General Skilled Migration

Skilled Subclasses

There are a variety of skilled migration options:

Skilled Independent Subclass 189

Permanent visa option, the skilled independent does not require sponsorship by a relative or state/territory government

Skilled Nominated Subclass 190

A permanent visa requiring nomination by an Australian State or Territory government

Skilled Nominated or Sponsored Provisional Subclass 489

This is a 4-year provisional visa which allows holders to live only in certain areas of Australia. You would need to be sponsored by an Australian relative living in a designated area, or by a state or territory government.

Skilled Graduate 485

The skilled graduate visa is 2-4 years visa depending on the qualifications which can be applied for by international students who have completed 2 years of study in Australia.

Skilled Migration Criteria

Applicants for skilled migration need to meet strict threshold criteria.
These criteria include:


You must be aged between 18 and 49 at the time of invitation.

English Language Ability

Most applicants will need to undertake an English Language Test (IELTS, TOEFL, IBT, PTE, CAE, OET). Native English speakers have the option of not taking the test, but must do so to obtain maximum points for English.

Skills Assessment

All applicants need to undergo skills assessment in a Skilled Occupation . Criteria for skills assessment vary by occupation and there are a large number of skills assessing authorities. In most cases, the skills assessment will be based on the applicant’s qualifications and work experience, though in some cases English Language Ability and formal examinations are required.


From 1 July 2012, most applicants will need to go through the SkillSelect system – this involves first making an Expression of Interest and receiving an invitation from the Department of Immigration to apply.