Steps & Fees Required For Emigration To Australia

steps to securing Australian visas

Steps To Emigrate To Australia

Process & Costs

To apply for an Australian visa as a skilled migration is to commence a legal process under Australian migration law. If you meet the legal requirements at each step you will be granted a visa. The visa process takes on average between 9 to 12 months to complete giving you the opportunity to organise your departure from your country and arrival in Australia.

For a Skilled Migration visa, there are 6 steps that you must complete.

Step 1: Accreditation of Studies and Work Experience

The first step is to be accredited in your occupation.

Different occupations have different accrediting bodies, usually the relevant professional association for your profession or trade. Once an accrediting body has determined that your qualifications and work experience are equivalent to Australian qualifications and work experience for your occupation, you will be issued with a letter of accreditation.

Costs and time frames

The application fee is paid directly to the accrediting body relevant to your occupation and is between AUD$450 and AUD$4000. Most accrediting bodies charge an assessment fee of around AUD$800.

It takes 2 to 3 months to receive a decision on an accreditation application.

Step 2: Evidence of English Language

As part of the visa process, all non-native speakers of English have to take an English exam.

The exam used by the Australian Government is called the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The IELTS examines 4 language skills: speaking, reading, writing and listening. You must obtain a minimum of 6 out of 9 on each part of the exam to satisfy the basic requirements for the visa.

VisAustralia strongly recommends that you book your place in the test as soon as you decide to apply for the visa. We also strongly recommend that you undertake an IELTS preparation test to ensure you achieve the best possible score on the test.


The IELTS exam costs about AUD$300 or in the UK £160 per person and is paid to the IELTS administrator directly.

Step 3: Lodge an Expression of Interest

On being accredited you must formally express an interest in applying for the visa through SkillSelect.

There is no cost in applying to SkillSelect.

Step 4: State Nomination Application

If you are applying for a state nominated visa the next step in the process is to apply for the nomination of a state government. The requirements of each state government are different as are the application procedures.

Costs and time frames

State government application fees range from NIL to AUD$ 300.

It generally takes between 1 to 4 weeks to receive a decision on your state nomination application.

Step 5: Visa Application

The fifth step is to apply for your visa.

The visa application is made online and must include certified copies of your professional and work experience documents, certified translations, and other formal documents.


The visa application fees currently paid to Australian Government are as follows:

  • Primary visa applicant: AUD $ 3,670.00
  • Each additional applicant over 18 years old (if applicable): AUD $  1,835.00
  • Each additional applicant under 18 years old (if applicable): AUD $  920.00

An additional fee of AUD$4,890 is payable by each applicant over 18 years old who does not speak intermediate English. This person is then entitled to 500 hours of “free” English classes after arriving n Australia.

Step 6: Medical Exams and Police Certificates

To enter Australia you and your dependents must comply with strict health and character requirements.

After you make the visa application you will need to have a medical examination with a local doctor registered with the Australian Embassy. All members of the family must have the exam including in some cases those who are not migrating.

The Department of Immigration will also request that you provide it with a police certificate for each country where you have lived for 12 months over the last ten years. This certificate is obtained from the local police in those countries.


The medical exam costs about AUD$200 per person and in the UK the fees are on average £350 per person and are paid directly to the Australian Immigration panel doctor and radiographer.

The cost of obtaining a police certificate depends on the local police authority. The cost of these certificates vary per country - in the UK the cost is £49 and payable directly to the issuing authority.

Qualifying criteria

Points are awarded to people based on:

  • Age
  • Qualification
  • Years of Experience
  • English Language
  • Links to Australia
  • Good Character

For argument sake, we are going to assume you achieve the minimum required 60 points.  This allows us to file an online Expression of interest (E.O.I), it does not mean you automatically qualify for a visa to emigrate. 

We ensure our clients' cases stand out as exceptionally strong candidates prior to lodging an E.O.I because it is all too easy to submit an E.O.I that is not prepared correctly and would ultimately harm your chances of success. Our team understand how important this step is and we never file a case without doing everything possible to make sure it will be a success. 


  • Confirmation you hold the necessary skills in demand – We must evidence the facts and present the best possible case in a clear way an Australian Immigration officer will quickly understand.  The officer may review over 50 cases per day and will not go looking to build a case for you as it is a "personal liability" case. This means it is the responsibility of the candidates to ensure their case is "Visa ready" for submission or it will be declined. 
  • We work together closely to build the case and address any shortcomings.
  • English Language test – While UK nationals can often avoid sitting an English language test we believe being British is no excuse to avoid doing an IELTS test. This may not be required in all cases, however, it is always helpful if you can pass the IELTS to strengthen your case.
  • Work Experience – This evidence must be presented in a clear way, exactly as the officials require and it is at this point which most skills assessments are rejected.  There are no guides on how to prepare the perfect reference and record of prior learning as every case is unique. In our experience assessing bodies rely heavily on these document and therefore they need to stand on their own merit as independent documentary evidence.
  • Qualifications –Your achievements using specialist international qualifications equivalency tests will determine the Australian equivalency and if you have the qualifications you think you have! The transcripts of your qualification will be as important as your qualification certificate.
  • The Skills Approval Authorities review your case to ensure your skills meet the required standards.  It is important you secure the maximum awards available which will help your future Immigration case. If the assessor has any issues they can request a practical test if they are unsure about refusing your application. Practical tests cost extra and are best avoided. 

This Skills Assessment stage is vital to future success and underpins our future immigration case.  A primary purpose of immigration control is to confirm you will be conducive to the economy and the public good.  This is also how local employers will assess your eligibility for employment. Local employers are only allowed to offer employment to those who are of an equivalent standard required to take the position available within Australia and that you will not be taking work from a person who is a resident or citizen already.

STAGE TWO – Presenting Your Expression of Interest  

  • Plan, prepare and present your case to meet the needs of the immigration officer to achieve the maximum points available based on your case history.
  • It is vital you provide an officer with a case which is "Visa Ready" any mistakes or gaps will result in the case being turned away and no refund of fees provided.
  • Present you to local employers and to the State for state sponsorship if required.  Select those who are licensed by the Government to employ overseas talent which matches your career objectives, skills and experience.
  • For regulated professions, you will be required to hold the correct Australian licence & registration

Based on a number of factors drawn from your skills assessment and initial submissions you will be selected from the pool of international talent by the State / Federal Govt. Our work up to this point is about positioning yourself in the pool to stand out for selection.  As a candidate is unable to see other people's cases it is difficult to gauge the merits of their your own case.  That is why it is important we present our clients as exceptional candidates throughout the selection process.

Three Invitation Options Available At This Stage

1 - Invitation From The Australian Federal Government to emigrate

This is the best option if your skills and qualifications are in demand and your case meets the Australian Standards to secure a 189 visa. You would be invited to apply for Permanent Residency. On arrival leaving you would be free to live and work where ever you wished in Australia. These three routes are each beneficial and require you to qualify via your positive skills assessment and expression of interest.

2 & 3 - State Sponsorship Programmes (190 & 489 visas)

A regional State Government has the option to invite you to apply to live and work in their state. Each state has their own criteria and skills in demand. Some states’ SSPs are closed for the next few months but several remain open as these states are working hard to grow their economies through the immigration of skills. If you apply for an SSP and secure a place we shall receive an invitation that we submit to the Federal Government who will then invite you to migrate to Australia at that time. Some SSP’s undertake to complete your case within a few months which can be attractive to those who qualify and are in a rush. The condition is that you undertake to live and work in the State that sponsors you for a minimum of two years.  

STAGE THREE – Securing Your Visa

  • Review the merits of the visa offered to apply for the relevant visa offered at this time as it may include a state/provincial sponsorship offer, employer offering sponsorship or a central Government offer to sponsor you for a PR visa.
  • Prepare all application forms presenting the best possible case to meet the Immigration officer’s requirements when reviewing your file.
  • Represent the merits of your case – Often people are asked follow-up questions that they shall need to address as they arise in accordance with current policy and regulations and allay any concerns an Immigration Officer may have at that time.
  • Criminal Records Review – prepare your application for submission. As this is a confidential report you will be required to apply directly.
  • Medical Tests – prepare your medical with a Doctor of your choice that is permitted to conduct these tests.


Now you have completed the three stages of securing your Visa to Australia you can start to think about your new life overseas.  We are experts and can assist you with the whole process ensuring you are a successful candidate.

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How to emigrate to Australia
steps to securing Australian visas

Name: Skilled workers

Description: There are three key steps to securing a visa to emigrate. First evidence you have skills in demand, then file an Expresion of Interest and finally, if you are selected from the pool of similar candidates you can apply for your visa. Places are limited each year and demand is high, out tip is to apply early to avoid disappointment.

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