Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
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Skills visa overview

Australian Independent Skilled Migration

Overview - skilled migration - BASIC CRITERIA

Australian Immigration - The Australian Visa and Australian Migration program caters for skilled applicants. Read about the Australian skilled migration program requirements here.

Applicants must be under age 45.

Although qualifications are obviously very important, it is no longer the primary criteria for skills based applications. Your occupation must be on the list of approved occupations for migration to Australia.

You are then assessed in Australia by the relevant authorities for your occupation i.e. your skills, experience, and importantly qualifications are assessed against the Australian standards for that specific occupation i.e. you need X experience, Y skills and Z qualifications to be assessed as equivalent to the Australian standards for a specific occupation.

Only after you pass the occupations assessment can you lodge the actual visa application. This cannot be done prior to receipt of the successful outcome of the occupations assessment. Occupations assessments take anywhere from1 to 4 months and is conducted by the relevant authority in Australia responsible for settings the standards for a specific occupation.

Your occupation, experience, age, English language abilities and eligibility for bonus points all contribute towards your points - and you need 120 points to meet the criteria for Independent Skilled migration. (note: meeting the passmark does not mean you meet all the criteria for the visa)

If you have eligible family members resident in Australia as permanent residents (for at least 2 years) they may potentially sponsor you in this visa stream if you need the additional points.

Skilled Migration - Basic Requirements

For General Skilled Migration to Australia, you or your spouse must be able to satisfy all of the following basic requirements:

You must be under 45 when you apply.

English language
You must have sufficient ability in the English language for working in Australia. This is known as 'vocational English'.

A higher level of English is required for certain occupations where English ability forms part of the skills assessment.

In the Skilled-Regional Sponsored category you may be eligible with a lower level of English. You are encouraged to have your English language ability tested before you apply.

You must have post-secondary (such as university or trade) qualifications (in a small number of occupations substantial relevant work experience may be acceptable) and your skills must have been assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation.

Nominated occupation
When you apply, you must nominate an occupation which fits your skills and qualifications. Your nominated occupation must be on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) If your nominated occupation is not on the list, you cannot apply.

Recent work experience*
This requirement is separate to the need to have your skills assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation before you apply.

If your nominated occupation is worth 60 points (see the points for your nominated occupation on the SOL), you must have been in paid employment in a skilled occupation (any on the SOL) for at least 12 of the 18 months before applying.

If your nominated occupation is worth 40 or 50 points, you must have been in paid employment in a skilled occupation (any on the SOL) for at least two of the three years before applying.

For certain occupations, a longer period of specific work experience is required to obtain a suitable skills assessment (eg manager).

In the Skill Matching or Skilled-Designated Area Sponsored categories, you may be eligible with less work experience.

*You do not need to meet the work experience requirement if you have completed an Australian qualification less than 6 months before lodging your visa application. This exemption cannot, however, be used to waive any specific work experience requirement imposed by an assessing body as part of a skills assessment. If you intend taking advantage of this concession, you should note that the 6 month period begins from the date of completion of the qualification, not from the date the qualification was conferred.

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