Visas for Individuals

General Skilled Migration Visas Overview

The basis of the General Skilled Migration Program is to allow individuals with in-demand skills in certain occupations, with their families, to permanently migrate to Australia, without needing to be sponsored by an employer.  The General Skilled Migration Program is points tested and are either independent, state/territory sponsored or family sponsored permanent visas.

The Skilled Occupation List determines which occupations are eligible to apply for permanent residency through the General Skilled Migration program.

Applicants will need to meet minimum criteria to be allowed to apply as well as have an occupation that is in demand in Australia.

All states have announced a more positive skilled migration program which brings hope to many skilled migrants who are seeking Australian permanent residency.

Skilled Migration

189 Skilled Independent Visa

The 189 visa is a permanent application allowing the applicants to remain indefinitely in Australia with full work rights. It does not require sponsorship by a State/Territory Government or relative in Australia.

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189 Visas

State Nomination

If you are applying for a Subclass 190 or Subclass 491, you will need to receive State or Territory Government nomination.

The Commonwealth Government has provided an unexpected and substantial reduction in visa nomination allocations for the 190 and 491 migration program for 2023-24.

The state and territory government nominations are not linked to the Department’s invitation rounds, for the Subclass 189 Independent category,  and occur independently.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) is closed permanently for new applications from 1 July 2024.

Subclass 188 visa holders can still apply for the Permanent Residency (subclass 888) after July 2024.

State Nomination

190 Visa (Skilled Nominated Visa)

The Subclass 190 visa (Skilled Nominated) is a points-based visa that allows skilled workers who are nominated by an Australian state or territory government to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident. This is a permanent visa that can be lodged from within or outside Australia.  Applicants must first submit an EOI using SkillsSelect, be nominated by a State or Territory government agency and receive an invitation to apply for the visa.

190 Visa

491 Visa – Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional)

The Skilled Work Regional Subclass 491 visa is a provisional visa, valid for five years once granted.

The Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa, provides a pathway to permanent residence after having lived and worked in regional Australia for three years.

The subclass 491 visa entitles visa holders, together with their families, to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia and provides you access to Medicare (our national healthcare scheme). It also provides a multiple re-entry facility to travel in and out of Australia as often as you like within the visa validity period.

491 Visa

191 Visa – Permanent Residency (Skilled Regional) Visa

The 191 Visa Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional Visa) enables migrants who have lived and worked in a designated regional area in Australia to apply for permanent residency provided they hold an eligible visa.

191 Visa

Temporary Graduate 485 Visa

The Australian Temporary Graduate Visa subclass 485 visa is a temporary visa for international students who have completed two years of study in Australia. It can last from 18 months to five years depending on your situation.

As there is no restriction on study or work whilst holding a subclass 485 visa, it is a good way to extend your stay in Australia to improve your chances of becoming eligible for a permanent or a provisional skilled visa.

485 Visa

Student Visa – Studying in Australia (subclass 500)

The subclass 500 student visa enables international students to live, study, and work in Australia whilst enrolled in an eligible course, provided they meet certain academic, English language and financial criteria.

500 Visa

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482 Visa)

The TSS visa, or 482 visa, is a temporary visa that permits the holder to live in Australia while working full-time for the sponsoring employer, in a nominated occupation that is listed on the Short Skilled List or Medium Long Term Skilled List.

Note: you cannot apply for this visa if you do not have an employer willing to sponsor and employ you in a full-time position.  We cannot assist you in finding an employer as we are not a recruitment consultancy.

482 Visa

186 Visa – Employer Nomination Scheme

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas, or subclass 186 visas, are permanent residency visas for skilled workers which requires your employer/sponsor to have a genuine need for an on-going permanent position.

There is the temporary transition stream for those who are in Australia on the 482 visa and have worked in the occupation for a minimum set period or direct entry for offshore or onshore applicants in occupations on the medium to long-term skilled occupation list.

BREAKING NEWS – From 25 November 2023, all Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa holders will be eligible for ENS visas sponsored by their employers regardless of which occupation list they fall under.  Sponsored visa holders will be eligible for ENS Temporary Transition Stream after two years (down from three years) of sponsorship on a 482 TSS.

186 Visa

Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155)

The Resident Return visa (subclass 155) is a permanent visa for current or former Australian permanent residents and former Australian citizens. This visa will allow you to maintain or regain your status as an Australian permanent resident.

If you want to return to Australia after your current visa expires, you should apply for a visa before you leave Australia.

Only Australian citizens have an automatic right of entry to Australia. If you hold a permanent visa you have the right to remain in Australia indefinitely, however, if you choose to travel outside Australia, you must ensure you have the authority to return. Generally, a permanent visa will allow the holder to travel into Australia for up to five years from the date of grant.

155 Visa

Visa Options for New Zealand Citizens

New Zealand citizens are able to travel to Australia and remain here indefinitely with full work rights.

Changes in 2001 made it more difficult for New Zealanders in Australia to attain citizenship.  As of 1 July 2023, New Zealand citizens living in Australia for four years or more will have a direct pathway to Australian citizenship.

Obtaining Australian citizenship gives New Zealand citizens a much more secure status in Australia and access to a range of government benefits.

Options for NZ Citizens

Important information for New Zealand Citizens living in Australia on 444 Subclass

The Subclass 444 Special Category is a temporary visa, and it allows a New Zealand citizen to remain indefinitely in Australia to live, work or study. It is issued when you enter Australia.

The Subclass 444 is not a permanent visa and visa holders do not have the same rights and benefits as Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.

Neither Australian permanent residents nor Subclass 444 holders are able to:

  • vote in Australian government elections
  • access student loans
  • join the Australian Defence Force
444 Visa

Australian Citizenship for New Zealand Citizens

Under the direct pathway, New Zealand citizens who hold a Special Category (subclass 444) visa and have been living in Australia for four years or more can apply for Australian citizenship by conferral.

New Zealand citizens no longer need to first apply for a permanent visa; however, they must meet all other eligibility criteria for Australian citizenship.

AUS Citizenship for NZ Citizens

Visa Refusal or Cancellation

Has your application been refused? We can assist with your AAT review.

Problems with / Refusal of

Student Visa Options

Choose a Career Not a Visa

Choose a course of study that you’re passionate about and are interested in as you’ll require relevant work experience in your chosen course of study if you wish to remain permanently in Australia.

Student Visa

The Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400)

The Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) is a temporary visa for people who want to travel to Australia to undertake short-term, non-ongoing highly specialised work, or to conduct an activity as an invited participant.

400 Visa

Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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