Australian Skilled Worker Visas – Emigrate to Australia With Confidence

Australian Immigration Permanent skilled visas

Emigrate to Australia as a Skilled Worker

Discover your Australian immigration options

Our acclaimed and accredited team of lawyers, ex-immigration officers and immigration experts assist individuals and families emigrate to Australia as skilled workers every day.

Australia is now the preferred destinations for skilled migrants. Boasting one of the worlds highest standards of living, an excellent educational system, low crime rates, desirable climate, the largest homes in the world per-capita and a world-class economy.

It is, therefore, unsurprisingly Australia is the most popular choice for skilled migrants.

Helping Skilled Workers Emigrate To Australia

At Haskew Law, we endeavour to provide our clients with the best possible outcome to ensure their emigration plans come to fruition as quickly and easily as possible. Our team are ready to help you when you want to find out more about how you could live and work in Australia.

The clear benefits that Australia can offer has made the Australian immigration system one of the most competitive and complex systems in the world.

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Take advantage of our FREE fast assessment today. We will be happy to provide advice on your options.

How to Emigrate to Australia as a Skilled Worker

The Australia Points-Based Skilled Migration System

Overview of Australian Immigration controls

The purpose of the points test mechanism is to help select skilled migrants who offer the best in terms of economic benefit to Australia.  According to the DIBP, the test "creates a selection process that is transparent and objective, awarding points to the skills and attributes considered to be in need in Australia.”

The visa sub-classes that have been established under the points-based skilled migration category are available to independent (un-sponsored) applicants, applicants nominated by a state or territory government agency and applicants sponsored by an eligible relative. People must be invited to apply for these visas.

Section 93 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) provides the Minister with the power to prescribe points for a range of factors through regulations. Points are currently awarded for the following factors:

  • Age;
  • English language ability;
  • Number of years of skilled employment in the past ten years within or outside Australia;
  • Level of educational qualifications;
  • Qualifications obtained from Australian educational institutions;
  • Other factors, such as community language qualifications, study in regional Australia or a low-population-growth metropolitan area, partner skill qualifications, and Professional Year in Australia; and
  • Nomination by a state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member (relevant visas only).

Under the current system for points-based visas, an applicant must nominate a skilled occupation from the Australian government’s Skilled Occupation List (MLTSSL) and must have their skills assessed as suitable for that occupation by a recognised authority. However, the occupation itself does not form part of the points test.

Section 96 of the Migration Act allows the Minister to set the “pass mark” for points-tested visas. The current pass mark for the skilled migration points-based visas is sixty five points. “Pool marks” can also be set so that applicants with a score that is lower than the pass mark can be placed in a pool for a specified period of time.  However, the current pool mark for all visas is the same as the pass mark, meaning that no applications are being placed in the pool at this time.

Apart from passing the points test and nominating a skilled occupation from the MLTSSL, there are basic eligibility requirements that must be met in order to obtain one of the visas: applicants must be under forty five years of age, have at least competent English, and meet the health and character requirements.

Applicants for skilled migration visas can include family members. Such family members must meet specified secondary qualifying criteria.  They must also demonstrate the family relationship and satisfy health, character, Australian values requirements.

What skilled visas are available?

There Are Several Classes & Sub-classes Of Skilled Visas

While 'work visa' is a catch-all term the type of visa you will need depends on your skill set, your sponsorship and a range of other important factors.

Each state has an allocation of skilled visas they can nominate and to make matters even more complex, within each state, there are various designated areas who are also able to sponsor skilled migrants. Each with their own qualifying criteria, benefits and restrictions.

Selecting the right visa and knowing which paperwork requires submission for your situation is critical to successfully gaining your visa.

Skilled Migrant visa classes

  • Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)
  • Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa (Subclass 489)
  • Training Subclass 407 visas

A person's occupation must be listed on the on the MLTSSL to be eligible for a 189 visa.

Occupations listed on the STSOL are only eligible for state nominated, family sponsored or employer sponsorship. The availability of these visas will depend on your specific circumstances.

How are Australian Immigration points awarded?

Current Points Test for Subclass 189, 190 and 489 Visas





at time of invitation

18–24 years (inclusive)

25–32 years (inclusive)

33–39 years (inclusive)

40–44 years (inclusive)





English language ability

at time of invitation

Competent English – IELTS 6 / OET B

Proficient in English – IELTS 7 / OET B

Superior English – IELTS 8 / OET A




Skilled employment

at time of invitation

Only 20 points can be awarded for any combination of overseas and Australian skilled employment

Overseas employment in a nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation

Australian employment in a nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation

Skilled employment outside Australia

At least three but less than five years (of past 10 years)  

At least five but less than eight years (of past 10 years)  

At least eight and up to 10 years (of past 10 years)           







Skilled employment in Australia

At least one but less than three years (of past 10 years)  

At least three but less than five years (of past 10 years)

At least five but less than eight years (of past 10 years)  

At least eight and up to 10 years (of past 10 years)           








Educational qualifications

at time of invitation

Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or other Doctorate of a recognised standard          

At least a Bachelor degree, including a Bachelor degree with Honours or Masters, from an Australian educational institution or another degree of a recognised standard 

Diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia, or qualification or award of recognised standard          








Australian study requirements

at time of invitation

One or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications awarded by an Australian educational institution and meet the Australian Study Requirement



Other factors

at time of invitation

Credentialled community language qualifications

Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area (excluding distance education)

Partner skill qualifications    

Professional Year in Australia for at least 12 months in the four years before the day you were invited









at time of invitation

Nomination by state or territory government (visa subclass 190 only)

Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member, to reside and work in a specified/designated area (visa subclass 489 only)

Are changes making Australian Immigration rules tougher?

Recent changes are designed to make skilled migration a more competitive process

Australia is firming up their borders. As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently stated: "Australian jobs for Australian workers" setting the tone for the tougher immigration policy being rolled out.

That said, there are still opportunities for people with the right skills, experience and other qualifying criteria.

We do recommend, however, people who wish to emigrate look to secure their visa as soon as possible and before further restrictions are put into place.

This recent announcement from the Australian Prime minister outlines his immigration manifesto for skilled workers:

“What we want to have is not one more person coming to Australia, not one, that we do not want or need,” the Prime Minister told 3AW Melbourne radio host Neil Mitchell.

 “I’m giving you this commitment, that my government and my government alone, the Australian government, elected by the Australian people, determines who comes to Australia, whether they are on the humanitarian program, whether they’re on family reunion, whether they’re skilled migration, whether they’re students, [or] a foreign student sitting on the tram with me this morning going off to his lectures."

“We determine who comes here and that’s the big difference between us and Labour, because under Shorten and Labour, when they were in government, they outsourced our migration program to people smugglers [This is a reference to employers who relied on recruitment agents to source cheap overseas workers, as well as those who bring in refugees]. That’s a fact. That’s not political rhetoric. That’s the truth and we’re not having any more of that again."

“We decide who comes here. We, being the government, representing the Australian people.”

Asked whether it was time for a reassessment of our immigration levels, Mr Turnbull said "Immigration was run solely in the national interest of Australia”.

“It is constantly under review,” he said.

“We are constantly ensuring that we get the highest quality of migrants we can."

“You talk about numbers as though every person is exactly the same. This is a talent business. We’re in a war for talent and we want to get, through our skilled, permanent migration program, the smartest people who bring skills that are not available here and by bringing their skills here we ensure that Australian businesses grow and prosper.”

489 Visas Australia

Australian 190 visas

Steps to Emigrate Without a Trade

Work in Australia

Haskew Law Skilled Worker

Name: The Most Popular Skilled Worker Visas for Migrants

Description: There are three main skilled worker visa categories for Australia: Federal level skilled workers, State sponsorship and employer sponsored TSS Visas Each visa class carries its own qualifying criteria and conditions for approval to emigrate.

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