As a skilled professional, you may be interested in opportunities abroad that can advance your career. Australia is a popular destination for migrants with in-demand skills and experience. The Australian government’s skilled migration program makes it possible for qualified individuals from around the world to settle in Australia permanently.
If you have expertise in an occupation listed on Australia’s Skilled Occupation List, you may be eligible for a skilled visa to relocate to Australia. The process involves assessing your qualifications and work experience, learning some basics about Australian culture and values, having your skills recognized in Australia, finding a sponsoring employer, and ultimately securing a visa. With the right skills and determination, migrating to Australia as a skilled worker can open the door to an exciting new chapter of life and career.
1. Migrate to Australia as a Skilled Worker – Eligibility
You must first assess if you meet the eligibility criteria. The key requirements are:
Your occupation must be on the relevant occupation list – the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) or Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL). The lists specify occupations Australia needs to fill skilled job shortages. Check if your occupation is listed.
You need a positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation from the relevant assessing authority. The assessment determines if your skills and experience match the Australian standards for your occupation.
English Language Ability
You must meet the English language requirement by either being a native English speaker or having a qualifying English language test score. IELTS and OET are the two main tests accepted for Australian skilled migration.
You must be under 45 years of age when you are invited to apply for the visa. Certain occupations have age exemptions. Check if your occupation qualifies for an age exemption.
For most occupations, you need at least three years of relevant work experience. Some occupations require up to five years of experience. Your work experience must be in the same field as your nominated occupation.
You must meet the points requirement of 65 points or higher based on factors like age, English ability, skilled employment, and Australian qualifications. Extra points are awarded for spouse skills and regional study.
If you meet all these key eligibility criteria, you have a good chance of qualifying to migrate to Australia as a skilled worker. The next step is submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect, Australia’s online service for managing skilled migration applications.
2. Choosing the Right Visa
To migrate to Australia as a skilled worker, you must first choose the appropriate visa. The two main options are the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) and the Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190).
Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)
This permanent residence visa allows you to live and work in Australia indefinitely. To qualify, you must meet the points test by scoring at least 65 points based on factors like age, English language ability, skilled employment, and educational qualifications. You must also nominate an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list.
Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)
This permanent residence visa also allows you to live and work in Australia indefinitely. However, it requires nomination from a state or territory government agency. Each state and territory publishes their own lists of in-demand skilled occupations. If your occupation is on a list and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply to that state or territory for nomination. To be nominated, you typically still need to meet a points test, though the pass mark may be slightly lower than for the Subclass 189 visa.
In summary, for skilled migration to Australia, determine if your occupation is on the relevant skilled occupation lists. Then assess which visa you are most competitive for based on your points score and if you can obtain nomination from a state or territory. With good planning and preparation, you can successfully navigate the complex process of applying for an Australian skilled migration visa.
3. Preparing Your Skills Assessment
To migrate to Australia as a skilled worker, you must first have your skills and qualifications assessed by the relevant assessing authority. This step is required to obtain a skills assessment which confirms your claims of being a skilled worker in an occupation listed on Australia’s Skilled Occupation Lists.
Choose an assessing authority
The assessing authority will depend on your nominated occupation. Some major assessing authorities are:
- VETASSESS – For various trade occupations
- Engineers Australia – For engineering professionals
- Australian Computer Society (ACS) – For ICT professionals
- Relevant medical colleges – For healthcare professionals
Research the specific requirements of your assessing authority and occupation. Each has its own criteria for skills, experience, qualifications, etc.
Gather required documents
Common documents needed include:
- Certified copies of qualifications like degrees, diplomas or trade certificates
- Evidence of work experience such as employment references, pay slips, tax returns
- Proof of English language ability (e.g. IELTS or PTE scores)
- A skills assessment application form
- Any licensing or registration requirements for your occupation
Submit your skills assessment application
Follow the instructions provided by your assessing authority to submit a complete application. This typically involves:
- Filling in the application form and including all necessary documents
- Paying the required application fees which vary depending on the occupation
- Attending any required interviews
The skills assessment process can take several months. Do not make further migration preparations until you have obtained a positive skills assessment. This is a crucial step to ensure you meet the skills criteria to migrate to Australia as a skilled worker. With proper preparation and by providing accurate supporting evidence, you will maximize your chances of a successful skills assessment.
4. Finding a Sponsor and Job for Your Skilled Visa Application
To obtain an Australian skilled visa, you will need to find a sponsor, typically an employer, who is willing to hire you for a skilled position that matches your qualifications and experience. The sponsor will need to nominate you for a position on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
Finding Job Opportunities
Search for job openings on sites like Seek, Indeed, and CareerOne. Connect with recruiters and professional networks in your industry. Make sure to tailor your resume to highlight qualifications and experience that would be relevant for positions in Australia. Be prepared to go through a video interview.
Some in-demand skilled occupations in Australia include:
- Information Technology Professionals: Software Engineers, UX Designers, etc.
- Healthcare Professionals: Nurses, Doctors, Physiotherapists, etc.
- Engineers: Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, etc.
- Construction Managers and Tradespeople: Electricians, Plumbers, Carpenters, etc.
- Accountants and Finance Professionals
Securing a Sponsorship
Once you find an employer interested in hiring you, they will need to sponsor you for the appropriate skilled visa. Ask them to nominate you for an occupation on the MLTSSL or STSOL. The nominating employer will need to provide details about the position, your proposed salary, and their commitment to employ you for at least two years.
Having a sponsor and job offer to include with your visa application significantly increases the likelihood of approval by the Australian government. The specific requirements to secure a sponsor and skilled position will depend on the visa subclass you are applying under, so make sure to check with the Department of Home Affairs website for the latest details.
With a sponsor and skilled job in hand, you will meet two of the most important eligibility criteria for Australian skilled migration. Prepare the additional documentation required for your visa application, including skills assessments, English language test scores, and other personal documents. Best of success with your move to Australia!
5. Completing Your Visa Application
To migrate to Australia as a skilled worker, you must submit a complete visa application. The key steps are:
Gather Required Documentation
You will need to provide documents proving your identity, skills, experience, qualifications, English language ability, health, character, and finances. Collect personal identification, skills assessments, educational qualifications, language test scores, medical checks, police clearances, job offers, and evidence of funds.
Choose a Visa Subclass
The main options are Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189), Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190), and Skilled Regional Provisional Visa (Subclass 489). Subclass 189 is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member. Subclass 190 requires nomination by an Australian state or territory. Subclass 489 leads to permanent residence after living in a regional area.
Submit an Expression of Interest
Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect, Australia’s online portal for skilled migration. You provide information about your skills, experience, language ability, and other details. If eligible, you will receive an invitation to apply for a visa.
Lodge a Visa Application
Once invited, you have 60 days to lodge an online visa application through ImmiAccount. You must provide additional documentation and application fees. The fees are a few thousand dollars AUD for the primary applicant, with additional fees for secondary applicants.
Attend an Interview
Some applicants may be required to attend an interview, either in person or over the phone. The interview aims to verify information provided in your application and assess your claims. Be prepared to provide specific examples and anecdotes to demonstrate your skills, experience, and English ability.
Following through with the necessary steps and providing a comprehensive application will give you the best chance of successfully migrating to Australia as a skilled worker. Do your due diligence, meet the requirements, and stay determined. With patience and perseverance, you can build a new life in Australia.