Skilled Visas

In 2010 the Australian Government introduced changes to its General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program, which have had a big impact on the eligibility of people living overseas to come to Australia as a skilled migrant as well as on the eligibility of international students to apply for permanent residence on completion of their studies in Australia. Many other changes have been introduced since then, which were consolidated into the new Skilled Migration Selection Model (SkillSelect) on 1 July 2012.

Skilled Occupations List

SOL In April 2017 the socalled "Skilled Occupation List (SOL)" was significantly revised: it was divided into a Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and a Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), both of which can be viewed on the Department of Immigration website as the Combined List of Eligible Skilled Occupations. This list is the primary and most important factor governing your eligibility to migrate to Australia, unless you are being sponsored by an employerEmployer-sponsored skilled migrants are given the highest priority at the present time .

We suggest that you view and/or print the Combined List of Eligible Skilled Occupations, which is still being referred to as the "Skilled Occupations List", to see if your occupation is included.

Your occupation is on the current Skilled Occupations List

If your occupation is on the current Skilled Occupations List, you may be eligible to apply for a

depending on a number of further criteria:
  • you must be under 45 years of age,
  • you must have a qualification in the profession or trade occupation on the Skilled Occupations List which you nominate for migration purposes,
  • you must have at least 12 months recent work experience in that occupation,
  • you must have good English ability and prove this by passing the IELTS Test, and
  • you must achieve a particular minimum pass mark in the Points Test.

The Points Test

All these requirements (and some other aspects of your background) contribute to your score on the Points Test and this score determines which of the three Skilled Visas you can apply for. So, once you've ascertained that your occupation is on the current SOL, your next step would be to work out what your Points Test Pass Mark is likely to be.

But wait, there's more!

That's not the end of it, however. Many people think that if they get the right score on the Points Test their visa application will succeed, but they're wrong: even if you pass the Points Test and meet all the necessary requirements, that still doesn’t mean that your visa application will be approved: specifically,

  1. you have to get a positive Skills AssessmentWhen you apply for a Skilled Visa you must provide evidence that your skills have been assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the appropriate assessing authority. Click for further details. and

  2. you have to submit a correct, properly completed and fully documented application. Your application will be assessed by a public servant who is typically under a lot of pressure: the quickest way for them to get the job done is to find something wrong with the nature of your application. This is where professional representation can play a crucial role and where the help and advice of a Registered Migration Agent can be a real advantage.

Australia currently has a Special Skilled Visa for EngineersIf you graduated as an Engineer in the last 2 years, this visa gives you some important advantages, including not having to do the Points Test. However, there are special conditions. Click to check the details. which is intended to combat the shortage of Engineering skills in the resource sector and which makes it relatively easy for recently graduated Engineers to come to Australia to work and settle.