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What Do You Need To Know About Australia’s General Skilled Migration?

Australia has been a popular destination over a long period for people worldwide. The reason is that it offers unique study and job opportunities and is one of the safest countries to live in. The Australian Department of Home Affairs has several visa options for prospective immigrants, including temporary and permanent visas. Permanent visas are offered to applicants who have skills in an occupation with high demand in the Australian job market. One such permanent visa is the 189 Visa. There are other skilled work visas, too, under the General Skilled Migration Program. Read this blog to know all the details about this immigration program.

What is the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program?


The General Skilled Migration Program of the Department of Home Affairs is designed to allow international individuals who have essential skills required in the Australian employment sector. These people are employed in positions where no local workers are available, and thus they can make significant contributions to the Australian economy. As participation rates for skilled migrants are much higher in the Australian workforce, they help enhance the economic growth, resulting in more jobs.

This migration program also plays a key role in regional development by providing labour and skills not sourced locally and promoting local investment in regional areas.


Which Visas Are Issued Under This Category?

Following are the visas issued under the General Skilled Migration Program of Australia.


Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189


The Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 is a permanent residence visa offered by the Department of Home Affairs to skilled workers who are neither sponsored by any family member or any Australian company nor nominated by any Australian territory or state government authority. The eligibility criteria for this visa are as follows.

    • As this is a points-tested visa, you must score at least 65 points on the points test to be eligible for making an application. 

    • Like other skilled work visas, for this visa, too, you have to submit an EOI (Expression of Interest) before the application. Based on this EOI, SkillSelect will invite you to apply. SkillSelect is an immigration program of Australia that connects overseas skilled workers with Australian employers.

    • Upon receiving your invitation, you will submit your application within 60 days. 

Besides staying permanently in Australia, you can also do the following while holding the 189 Visa.

    • You can work and study anywhere in Australia.

    • You can bring your family members to Australia. 

    • You can access Medicare benefits.


Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190

The Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190 is also a points-tested Australian PR visa. But unlike the 189 Visa, this visa is granted to skilled workers who receive a nomination from a territory or state government. The eligibility criteria are as follows.

    • This visa is also Points-tested, and so a minimum of 65 points must be obtained in the points assessment. 

    • Receiving the nomination from the Australian state or territory is necessary.

    • For this visa, too, you have to first submit an EOI in SkillSelect, and based on this document, they will invite you.


The benefits are the same as those related to the 189 Visa.


Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491


As the name suggests, this visa is granted to overseas applicants, allowing them to live in a regional area of Australia for a maximum of 5 years. Unlike the above two, this visa is a provisional one and allows the holder to live for 5 years. After 5 years, you can apply for a permanent visa like Skilled Regional Visa Subclass 887

To become eligible for this visa, you must be sponsored by an eligible relative staying in a designated regional area or by a territory or state government. If your relative sponsors you for your visa application, make sure they have valid Australian citizenship.

Employer-Sponsored Visas

The General Skilled Migration Program also allows applicants sponsored by their Australian employers. There are several visas under this category, which include:

    • Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186

    • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187

    • Skilled Employer-Sponsored Visa Subclass 494

    • Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Subclass 482


From 16 November 2022, another Australian permanent residence visa will come into effect. This visa is named Skilled Regional Visa Subclass 191, designed for applicants who have previously held the Visa Subclasses 491 and 494. 

Some basic points to remember


While applying for a skilled migration visa, you have to remember several vital factors discussed here.

Prepare your Expression of Interest (EOI)


For any skilled migration visa, you have to submit an EOI (Expression of Interest) in SkillSelect, mentioning basic information about you. Even though it will largely depend on the type of your visa, you have to include the following:

    • Necessary personal details

    • Information about work experience

    • Information about your English language proficiency (e.g. IELTS score)

    • Academic qualification information

    • Details of a positive skills assessment related to the occupation you nominate


Make sure the occupation is on the relevant skilled occupation list


There are several skilled occupation lists designed by the Australian Immigration, including Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), Regional Occupation List (ROL). Different occupations have different ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) codes, and thus, you have to be careful while applying.

For example, if you are an accountant and want to apply for the Subclass 190 Visa, you must look at the MLTSSL. Finding the occupation from the list can be easy if you use its ANZSCO code.


Do not forget to take your skills assessment


For the nominated skilled occupation, you must undertake your skills assessment. As per regulations made in July 2014, the skills assessment should not be older than 3 years from when it is issued unless a shorter period of validity applies.

It must be valid at the time of applying for the following visas:

    • Direct Entry Stream of the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa Subclass 187

    • Direct Entry Stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme Visa Subclass 186

On the other hand, for some other visas, the skills assessment should be valid also at the time of invitation. These visas include:

    • Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190

    • Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

    • Skilled Regional Provisional Visa Subclass 489


A registered immigration agent from Perth can help you obtain the correct skills assessment.


You can apply for several visas after being invited by SkillSelect


Once your Expression of Interest is assessed to be satisfactory, you can receive an invitation to apply. After receiving the invitation, you can apply for the following five visas.

    • Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

    • Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190

    • Business Talent (Permanent) Visa Subclass 132 

    • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa Subclass 188

    • Skilled Nominated (Provisional) Visa Subclass 489


For necessary application help, you can hire a professional Immigration Agent Perth.

Where can you find a migration agent?


Several immigration firms in Perth provide excellent migration services. If you need help with your GSM visa application, you can consult them. They will assess your application and prepare the documents without any mistakes. However, if you take professional advice from any migration agent, make sure you have submitted the filled out form 956 at the time of application.

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