The Australian Skilled Immigration Programs are the prime avenue for skilled foreign workers to move to Australia. These programs cater to professionals and tradespeople across various occupations, from engineers to nurses to chefs.
Understanding Australian Skilled Immigration Programs
Australia operates a points-based immigration system to attract highly skilled and qualified professionals to address the skills shortages in its labor market. The critical programs under this system include:
Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
This points-tested visa is designed for individuals whom an employer, a family member, or a state or territory government does not sponsor. It allows applicants to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia. To qualify, applicants must have an occupation on Australia’s skilled occupation list and pass a skills assessment.
Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
The subclass 190 visa is designed for individuals nominated by a state or territory government agency. To qualify for this visa, your occupation must be in demand in the state or territory that nominates you. Like the subclass 189 visa, it offers permanent residency and access to the same benefits.
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)
This provisional visa is for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia. Applicants must be sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated regional area or nominated by a state or territory government. After three years, holders of this visa can apply for permanent residency through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191).
Eligibility for Australian Skilled Immigration Programs
Eligibility for the Australian Skilled Immigration Programs is based on a points test, which evaluates your age, English language proficiency, skilled employment, educational qualifications, and other factors.
Points are awarded based on your age bracket. Younger applicants typically score more points. The highest points are awarded to those aged between 25 and 32.
English Language Proficiency
Proficiency in English is crucial, with points awarded for different proficiency levels. An applicant can gain maximum points by achieving a ‘superior’ English level.
Applicants can earn points based on the number of years of work experience in their nominated or closely related occupation.
Application Process for Australian Skilled Immigration Programs
Applying for the Australian Skilled Immigration Programs is a multi-step process:
- Skills Assessment: The relevant assessing authority must assess Your skills as suitable for your nominated occupation.
- Expression of Interest (EOI): You need to submit an EOI through SkillSelect, which includes information about your skills, work experience, and education.
- Invitation to Apply (ITA): If your EOI is selected from the pool, you will receive an ITA.
- Visa Application: After receiving the ITA, you have 60 days to lodge a formal visa application.
Key to these programs are the various Australian Occupation Lists identifying which occupations are currently in demand in Australia. The lists include the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
The MLTSSL includes various healthcare, engineering, IT, and education occupations.
Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
The STSOL is a list of occupations identified as having a temporary shortage of skilled labor.
The Australian Skilled Immigration Programs provide a pathway for skilled workers worldwide to contribute to Australia’s diverse and thriving economy.