3- Migrate as a skilled worker

3.1- Intro


This is one of the greatest desires of most people who wish to leave everything behind and start a new life in Australia. It is also a visa type that brings fear and the most questions on social media, such as: "How do I get a job in Australia?". Or "Can I pursue my profession in Australia?".

The truth is that Australia is a country of opportunities, with huge demand for new professionals. However, there are some rules for immigration programs and you should do the planning well in advance to be able to earn the required points.

We are talking about points, because currently the Australian Immigration Department uses a system that assigns points for each characteristic of the candidate, such as age, education, professional area, work experience time, among others.

If your score is satisfactory, you should be able to apply for a permanent visa even before you leave your home-country, this way you would arrive to Australia as a permanent resident.

3.2- The "SkillSelect" System

The "SkillSelect" System

The SkillSelect system is designed to manage the majority of immigration applications to Australia. It is an electronic system that collects information from candidates interested in living in Australia and orders them in a ranking by their score.

In the previous system adopted, the processing worked on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning each process was reviewed in the order it was entered into the system. That way, the processes took an average of 12 to 24 months. With the new format, candidates with higher scores have priority and the process can be much faster.

The system works online and accepts registrations from anyone who meets the minimum requirements. The process has no deadlines, so the interested party can create their "profile" on the site at any time.

Before understanding the system more thoroughly, you should understand that even to create a profile on the website, you must meet the minimum requirements of each type of visa. These requirements will be detailed in the next sections.

3.3- Application Overview

Application Overview

Anyone who registers a profile on the SkillSelect website will have the opportunity to receive the official invitation to apply for a permanent visa.

The general rule is that applicants with the best scores will be called, but there is still the possibility that an employer or an Australian state / territory will take an interest in your profile and make an invitation directly.

If you receive an invitation, you will have a period of 60 days to submit your visa application. By this time, you will have to submit proofs about all the claims you made about previous employment, diplomas, english certificates, among others.

Here's a breakdown of how the process works through SkillSelect:

3.4- Skilled Independent Visa

Skilled Independent Visa

The "Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)" program is the most popular amongst skilled professionals interested in living and working in Australia.

This is due to the fact that, if approved, you already receive a permanent visa before you leave your country of origin, and with that, the right to live and work where you wish, in Australia.

Some examples of professionals who can apply for this visa: Architects, Veterinarians, Programmers, Doctors, Teachers, Engineers, Electricians, Plumbers, Psychologists, Physiotherapists, etc ...

To become a candidate, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have your occupation on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations;
  • Have your skills assessment approved;
  • Be under 45 years of age;
  • Score at least 60 on the points test;
  • Have at least competent english skills;
  • Receive an invitation to apply for the visa.

If you meet all the requirements listed, you can register for the SkillSelect system and receive points for:

  1. Your age;
  2. Your English Score
  3. Your work experience
  4. Your educational degree
  5. Extra points for factors that help with your adaptation in Australia

To check how many points you can get, use can use our online (unofficial) quiz.

You can also check the full points table here.

In case you have a spouse or de-facto partner, it will be necessary to decide who will be the main applicant (usually the one with the highest score). If the visa is approved, your partner will also receive the permanent visa with you.

To apply for this type of visa, you will need to create a profile on the SkillSelect system, as detailed in the previous section.

3.5- Sponsored by an Australian Company

Sponsored by an Australian Company

Skilled professionals have the option to apply with a sponsorship from an Australian Company. This could be in form of a permanent visa, similar to the skilled independent visa, with the difference that you can get extra points by having a sponsor, or in the form of a temporary work visa.

To apply for one of the visa types below, you need to have a job offer from an Australia Business. Some people are able to receive these job offers by applying online to jobs in Australia, before they even left their home-country.

"Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)"

That's the same one explained on the last section. The difference here is that you can get extra points by having a sponsor.

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

NOTICE: In the near future, this visa will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

This visa allows a worker, who receives a job proposal, to live and work in the specific job for a maximum period of four years. The requirements are:

  1. A job offer from an Australian Company authorised by the Government;
  2. The occupation is part of the list of eligible skilled occupations;
  3. Meet the skill requirements, and any registration and licensing obligations for the nominated occupation;
  4. Speak a certain level of English accordingly to your occupation.

"Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)"

This is a permanent visa for workers who receive a job offer in a non-metropolitan region of Australia (does not include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne).

The requirements are:

  1. Be nominated by an approved Australian employer for a job in a regional area;
  2. Be younger than 45 years of age, unless you are exempt;
  3. meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless you are exempt;
  4. apply under the stream for which you were nominated.

3.6- Sponsored by a State or Territory

Sponsored by a State or Territory

Each Australian state or territory has distinct immigration requirements and benefits, which can help you earn more points to get a permanent visa.

To get to know specific rules for each state / territory, visit their websites below:

By registering in SkillSelect, you will be able to be nominated by one of the states / territories.

"Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190)"

This visa uses the SkillSelect points system and is aimed by professionals who are nominated by an Australian state or territory. The requirements are:

  1. Have received a nomination by an Australian state / territory;
  2. The occupation is part of the list of eligible skilled occupations;
  3. Meet the skill requirements, and any registration and licensing obligations for the nominated occupation;
  4. Have competent english skills;
  5. Score 60 points or more;
  6. Be younger than 45 years old.

3.7- Sponsored to live in Regional Australia

Sponsored to live in Regional Australia

The smaller and more remote towns have excellent opportunities for immigration, high quality of life, and lower overall costs.

The "Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)" allows skilled workers to live and work in regional or low-population growth metropolitan areas of Australia for up to four years.

In order to apply, you need to be sponsored by either a relative who is an Australian permanent resident or by a state/territory.

This is also requested via the SkillSelect system and the requirements are:

  1. Been nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative;
  2. Have an occupation that is on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations;
  3. Have a suitable skills assessment for that occupation;
  4. Satisfy a points test requirement;
  5. Be under 45 years of age;
  6. Have Competent English.