SkillSelect is an online portal operated by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). It is designed for skilled workers and business people interested in migrating to Australia to submit their details to be considered for a skilled visa through an Expression of Interest (EOI) scheme.
The three subclasses for General Skilled Migration within SkillSelect are:
Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent visa
The subclass 189 visa is available for independent, or non-sponsored migration to Australia.
If eligible to apply for a subclass 189 visa, you do not need sponsorship by an employer, or nomination by a State or Territory. However, the processing time for these visas is longer than for sponsored or nominated visas, and an EOI is less likely to be selected.
If eligible to apply for this visa, you are able to include your partner, and dependents in the application, but (as of July 2013) there are additional charges for each applicant.
The basic prerequisites for the subclass 189 visa are:
If successful in applying for this visa, the visa holder is entitled to live permanently in Australia, in any area.
Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated visa
The subclass 190 visa is available for State or Territory nominated sponsored migration to Australia.
To be eligible to apply for a subclass 190 visa, you need to be qualified for an occupation that has been nominated by a State or Territory, and you need to apply for nomination to that State or Territory. The processing time for these visas are shorter than for an independent visa, and if you apply successfully for State or Territory nomination, your EOI will be automatically selected from the pool.
If eligible to apply for this visa, you are able to include your partner, and dependents in the application, but (as of July 2013) there are additional charges for each applicant
The basic prerequisites for the subclass 190 visa are:
If successful in applying for this visa, the visa holder is entitled to live permanently in Australia.
Subclass 489 – Skilled Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional)
The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa is a 4-year provisional visa, which requires holders to live and work in a regional area to obtain permanent residence. To qualify, you would need to be sponsored by a relative living in a designated area.
SkillSelect Only Application
In order to apply for a Skilled Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect and be invited by the Department of Immigration (DIBP) to apply.
Once you are invited to apply for a skilled visa, you must lodge your application within 60 days, otherwise the invitation lapses. Accordingly, it is very important that you have all required documentation prepared to lodge as soon as possible after receiving the invitation.
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
Subclass 186 Visas
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) results in a permanent visa for the sponsored employee. It is a common way for 457 visa holders to qualify for permanent residence, but has a higher skill level than the 457 visa.
There are two stages to the ENS subclass 186 application:
There are three possible application pathways for an ENS visa:
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 Visas
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme or RSMS visa is a permanent employer sponsored visa which requires a job offer in a Regional Area of Australia.
RSMS Application Stages
There are in general three stages to an RSMS application:
RSMS Regional Areas
In order to be granted an RSMS visa, the employee must be offered a position in a “regional area”. The regional areas are specified by postcode by the Department of Immigration.
The following are considered Regional areas for the purposes of RSMS sponsorship:
There are three possible application pathways for an RSMS visa:
Benefits of Applying for RSMS over ENS visa
The requirements for RSMS are more straightforward than ENS in a number of important ways:
The 457 visa is the main visa used to sponsor employees to work in Australia. The employer can either be a business operating in Australia or overseas.
Most employers will apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor (SBS). The approval generally lasts for 3 years and there is a limit to the number of employees who can be sponsored over this time.
The application for a company sponsorship visa consists of 3 parts:
The sponsoring business meets certain training benchmarks
Duration and Conditions
The 457 visa is valid for up to 4 years, and extensions are possible. The 457 visa is subject to a condition 8107 work restriction and can only work for the sponsoring employer, unless a different employer lodges a new nomination for the employee. The visa can be cancelled if the employee ceases employment for more than 90 days, and the employee must maintain their health insurance cover.
This visa is for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution.
It lets you work in Australia temporarily after you have finished your studies.
The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) lets you live, study and work in Australia temporarily after you have finished your studies. Students are only able to access the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) once as a primary applicant.
This visa has two streams:
If you are applying as the main applicant, you and anybody else covered by the application must be in Australia when you apply for this visa and when your visa is decided.
The Australian Business Visa Program provides opportunities for successful business owners, investors and senior executives to settle in Australia with their family while developing new or existing opportunities in the Australian business market.
There is a new Business visa program available that started from 1 July 2012 through the SkillSelect program. Below are the current available pathways for people interested in obtaining a business visa in Australia:
Business migrants who wish to obtain permanent residency must undergo a 2 stage visa progression. Applicants must first be granted a Business Skills (Provisional) Visa for 4 years and, after establishing the required level of business or maintaining their investment, they will be eligible to make an application for a Business Skills (Residence) Visa.
The second pathway is known as Business Talent Visa and it leads to direct permanent residence but is only open to high-calibre business migrants that are sponsored by a State/Territory Australian government.
Provisional business skills visas
Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa
This visa has two streams.
To be eligible to apply for either stream, an applicant must fulfill certain requirements.
Applications are by invitation only. To be invited lodge an application, a person must first lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the SkillSelect system and be nominated by a state or territory government. The main requirements are:
Innovation test points are awarded for:
There are other requirements that mainly depend on whether you apply for the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream.
Permanent business skill visas
Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (subclass 888) visa
This is a permanent visa with two streams:
To be eligible to apply for the Permanent Business Visa an applicant must meet the following requirements:
Business Talent (Permanent) (subclass 132) visa
The Business Talent Permanent Visa has also two streams.
Applications are by invitation only.
To be invited to apply, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI), be nominated by a state or territory government, and
Partners or fiancés of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens may apply to enter and remain with their partner in Australia on permanent visas. Partner category migration may apply to:
There have recently been several changes to partner visas, including recognizing same-sex relationships under the de facto visa option, and removing the category of interdependency visas.
Parents of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens may apply to migrate to Australia under two different categories of parent visas to remain with their children. These are:
All parent visas require sponsorship, usually by their Australian child, and all visa subclasses are restricted in what welfare benefits the parent can claim upon arriving in Australia.
The Department places a limit on the number of parent visas granted in each financial year. As a result, there are large numbers of parents who satisfy the requirements for the visa, but who must wait in a lengthy queue before their visa is granted. This waiting time is significantly less for the Contributory Parent visa, however these visas are more expensive.
Which visa Subclass?
There are a number of visa Subclasses for parents. The right visa Subclass for you and your parent will depend on whether the parent is aged, whether the parent is in Australia at the time of application, and how much you are willing to pay for the visa. There are also temporary or permanent options – the benefit of temporary visas is that the significant costs are spaced over a few year period instead of payable upfront.
Capping of Parent visas
The Australian government places a cap on the number of visas granted under the parent visa category each year. For example, in 2008-9, a total of 8500 parent visa places were made available. 2000 of those places were allocated to the general parent visas, while 6500 were allocated to the contributory parent visa category.
Once the cap has been reached each year, all additional applications are placed in a queue according to the date on which an applicant met the visa requirements. If the application does not meet the visa criteria it will be rejected and not allocated a queue date.
Applicants waiting in the queue will have their visas granted in order of the queue date they were allocated.
Once additional places become available applications will be assessed further by the Department.
There is a long queue for all parent visas: currently up to 19 years for ordinary parent visas, and around 2 years for the contributory parent visas before their visas are granted.
Postgraduate Research Sector visa (subclass 574)
You might be able to get this visa if you are enrolled as a student in a registered course for the award of:
Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573)
You might be able to get this visa if you are enrolled as a student in a registered course for the award of:
Vocational Education and Training Sector visa (subclass 572)
You might be able to get this visa if you are:
Independent ELICOS Sector visa (subclass 570)
You might be able to get this visa if you are enrolled as a student in a registered English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
If you have had a visa refused, in certain circumstances you may seek to have a review of the decision at one of the relevant tribunals. We can provide advice on your chances of success when seeking a review of your visa refusal.
We provide advice prior to application for review and can manage the review process on your behalf. This service includes representation at the actual hearing when called. It is critical to make review applications within the prescribed timeframe as outlined on the communication received from DIBP.
Note: The right to have a decision reviewed at the relevant tribunal is removed in event that the application for review is not made within the time limit.
If you are in Australia and you have been notified of either an intention to cancel your visa (NOIC) or your visa has been cancelled, there maybe options available to you to prevent that cancellation from taking place, or seek merits review to overturn any cancellation that has taken place.
Resident Return visa (subclasses 155 and 157)
The Resident Return visa (subclasses 155 and 157) is for current or former Australian permanent residents and former Australian citizens who want to travel overseas and return to Australia as permanent residents.
The Resident Return visa will let you keep or regain your status as an Australian permanent resident.
Only Australian citizens have an automatic right of entry to Australia. All non-citizens need a visa that allows them to enter and remain in Australia.
Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
This visa is for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year.
Visitor visa (subclass 600)
This visa lets you visit Australia:
You might be able to get this visa if you are travelling to Australia: