Skilled Migration Visas in Australia

Skilled Migration Australia provides opportunities for skilled individuals living in other parts of the world to migrate to Australia. The Skilled Migration visas have various steps before you are granted a particular visa. It involves submitting an Expression of Interest. Obtaining a skills assessment by an approved Assessing Authority and then finally applying for an online application.

Skilled Migration Visa Options

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 190)

Skilled Nominated visa is a permanent visa that enables skilled workers to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident. The visa is based on points-test system and the applicant must be nominated by state or territory government in Australia. The Skilled Migrant program is conducted via SkillSelect, a database for migrants, employers and nominating state or territory governments. The 190 visa is a permanent visa that enables points-tested skilled workers…

Benefits for you and your family including:

  • Live and work in Australia indefinitely with no restrictions, although you must live and work in the nominated state for an initial 2 years while holding this visa
  • Different states and territories may have different requirements, you can work in the occupation and also study in Australia
  • Enroll in Medicare – Aust stateun health care program
  • Opportunity to apply for Australian citizenship when you become eligible
  • You can also sponsor eligible relatives for PR
  • You can travel in and out of Australia for 5 years unrestricted as this visa is granted for five years every time like the other permanent visas until you become a citizen of Australia.

How to successfully apply for this visa?

In order to successfully apply for this visa, you will need to complete the following steps:

Advantages of Subclass 190 visa

  • Benefits of Australian permanent residence for you and your family
  • Work and live in Australia indefinitely with no restrictions except that you live and work in the nominated state or territory for initial 2 years
  • Enrol in Medicare
  • Apply for Australian citizenship when you become eligible
  • Sponsor relatives for permanent residence or travel
  • Travel in and out of Australia for 5 years until you become an Australian citizen

Processing times

  • 75% of applications is 10 months, with
  • 90% of applications processed within 15 months.

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

  • Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) is a permanent visa that allows workers with skills to live and work permanently in Australia. It is a points-based system and does not require nomination by Australian state/territory governments or relatives in Australia.

    There are 2 streams available under this visa:

    • Points tested stream
    • New Zealand stream – for NZ citizens

    In brief, key requirements are:

    • Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and be invited to apply
    • Your occupation must be on a Medium to Long Term Skills List (MLTSSL)
    • Have positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation
    • Meet the points test pass mark of 65 points or more
    • Have competent English (i.e. IELTS score of 6 or PTE score of 50 in each of the four components of the test
      – Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening OR an equivalent score in any other official English tests such
      as Cambridge Advanced English, Occupational English Test and TOEFL)
    • Meet health and character requirements
    • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous visa application refused since your last substantive visa you
      held, if you are in Australia
Australian Migrant Women Standing Infront of His Work Place

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)
(Subclass 491)

This is a provisional visa. It’s for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia.

With the 491 visa, you can:

  • stay in Australia for 5 years
  • live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia in line with your visa conditions. A simplified definition of regional Australia for skilled migration purposes includes all areas of Australia except the metropolitan areas of; Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Gold Coast, Perth Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast will now be eligible.
  • The visa has got multiple travel rights
  • apply for permanent residence, if eligible through the permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) which commences on 16 November 2022
  • work in any occupation and for any employer in line with the work and residence conditions attached to your visa.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Skilled Work Regional 491 visa?

  • be invited to apply, nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative
  • have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
  • have a successful skills assessment for the occupation
  • score 65 points or more
  • be aged under 45 years before you’re invited to apply
  • have a competent level of English
  • satisfy the health and character requirements
  • don’t owe the Australian government any money
  • no history of visa cancellation or a previous application refused

What is the application process?

First, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) SkillSelect to express your interest to apply for this visa. An EOI is not a visa application and there is no fee to create or submit an EOI in SkillSelect. SkillSelect will calculate your point score based on the claims made in your EOI. It is mandatory to score at least 65 points to be invited to apply for a visa.

Your EOI will be visible to state and territory government agencies if you have indicated that you are interested in being nominated. If they nominate you, you’ll get an invitation to apply for this visa.

Once you have completed the EOI, it’s stored in SkillSelect and is valid for 2 years. You can access your EOI and update your information at any time. Access your EOI and update your details if your circumstances change. If you are invited to apply for a visa you will receive an invitation from SkillSelect. You will need to provide all necessary documents to support your identity, skills assessment, level of English skills, relationship, partner, sponsor and character claims you make in your EOI and show you meet all the visa criteria.

You will then have 60 days from the date of invitation to make a valid visa application online before the invitation expires.

After you apply

You will be informed when your application is received, and you’ll get a notification if you’re granted a bridging visa.

Travel after you apply

In Australia

You can travel outside of Australia while your application is processed as a decision can be made when you’re offshore. However, please ensure your visa allows you to return to Australia. Check VEVO for your current visa status.

Outside Australia

If your application was lodged outside of Australia, only travel to Australia once the visa is granted. Please do not make any life-changing decisions like leave your job or sell your house until you’re advised in writing that you have been granted a visa.

491 visa processing time

There are no timeframes available for the 491 visa currently. Processing times can vary due the following circumstances:

  • if your application is complete with all necessary documents
  • how fast you respond to requests for additional information
  • how much time it takes to get required checks done to verify your supporting information
  • how much time it takes to receive additional information from external parties, specifically related to your health, character and national security requirements

491 visa cost

There is no cost associated with submitting an Expression of Interest with SkillSelect. You can set up a profile and update it as many times as you wish with no expense.

However, once you’ve been nominated and you decide to apply, the application for the main applicant costs AUD$4,045. There is also a charge of AUD2,025 for each family member, 18 years and older, who apply for the visa with you. If you’ll like to get an estimate of what your visa will cost, use the Visa Pricing Estimator. Please take note that the estimator doesn’t consider the second instalment or other costs

The second installment charge for family members is AUD4,890. This charge only applies for applicants 18 years old or older who has less than functional English. Other costs including English language tests, health checks, police certificates and biometrics

What if I can’t show I meet the invited points score or other eligibility criteria?

If you can’t prove you meet the points score or other eligibility criteria, don’t apply for the visa. The EOI will be suspended if an invitation is issued, however, you can update your application once the 60-day invitation period is over.

If this is your second invitation and you still want the visa, you’ll have to submit another EOI.

What is my minimum score on the points test?

You need to score a minimum of 65 points on the points test. This test uses information such as age, English ability, levels of employment in your field and education levels to ascertain your suitability. You can gain extra points for things like:

  • An extra 10 points for a skilled partner or single applicant
  • 5 points for a spouse that’s competent in English
  • 15 points for State or Territory government nomination
  • 15 points for family member sponsorship if they reside in a regional area
  • STEM occupations get an extra 10 points (Masters by Research or PhD required)
  • 10 points for a partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident

You must be nominated by a state/territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative (an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible NZ citizen).

What documents are required to apply?

There are several documents you’ll be required to supply when applying for a 491 visa.

  • passport showing photo, personal details, issue and expiry dates, a national identity card and proof of name change
  • documents proving relationship status, including death, marriage and divorce certificates
  • character certificate from the police in every country you’ve lived in since you were 16 years old
  • skill assessment documents
  • competent English documents
  • sponsorship documents- proof of their citizenship, residence and proof of relationship with them
  • partner documents including ID, skill assessment results, English test results
  • family members under 18 need ID, character documents, and proof you have parental rights
  • family members over 18 need character documents, English test results, proof of family relationship and how they are dependent on you
  • family members staying in country of origin need character documents and proof of relationship with you.

May I stay in Australia for more than 5 years?

This visa can’t be extended, you must apply for a new visa if you wish to stay longer than 5 years from the date the visa is granted. You and members of your family who hold this visa, must work and study in designated regional areas of Australia. If your nomination is withdrawn, your visa will not be granted.

May I include family members later if they are not included in my visa application?

Members of your family who don’t apply for this visa with you can apply to join you in Australia later as subsequent entrants.

I would like to study in regional Australia. Who can I discuss my options with?

Come and meet our friendly counsellors to discuss the best options for your dream course in regional Australia and explore permanent residency pathways. In our FREE consultation, you will find out:

  • Course entry requirements and application processes
  • Specialty course offerings that are unique to campuses
  • Permanent residency pathways for regional areas
  • Gain extra year on a post-study work visa with regional study

Want to know more? Send an enquiry and we’ll be in touch.

Book a free Migration consultation

We give you a free consult, no strings attached. During consult, we will identify your visa options by discussing your situation in depth with you. After consult, you will receive an initial MAP (Migration Action Plan), this way, you get the best advice tailored to you.


Head Office

Level 1, Kay House, 35-39 Scarborough St Southport QLD 4215



Palmer Migration and Education Services is a distinguished firm focusing on immigration and student services to corporate and individual clients.

Who we help

Contact us