The General Skilled Migration (GSM) program is available for skilled workers who are qualified for a specific occupation available on the appropriate skilled occupation list provided by the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA).
The General Skilled Migration (GSM) programmes are commonly referred to as the ‘points-based’ migration, where you are required to have at least 65 points from your profile such as age, qualifications and experience, to be considered for the visa.
The General Skilled Migration Australia
The general skilled migration consists of three visa streams and they are points-tested, requiring you to meet certain points to be eligible for an invitation for the visa.
The three skilled migration visa streams have three core stages that applicants must go through.
a) Skills Assessment for General Skilled Migration
To be eligible for the general skilled migration program, your occupation must be on the appropriate skilled occupation list for that visa stream.
You must obtain a positive skills assessment assessed by an appropriate assessing body for your occupation.
The assessing body will assess your qualification(s) and work experience, concluding whether your qualification is equivalent to the Australian standard and whether your work experience meets the occupation tasks requirement as outlined by ANZSCO.
Note: The positive skills assessment will determine your work experience and qualification points.
b) General Skilled Migration Expression of Interest (EOI)
The following are important facts you need to know about the skilled migration expression of interest:
- You must have a positive skills assessment
- You meet the points score of 65 or more, depending on the competitiveness (popularity) of your skilled occupation. This may mean that the higher the points, the better chance you will have in receiving an invitation letter to apply for the Australian visa
- There is no timeframe or processing time for the expression of interest letter
- The expression of interest is kept for two years
- There is no cost to submit an expression of interest
- You can make changes or update your expression of interest before you are invited to apply for the visa.
c) The General Skilled Migration Visa
The following are important facts you need to know about the GSM visa:
- You must receive an expression of interest invitation letter to apply for the visa stream you had applied for
- You meet the points score on your invitation letter
- Have competent English or higher – we recommend checking the English requirements of the appropriate assessing body for your occupation before sitting an English test, as not all occupations will have the same English test requirements (to obtain a positive skills assessment)
- You are under 45 years old if and when you are invited to apply for the general skilled migration visa
- You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the general skilled migration visa and when a decision is made on your application
- You meet the health and character requirements
- You have no outstanding debt to the Australian government
- You can include your partner and your or your partner’s child or stepchild in your application.
You can check your points here.
The General Skilled Migration Consists of Three Visa Streams
1. Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) (Points-tested) stream
You may be eligible to apply for the 189 visa if your occupation is on the skilled occupation list available for the skilled independent visa.
The 189 visa is a permanent residency visa in Australia that allows you to enrol in Medicare, live, travel, work and study in Australia.
2. Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)
To be eligible for the 190 visa you must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency.
Your occupation must on the 190 visa skilled occupation list.
Not all states are open to nominate a particular occupation. You can check the state’s website for their skilled occupation list to see if your occupation is available for nomination for the 190 visa.
You will receive 5 addition points if the state nominates you.
The 190 state sponsored visa is a permanent residency visa in Australia that allows you to enrol in Medicare, live, travel, work and study in Australia.
3. Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489)
Important factors to note about the 489 visa:
- The 489 visa allows skilled workers to work and live in a regional or low populated area of Australia.
- The skilled regional visa is a temporary visa that is granted for four years.
- You will be granted 10 additional points if you are invited.
- You may be eligible for the permanent skilled regional visa after two years of holding the subclass 489 visa if you meet the requirements.
The 489 visa has three pathways.
a) 489 Visa Extended Stay Pathway
This pathway is for people who currently hold either a subclass 489 visa or a subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496 visa. You must have never held more than one of these visas.
Additional requirements may apply.
b) 489 Visa Invited Pathway
The 489 visa invited pathway requires you to submit an expression of interest and be nominated by an Australian State or Territory Government agency OR be sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area of Australia.
Nominated by Australian State or Territory Government Agency
- If you are applying for the 489 visa and wants to be nominated by a State or Territory Government, see skilled occupation available here.
NOTE: Not all states are open to nominate a particular occupation. You can check the state’s website for their skilled occupation list to see if your occupation is available for nomination for the 489 visa.
- You can be nominated in these postcodes.
Sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area of Australia
- If your relative will be sponsoring you, please see the skilled occupation lists here.
- You can be sponsored in these postcodes.
c) 489 visa Subsequent Entry Pathway
This pathway is for people who are a member of the family unit of someone who already holds the subclass 489 visa or a subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496 visa.
Additional requirements may apply.
General Skilled Migration Processing Time
Processing time varies depending on the visa stream. You can see processing time here.
General Skilled Migration Application Fee
Australian visa application fee can change from time to time. You can see application fee here.
How Can Crux Migration Help
The general skilled migration consists of rigorous assessment and various stages and requirements that you need to meet. Crux Migration can assess your eligibility and help you understand the requirements and processes involved.
You can book a consultation with one of our immigration specialists who will tailor your migration pathway according to your eligibility and go through more specific requirements with you.
General Skilled Migration FAQ
In a nutshell, the subclass 189 visa is the “independent” visa and the subclass 190 visa is state-sponsored.
The skilled independent visa (sc. 189) has been designed for skilled workers, who:
- don’t have any family member or employer to sponsor them, or
- are not nominated by any state or territory in Australia.
As the name says it, the subclass 189 visa is a completely independent visa.
The skilled nominated visa (sc. 190) is available for skilled workers who have been nominated by an Australian state or territory.
All people interested in the points based general skilled migration visa program will need to submit an EOI and receive an invitation in order to lodge a visa application.
An Expression of Interest (EOI) is not a visa application. When you submit an EOI you are indicating that you would like to be considered for a skilled visa.
Your EOI will be stored in SkillSelect and is valid for two years.
You must obtain a minimum of 65 points to lodge an Expression of Interest.
Yes, you can update your EOI at any time before you receive an invitation to apply for the visa.
You will not be able to change or update your EOI once you have receive an invitation.
There are no limitations on how many EOI you can submit. However, if you receive an invitation you must be able to provide supporting evidence and demonstrate all the claims you have made to achieve your points score.
There is no guarantee that you will be invited to apply for any of the GSM visa even if you score the minimum 65 or higher points. Because invitations are issued automatically by the SkillSelect system to the highest ranking EOIs, subject to occupation ceilings, it is in your best interest to obtain high Migration points as possible.
Invitations are issued on a monthly basis. The results of the invitation rounds are published on the Department of Home Affairs website after every round.
When you receive an invitation, you will have 60 days to lodge your online visa application.
If you do not lodge your visa application within this 60 days, your invitation will expire, and you will then have to wait for the department to invite you again. Please note that there is no guarantee that you will receive another invitation.
If you receive 2 invitations to apply for the visa for the same EOI and you do not lodge a visa application, your EOI will be removed from SKillSelect. You will have to submit another EOI if you still want to apply for a visa.
The points test is used to help the department select applicants who have the skills and attributes Australia needs.
Points can be given for various factors, including age, English language ability, qualification and work experience.