Migrating as a Skilled Person

Australia’s general skilled migration program targets people who are highly skilled, are under 45 years of age, have a high level of English language ability and who will quickly make a contribution to the Australian economy.

To apply for skilled migration, you need to select the appropriate visa. There are three categories:

  1. Offshore general skilled – for applicants generally outside Australia;
  2. Onshore general skilled – for overseas students currently studying in Australia;
  3. Onshore New Zealand citizen – for NZ citizens currently in Australia.

Within these three categories, there are the following types of visas:

  • independent – for those who meet the basic requirements and do not have a sponsor, or who choose not to be sponsored or nominated by a State or Territory government;
  • skill matching – for those wanting to be involved in the skill matching process and who are seeking to be nominated by a State or Territory government or an employer;
  • designated area sponsored – for those who have a sponsor and an assurer. The sponsor must live in a designated area, and you must be related to your sponsor;
  • Australian sponsored – for those who have a sponsor and an assurer, but the sponsor either lives outside a designated area or lives in Sydney or a selected area (Gosford, Newcastle or Wollongong). If your sponsor lives in Sydney or a ‘selected area,’ you must nominate an occupation listed on the Sydney and Selected Areas Skilled Shortage List (SSASSL). You must be related to your sponsor.

To make a valid application, applicants or their spouses must be able to satisfy the following essential criteria.

Skilled Migration Pre-Requisites

  • Age
    You must be under 45 years of age 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–Designated Area and the Skill Matching visa categories, a lower level of English may apply.

    You are encouraged to have your English language ability tested before you apply.

  • Qualifications
    You must have post-secondary (such as university or trade) qualifications (in a small number of occupations, substantial relevant work experience may be acceptable).

    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 Australian Department of Immigration’s Skilled Occupations List (SOL)
  • If your nominated occupation is Medical Practitioner Click Here.
  • 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, you must provide evidence of work experience for at least 12 of the 18 months immediately before applying
    • If your nominated occupation is worth 40 or 50 points, you must provide evidence that you have been in paid employment in an occupation on the SOL for at least 2 of the 3 years immediately before applying
    • In the Skill Matching or Skilled-Designated Area Sponsored categories, you may be eligible with less work experience
  • You do not need to meet work experience requirement if you have completed an Australian qualification less than 6 months before lodging your visa application, although conditions do apply.

Distinguished Talent program

The Distinguished Talent program is designed to attract persons who want to settle permanently in Australia and are able to demonstrate they have a internationally-recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in a profession, the arts, sport or research and academia.