A Guide To Apply For A Skilled Worker Visa And Emigrate To Australia

Are you thinking of applying for a skilled worker visa and emigrating to Australia? If this is the case, you have landed in the right place.

Australia has long been a popular destination for individuals seeking better opportunities and a high quality of life. One of the pathways to move to this beautiful country is through skilled migration.

Australia’s skilled migration program is designed to attract talented individuals who can contribute to the country’s economy and workforce. If you’re considering applying for skilled migration to Australia, this is the blog for you.

In this blog, we will guide you through the steps, requirements, and visa options to make your migration journey smoother and more enjoyable.

Understanding Skilled Migration to Australia

Skilled migration to Australia involves moving to the country based on your qualifications, work experience, and skills in demand. It’s important to note that Australia’s migration policies are subject to change, so always refer to the official government website for the most up-to-date information.

To be eligible for a skilled worker visa, you will need to have a certain level of education, qualification, and work experience in a specific occupation.

Here is the Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Skilled Worker Visa:

Step 1: Check Eligibility and Ensure You Meet The Criteria

Before you begin the application process, it’s crucial to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility requirements can include factors such as age, English language proficiency, occupation, skills assessment, and health and character checks.

Meeting the eligibility criteria is the first and foremost step towards a successful application. The Australian government has set specific requirements to ensure that only individuals with the right qualifications and skills are granted entry through the skilled migration program.

Here’s a summary of the key factors you should consider when checking your eligibility:

#1. Age Requirements

Age plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for skilled migration to Australia. The general age range for skilled migration is typically between 18 and 44 years.

However, certain visa subclasses might have specific age limits, so it’s important to carefully review the requirements for the particular visa you’re interested in.

English Language Proficiency is essential for applying skilled worker visa to Australia.

#2. English Language Proficiency

Proficiency in the English language is essential for effective communication and integration into Australian society.

Most skilled migration visas require you to demonstrate your English language skills by taking an approved English language test, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).

The required minimum scores can vary based on the visa subclass and the specific English proficiency test.

#3. Nominated Occupation

To be eligible for skilled migration, your occupation must be listed on one of Australia’s skilled occupation lists. These lists are regularly updated and categorize occupations based on their demand in the Australian job market.

Each occupation is associated with a specific code and requirements, so it’s important to verify that your skills and qualifications align with the chosen occupation. Visit the Australian Skilled Occupation Lists here for more details.

#4. Skills Assessment

A skills assessment is a mandatory step in the skilled migration application process. It involves having your qualifications, work experience, and skills evaluated by a relevant assessing authority in Australia.

Each occupation is linked to a specific assessing authority, and their guidelines for assessing skills can vary. It’s crucial to follow the instructions provided by the assessing authority closely to ensure a successful assessment.

#5. Points Calculation

Australia’s skilled migration program operates on a points-based system, where you accumulate points based on various factors such as age, English language proficiency, work experience, education, and more.

The minimum points required for eligibility vary depending on the visa subclass. It’s important to calculate your points accurately to determine if you meet the minimum threshold for the visa you’re interested in.

#6. Health and Character Requirements

All visa applicants, including family members, are required to undergo health and character assessments. These assessments ensure that you meet the health standards and have a clean criminal record. Medical examinations and police clearance certificates are usually required as part of the application process.

#7. Expression of Interest (EOI)

Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) is a crucial step in the skilled migration process. Your EOI provides information about your skills, qualifications, and preferences for migrating to Australia. It’s submitted through the SkillSelect online system. If your EOI is selected and you receive an invitation to apply, you can proceed with submitting your formal visa application.

Through an EOI, you can be invited to apply for certain visas, such as:

#8. Commitment to Stay in the Designated State/Territory

For some skilled migration visa subclasses, such as the Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190), you might need to express a commitment to live and work in a specific Australian state or territory. This requires you to obtain a nomination from that state or territory government.

Checking Eligibility Before Applying Is Essential

As you can see, checking your eligibility is an important first step in the skilled migration process to Australia.

It’s important to thoroughly review the eligibility requirements for the specific visa subclass you’re interested in, as they can vary based on factors like age, occupation, English language skills, and more.

A careful assessment of your eligibility will set the foundation for a successful application and bring you one step closer to realising your dream of living and working in Australia.

Choose the Right skilled worker visa.

Step 2: Choose the Right Visa

Selecting the appropriate visa is a pivotal decision when considering skilled migration to Australia. The Australian government offers a range of skilled migration visas, each designed to cater to specific circumstances and goals.

Your choice of visa will depend on factors such as your skills, qualifications, nominated occupation, and whether you have a state or territory sponsorship.

Below is an overview of some of the skilled migration visa categories in Australia:

#1-Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186)

With this visa, you can:

  • Live, work and study in Australia indefinitely
  • Sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia
  • Apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible

You must:

  • Have an occupation that is on the list of eligible skilled occupations
  • Have at least 3 years of relevant work experience, unless you are exempt
  • Have a positive skills assessment, unless you are exempt

#2-Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) – Points-tested stream

With this visa, you can:

  • Work and study anywhere in Australia
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • If eligible, become an Australian citizen

You must:

  • Have an occupation that is on the list of eligible skilled occupations
  • Have at least 3 years of relevant work experience, unless you are exempt
  • Have a positive skills assessment, unless you are exempt

#3-Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

With this visa, you can:

  • Work and study anywhere in Australia
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • If eligible, become an Australian citizen

You must:

  • Have an occupation on the relevant skilled list
  • Have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
  • Be invited to apply for this visa
  • Satisfy the points test

Note: For subclass 189, subclass 190 and subclass 491 visas, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system. Your EOI will detail your skills, qualifications, and other relevant information. If you’re invited to apply, you’ll receive an invitation from the Australian government.

#4-Training visa (subclass 407)

With this visa, you can:

  • Visit Australia to complete a workplace-based training (to improve your skills for your current occupation, area of tertiary study or field of expertise), or a professional development training program

You must:

  • Be sponsored
  • Be nominated (unless your sponsor is a Commonwealth Government agency)
  • Be invited (if your sponsor is a Commonwealth Government agency)
Skilled worker visa - Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)

#5-Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)

The 482 visa replaced the previous 457 visa in March 2018. It is divided into three streams:

  • Short-Term Stream: This stream allows employers to sponsor foreign workers for up to 2 years (or up to 4 years if the occupation is on the Regional Occupation List). It’s intended for occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
  • Medium-Term Stream: This stream allows employers to sponsor foreign workers for up to 4 years. It’s for occupations on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and is designed for skills that are in high demand.
  • Labour Agreement Stream: This stream is for employers who have a labour agreement with the Australian government. Labour agreements allow employers to sponsor workers for occupations not covered by the STSOL or MLTSSL.

Note that the 482 visa is a temporary visa, which means that the visa holder is allowed to work and live in Australia for the duration of the visa but doesn’t automatically lead to permanent residency. However, certain pathways to permanent residency might be available after holding the 482 visa for a certain period.

#6-Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work

With this visa, you can:

  • Live, study and work in Australia temporarily
  • Bring your family members

You must:

  • Be under 50 years of age
  • Hold an eligible visa
  • Have held a student visa in the last 6 months
  • Have a qualification relevant to an occupation on the skilled occupation list (note: this requirement only applies to new applications lodged on or after 1 july 2023)
  • Have applied for a skills assessment in your nominated occupation on the skilled occupation list (note: this requirement only applies to new applications lodged on or after 1 july 2023)
  • Provide evidence of adequate health insurance for all applicants when you applyProvide evidence you have applied for an afp check when you apply
  • Provide evidence of the required level of English with the application

#7-Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)

This is a provisional visa for skilled people nominated by a state or territory government to live and work in regional Australia.

With this visa, you can:

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Stay in Australia for 5 years
  • Live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid
  • Apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time your visa is granted​

Choose Visa Wisely 

When selecting the right visa for skilled migration to Australia, it’s crucial to consider your individual circumstances, goals, and preferences. Carefully review the eligibility criteria for each visa subclass and assess which one aligns best with your qualifications and aspirations.

Keep in mind that visa policies can change, so always refer to the official Australian government website for the most up-to-date information. Making an informed choice will set you on the path to a successful migration journey and a promising future in Australia.

For more details about Australian skilled visas, you can visit Explo​re visa options. Or check out the Australia Gov. website for the Skilled Migration Program.  

Skills Assessment for apply Australian Skilled worker visa.

Step 3: Skills Assessment

A skills assessment is a critical component of the skilled migration process to Australia. It’s the process through which your qualifications, work experience, and skills are evaluated to determine if they match the requirements of your nominated occupation.

The assessment is conducted by relevant assessing authorities designated by the Australian government for different occupations. Here’s an overview of what’s involved in the skills assessment process:

#1- The Purpose of Skills Assessment

The primary purpose of skills assessment is to ensure that your qualifications and experience align with the Australian standards for your chosen occupation. This assessment verifies that you possess the necessary skills and competencies required to perform effectively in your nominated role within the Australian workforce.

#2-Selecting the Correct Assessing Authority

Different occupations are associated with specific assessing authorities. These authorities have the expertise to evaluate the qualifications and experience relevant to their designated occupations. It’s crucial to identify the correct assessing authority for your occupation and follow their guidelines and procedures.

#3-Gathering Required Documentation

Skills assessment requires you to compile a comprehensive set of documents that demonstrate your qualifications and work history. Commonly required documents include academic transcripts, certificates, employment references, curriculum vitae (CV), and evidence of any relevant licenses or memberships.

#4-Submitting the Application

The application process for skills assessment usually involves submitting an online application to the relevant assessing authority. The application form will require you to provide detailed information about your education, work experience, and other relevant details. You’ll also need to attach scanned copies of the required documents.

#5-Assessment Process

Once you’ve submitted your application and documents, the assessing authority will review the information provided. They will assess whether your qualifications are equivalent to the Australian standard and whether your work experience aligns with the requirements of your nominated occupation.

#6-Potential Outcomes

Based on their assessment, the authority will provide an outcome for your application. The possible outcomes include:

  • Positive Assessment: If your qualifications and experience are deemed suitable for your nominated occupation, you will receive a positive skills assessment. This assessment is a key requirement for your skilled migration visa application.
  • Negative Assessment: If your qualifications or experience do not meet the required standard, you might receive a negative assessment. In such cases, you might need to explore further options, such as improving your qualifications or considering a different occupation.

Appeals and Review

If you disagree with the assessment outcome, some assessing authorities allow for appeals or reviews. It’s important to carefully follow the authority’s guidelines for appealing a decision and providing any additional information required to support your case.

Moving Forward

Once you receive a positive skills assessment, you’ll be one step closer to applying for your skilled migration visa. Keep in mind that the skills assessment process can take time, so it’s advisable to start early in your migration journey.

To sum up, the skills assessment process is a crucial checkpoint in your path to skilled migration in Australia. It ensures that you meet the necessary standards and requirements for your nominated occupation, ultimately contributing to the success of your migration journey.

Note that you should always refer to the specific guidelines of the assessing authority corresponding to your occupation and stay updated with any changes in requirements.

Lodge visa application for a skilled worker permit.

Step 4: Lodge Visa Application

Lodging a visa application is another step in your journey to skilled migration to Australia. Once you have received an invitation to apply based on your Expression of Interest (EOI) and positive skills assessment, it’s time to navigate the visa application process.

Here we will walk you through the steps involved, the required documents, and additional assessments beyond skills assessment.

#1. Gather Required Documents

Before you begin your visa application, gather all the necessary documents. These documents serve as evidence to support the claims you made in your Expression of Interest and skills assessment. Commonly required documents include:

  • Passport and passport-sized photographs
  • Birth certificate
  • Educational certificates and transcripts
  • English language test results (e.g., IELTS, PTE)
  • Skills assessment outcome
  • Employment references and CV
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Proof of relationship (if applying with family members)

#2. Online Application

Most skilled migration visa applications are submitted online through the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs website. Create an account, select the appropriate visa subclass (e.g., subclass 189, 190), and fill out the application form with accurate and honest information.

#3. Health Assessment

Health assessments are mandatory for all visa applicants. You’ll need to undergo medical examinations by panel doctors approved by the Australian government. The results are sent directly to the Department of Home Affairs.

#4. Character Assessment

Character assessments ensure that you have a clean criminal record. You might need to provide police clearance certificates from all countries you’ve lived in for a certain period. Some visa subclasses might require additional character assessments.

#5. Points Calculation and Proof

If your visa subclass operates on a points-based system (e.g., subclass 189), calculate your points accurately and provide evidence to support your claims. This could include documents related to age, English language proficiency, work experience, education, and other relevant factors.

#6. Nomination and Sponsorship

If you’re applying for a state-nominated visa (e.g., subclass 190), you’ll need to provide evidence of your nomination by the state or territory government. This demonstrates your commitment to living and working in the designated area.

For other visas such as the TSS 482 Visa, the overseas skilled worker needs a sponsoring employer in Australia. The employer must be an approved sponsor and lodge a nomination application for the intended employee’s position.

The occupation of the nominated position must be listed on either the Occupation Lists – STSOL or the MLTSSL, depending on the stream. This ensures that the position aligns with Australia’s skill needs.

The employer must also demonstrate that there is a genuine need for the nominated position and that they have been unable to find a suitable Australian worker. For further details, please visit the Australia Gov. website for the Skilled Migration Program here.

#7. Visa Application Fee

Pay the required visa application fee. Fees can vary based on the visa subclass and the number of applicants. You can check out the current visa application fees on the Australia Immigration Website here.

Final Tips and Considerations

  • Biometrics: Some visa subclasses might require you to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and photographs, as part of the application process.
  • Health Insurance: It’s advisable to have health insurance to cover your medical expenses during your stay in Australia.
  • Document Translation: If your documents are not in English, you might need to provide certified translations.
  • Visa Processing Time: Visa processing times can vary based on factors such as the visa subclass and the volume of applications.
  • Consult Experts: If you’re unsure about any aspect of the visa application process, consider consulting with a registered migration agent for professional guidance.

Lodging a visa application for skilled migration to Australia involves meticulous preparation, accurate documentation, and adherence to specific requirements.

Each step is crucial in ensuring a smooth application process and increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. And again, always refer to the official Australian government website for the most up-to-date information and guidelines relevant to your chosen visa subclass.

Step 5: Wait for The Visa Decision

Visa processing times can vary, so it’s important to be patient. You can check the estimated processing times on the official government website. Visit the Australian Government website for more information here.

Plan your move and emigrate To Australia.

Step 6: Plan Your Move

Once your visa is granted, it’s time to plan your move to Australia. This includes booking flights, finding accommodation, and preparing for your new life in Australia.

Final Thought

Applying for skilled migration to Australia can be a rewarding but complex process. It’s essential to gather accurate information, meet all requirements, and follow the correct steps to maximise your chances of a successful application.

Always refer to the official Australian government website for the most current information and guidelines. With careful planning and thorough research, you can pave the way for a smooth transition to your new life Down Under. Best of luck!

Do You Need Help With Skilled Migration To Australia?

Are you looking to migrate to Australia? Need visa application help? We’ve got you covered.

Southern Cross Personnel is your trusted partner for international recruitment, connecting skilled migrants with Australian employers. Based in South Australia, we’re experts in guiding career transitions.

Teaming up with Copson Migration Partners (visa specialist MARN 157560), we offer complete support for visa and immigration queries. For professional and reliable recruitment, reach out through our online contact form. Our dedicated team will swiftly provide tailored solutions for your requirements.


The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to keep the information accurate and up to date, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

We are not liable for any losses or damages arising from the use of or reliance on the information presented in this content. It is advisable to seek professional or expert advice when making decisions based on this content. We reserve the right to modify or update the content without prior notice.

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