FAQs

1. I think I have a skilled occupation and want to move to Australia. Where do I start?

2. When are points decided under the skilled visa points test?

3. Do I have to take a test (usually an IELTS test) to confirm my English language competency?

4. Why would we look at a subclass 489 visa, when it isn’t a permanent residency visa?

5. Who can I include on my skilled visa application?


Q. I think I have a skilled occupation and want to move to Australia. Where do I start?

  • There are several key parts to a general skilled visa application. The main ones are:
    • Are you aged under 50?
    • Do you have competent English language ability? See the commentary below regarding the need for evidence of English language competency.
    • Do you have sufficient points under the skilled visa points test?
    • Do you need – or want – State or Territory Government sponsorship? Obtaining sponsorship can allow you to attain the minimum points needed to secure a general skilled visa. It also puts you to the front of the processing queue, as Expressions of Interest for a State or Territory Sponsored skilled visa (subclasses 190 and 489) progress to a visa invitation as soon as the sponsorship is confirmed.
    • All skilled visa applicants must have a migration skills assessment from the assessing body that is given the authority to assess the occupation. Requirements as to qualifications and work experience vary between the assessing bodies, and some will require evidence of English language competency irrespective of your passport or citizenship
  • you must check the requirements of the relevant skills assessing body.

And then contact us for a no obligation initial discussion about your visa strategy, and how we can help!

Q. When are points decided under the skilled visa points test?

  • Points are locked in when you receive an invitation to lodge a visa application, not when you submit an Expression of Interest.
  • If you have 60 points and are close to a birthday when you will lose 5 points this can mean that a State or Territory sponsored visa pathway is to be preferred over a subclass 189 Skilled Independent, because the State and Territory sponsored skilled visas progress from an EoI to a visa invitation within a very short period of the sponsorship being confirmed.

Q. Do I have to take a test (usually an IELTS test) to confirm my English language competency?

  • If you have a passport from one of several countries you will not need to take an English language test to confirm you have competent English – unless you want to secure points under the skilled visa points test for English language competency, or the skills assessing body relevant to your occupation requires one to be undertaken.
  • If you have a passport from one of the following countries the Department of Immigration does not require competent English (the threshold competency) to be evidenced:
    • The United Kingdom
    • The United States
    • Canada
    • New Zealand
    • The Republic of Ireland.
  • If you want to secure 10 points for proficient English language competency you must secure at least 7’s across all 4 bands of an IELTS test, or a score of B on each of the 4 components of an OET
  • If you want to secure 20 points for superior English language competency you must secure at least 8’s across all 4 bands of an IELTS test, or a score of A on each of the 4 components of an OET

Q. Why would we look at a subclass 489 visa, when it isn’t a permanent residency visa?

  • There are an additional 5 points available when sponsored for a subclass 489 visa compared to a subclass 190 sponsored visa – this can be the difference between obtaining the skilled visa points pass mark and not being able to move to Australia under the general skilled program.
  • The subclass 489 visa allows you to obtain a permanent residency visa, usually under subclass 887 once you have been living in regional Australia for 2 years, and working in regional Australia for 12 months.
  • Regional Australia includes all of South Australia, all of Tasmania, all of the Northern Territory, all of New South Wales (except for Sydney and Wollongong), all of Victoria (except for Melbourne), and all of Queensland (except for Brisbane and the Gold Coast). Note also that if you are sponsored for a subclass 489 visa by a close family member you can live and work in Melbourne, and in the ACT (Canberra and surrounding areas in the Territory).

Q. Who can I include on my skilled visa application?

  • Applicants for a skilled migration visa can include other members of their “family unit” with their application.
  • While the main visa applicant must satisfy the basic requirements, members of the “family unit” who are making a combined application need to meet the secondary applicant criteria.
  • Secondary applicants must demonstrate a family relationship with the primary applicant – including dependency as necessary – and must satisfy health, character, and custody requirements.
  • Confirmation of Australian values is required, and functional English language competency where the secondary applicant does not have a passport from one of the countries noted above.