

Stay: Up to 5 years.

Key Features:

  • Enables family members to join the primary SESR visa holder in Australia.
  • Allows living, working, and studying in designated regional areas of Australia for up to 5 years.
  • Permits travel to and from Australia during the visa’s validity.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a member of the family unit of a primary SESR visa holder.

Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

Invited Pathway

The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489) under the Invited Pathway is intended for skilled workers who seek to contribute to regional areas of Australia. The visa is a temporary permit with a duration of four years, allowing recipients to live, work, and study in a specified regional area. It serves as an opportunity for skilled individuals to integrate into regional communities and contribute to their development.

 

Who it’s for: Skilled workers who want to live, work, and study in regional Australia.

Stay: 4 years.

Key Features:

  • Allows a stay in Australia for 4 years.
  • Permits living, working, and studying in a specified region of Australia.
  • Enables unlimited travel to and from Australia while the visa is valid.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative.
  • Required to have an occupation listed on a relevant skilled occupation list.
  • Need a suitable skills assessment for the nominated occupation.
  • Must be invited to apply and satisfy the points test.

Extended Stay Pathway

The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489) under the Extended Stay Pathway is specifically tailored for skilled workers who are already in Australia on one of the specified subclass visas and are looking to extend their stay in regional areas. The visa provides an additional four-year period, allowing these individuals to continue contributing to regional communities. It facilitates sustained involvement and contribution of skilled workers in regional development and growth in Australia.

 

Who it’s for: Skilled workers who currently hold a Subclass 475, 487, 495, or 496 visa and wish to continue living and working in regional Australia.

Stay: 4 years from the date the current skilled visa was granted.

Key Features:

  • Extends stay in Australia for an additional 4 years from the date the original Subclass 475, 487, 495, or 496 visa was granted.
  • Permits living, working, and studying in specified regional areas of Australia.
  • Allows multiple entries to and from Australia during the visa’s validity.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must currently hold a Subclass 475, 487, 495, or 496 visa under the Extended Stay pathway.

Subsequent Entry Pathway

The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489) under the Subsequent Entry Pathway is specifically designed for family members of those holding a Subclass 489 or similar skilled regional visa, allowing them to live, work, and study in regional Australia alongside the primary visa holder. The duration of stay is contingent on the validity period of the primary visa holder’s visa, ensuring family unity and support during their time in Australia. This visa plays a vital role in supporting the well-being and integration of families within regional communities.

 

Who it’s for: Family members of individuals holding a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 489) or a Subclass 475, 487, 495, or 496 visa.

Stay: Duration is aligned with the visa period of the family member who is the primary visa holder.

Key Features:

  • Allows family members to join and stay in Australia for the duration of the primary visa holder’s validity.
  • Enables living, working, and studying in specified regional areas of Australia.
  • Permits unlimited travel to and from Australia during the visa’s validity.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a member of the family unit of someone who holds a Subclass 475, 487, 489, 495, or 496 visa.

Skilled Regional Visa (subclass 887)

The Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887) is designed for individuals who have previously been part of regional communities in Australia under an eligible visa. The visa offers a transition to permanent residency, allowing beneficiaries to work and study anywhere across Australia. Instrumental in recognising and rewarding the contributions of individuals to regional areas and providing them with opportunities for long-term settlement and integration into the broader Australian community.

 

Who it’s for: Individuals who have previously lived and worked in specified areas of regional Australia on an eligible visa.

Stay: Permanent.

Key Features:

  • Grants permanent residency in Australia.
  • Allows working and studying anywhere in Australia.
  • Enables sponsorship of eligible relatives for permanent residence.
  • Offers a pathway to apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must hold or have held an eligible visa that expired outside Australia during the concession period.
  • Required to have lived for at least 2 years and worked full-time for at least 1 year in a specified regional area (exceptions may apply due to COVID-19 concessions).
  • Must have complied with the conditions of the eligible visa held.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

Main Applicant

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) for the Main Applicant is designed for skilled workers and facilitates their contribution to regional Australia’s development. It offers a significant five-year stay, allowing beneficiaries to establish themselves in regional areas, with the flexibility of travel and the potential for permanent residency after three years. This visa is a critical component of regional development strategies, enabling skilled professionals to significantly contribute to and integrate into regional Australian communities.

 

Who it’s for: Skilled workers seeking to live, work, and study in designated regional areas of Australia.

Stay: 5 years.

Key Features:

  • Allows a stay in Australia for a period of 5 years.
  • Enables living, working, and studying in designated regional areas of Australia.
  • Permits multiple entries to and from Australia during the visa’s validity.
  • Offers a pathway to apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time the visa is granted.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative.
  • Required to have an occupation listed on a relevant skilled occupation list.
  • Need a suitable skills assessment for the nominated occupation.
  • Must be invited to apply and satisfy the points test.

Subsequent Applicant

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) for subsequent entrants. It is specifically designed for family members of Subclass 491 visa holders, allowing them to live together in Australia’s designated regional areas. It ensures family unity by allowing these members to reside in Australia for the same duration as the primary visa holder. The visa emphasises the importance of supporting the familial needs of skilled workers in regional areas, facilitating a holistic approach to regional settlement and integration.

 

Who it’s for: Family members of individuals holding a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491).

Stay: Duration is aligned with the visa period of the primary Subclass 491 visa holder.

Key Features:

  • Permits family members to join the primary Subclass 491 visa holder in Australia.
  • Enables living, working, and studying in the specified regional areas of Australia.
  • Allows multiple entries to and from Australia during the visa’s validity.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a member of the family unit of a current Subclass 491 visa holder.

Frequently Asked Questions About Skilled Migration Visas

What is a Skilled Migration Visa? “Skilled Migration Visas are Australian visas for skilled workers and their families to live, work, and settle in Australia.”

Who can apply for a Skilled Migration Visa? “These visas are for skilled workers, those sponsored by employers, and family members of current visa holders.”

Can I travel outside Australia on a Skilled Migration Visa? “Yes, most skilled migration visas allow you to travel to and from Australia while the visa is valid.”

How long does it take to process a Skilled Migration Visa application? “Processing times vary. Check the visa processing time guide tool on the Department of Home Affairs website.”

Realizing Your Potential with Australia's Skilled Migration Visas

Australia’s Skilled Migration Visas offer a spectrum of opportunities for skilled workers and their families to establish and thrive in Australia. These pathways pave the road to a promising future, whether you’re eyeing regional development, permanent residency, or citizenship. Ready to explore your options or seeking expert guidance? Our visa Specialist is here to assist. Uncover the path that aligns with your aspirations and take your first step towards the Australian dream.