3 Skilled Migration Visas for Australia: Which One is Right for You?

All your bags are packed and you’re ready to go… to Australia.

But wait, you still don’t have a visa.

Even if you are all strapped in and ready to start a new life in the Land Down Under, when you don’t have the appropriate visa, you need to hold your horses.

Visa First

Along with Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, Australia is considered to be one of the world’s most major immigration hubs.

According to the 2015-16 statistical information given by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, there have been over 7.7 million temporary visas granted. Of this number, 85,611 were granted to skilled workers who applied for Temporary Work Visas (subclass 457).

If you are one of the skilled hopefuls who wish to live and work in Australia, then you need to apply for a visa.

There are three different visa programs for aspiring skilled migrants:

  • Subclass 189 or the Skilled Independent Visa
  • Subclass 190 or the Skilled Nominated Visa
  • Subclass 489 or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa

Here are the basics on each one and how to go about your Australian visa application:

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

If you are under 45 years of age and not sponsored by a family member or an employer, then this is the type of visa you should apply for. The same applies if you are not nominated by a territory government or state. The following requirements must be adhered to:

  • You must have an invitation to be able to apply for this visa.
  • You must check if your occupation is included in the list of eligible skilled occupations.
  • You must provide evidence that you are qualified and have the necessary skills to qualify for the job you want.
  • You must pass the points test and have at least 65 points to be eligible to apply.
  • You must be a competent English speaker.
  • You must meet all the health requirements in order to get a visa. Health checks must be done after you receive the invitation to apply for a visa.
  • You must be of good character. A police clearance certificate or other similar documents that prove you are a person with no previous criminal record.

This visa will be your ticket to work and live in Australia as a permanent resident, once granted.

Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

If you are a skilled worker who is fortunate to have been nominated by an Australian state or territory government to live and work as a permanent resident in Australia, then you can apply for this visa. The following are the conditions:

  • You must be below 45 years of age at the time of the invitation.
  • You must have a relevant profession that is listed in the list of eligible skilled occupations.
  • A skills assessment proof must be shown to vouch for the fact that you have the skills and competencies to work in that occupation.
  • At the time of invitation, your points must be at least 65.
  • You must be of good health and character. This means you must pass their minimum health standards and have no criminal record.
  • You must have no outstanding debts with the government of Australia.
  • You must not have a previous visa cancelled or refused while on Australian territory.

Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489)

If you are a skilled worker who wants to live and work in an Australian region or a low population growth metropolis, then this is the visa you can apply for.

Approved visa holders of this type can live and work in that region for four years. This type of visa may subsequently lead to the Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887) where you can be made into a permanent resident.

There are three pathways when you want to secure this visa. You can opt to go with any one of the following, as applicable:

  • Extended Stay pathway
  • Invited Stay pathway
  • Subsequent Entry pathway

The following conditions must be met when applying for this visa:

  • You must be a Subclass 475, 487, 495, or 496 (Extended pathway) visa holder.
  • You must have been invited to apply (Invited pathway).
  • You must receive a nomination to apply from a state or territory government agency or has been sponsored by an eligible relative (Invited pathway).
  • Your occupation must be relevant and the skills assessment should have been fulfilled.
  • You must be under 45 years of age, have good command of the English language, and have at least 65 points.

Importance of a Professional Pathfinder

Going through all the necessary steps can be confusing. The terminologies, the many layers of rules and regulations that you need to be aware of, as well as the timelines involved can be quite a challenge especially for first timers.

If you want someone whom you can trust and depend on in ensuring that all criteria have been met, it would be smart to get the services of reputable visa consultants in Dubai. With their experience and expertise, you can easily navigate the intricacies of applying for an Australian visa in the most cost-effective way.

Leave the worries to the experts.

Let them lead you towards the right path on your way to living the good life in Australia.


Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.