FAQs: Australian Skilled Visas

Frequently Asked Questions

Australian Skilled Visas

There are several factors to consider while deciding the cost for a candidate. A high level picture is given below:

Stage 1: Skills Assessment

Fees in Australian Dollar : AUD 250 – AUD 4000 /12,000INR – 1,92,000INR

The first stage of the Australia visa process involves accreditation of your work experience and skills. This is done by an accrediting or accessing body of Australia and the process is called as Skills Assessment. Different occupations have different assessing bodies.

Stage 2: English Proficiency Test

Fees in Australian Dollars: AUD 180 – AUD587 / 8,700INR – 28,100 INR

To migrate to Australia, you need to be proficient in English language. This is one of the mandatory aspects to proceed with your Australian immigration process.

The proficiency of your English language must be proved by taking up any English language test that is approved by the Australian government.

Skilled workers can take any of the following test to prove their language proficiency in the English language:

  • TOEFL28,
  • PTE Academic
  • OET
  • Cambridge CAE

Cost of each English test

IELTS AUD 236.98 (11300INR)
TOEFL AUD 180 (8583.04 INR)
PTE Academic AUD 278.92 (13,300 INR)
OET AUD 587.00 (28,100 INR)
Cambridge (CAE) AUD 320 (6,000INR)


Stage 3: State Nomination Application (If applicable)

Fee in Australian Dollars: AUD 0 – AUD 300 /0 – 14,400 INR

After you have lodged your Expression of Interest with Skill Select, you are all set with your visa process. However, for candidates who are eligible for a State sponsorship and want to utilize their chances for a faster visa success can apply for a State Sponsorship.

Stage 4: Visa Application (after ITA)

Fee for primary applicant : AUD 4045 /1,92,838 INR

Fee for dependent over 18years : AUD 2020/96,400 INR

Fee for dependent below 18years : AUD 1015/48,388 INR

Along with this fee you must submit certified copies of your professional work experience and other formal documents.

Stage 5: Medical Exams and Police Certificates

The cost for medical exam is approximately AUD 94 (4500 INR) per person and the police clearance certificate costs depends on the state or the city you are living in.

Generally, the government will ask you to submit police clearance certificate of every country or places where you have lived more than 12 months.

To enter Australia, you and your accompanying dependents are required to prove a good health and moral character. For this, medical certificates and police clearance certificates are asked as evidence.

A candidate with 65 points may qualify if Australia receives very few applications on a certain ANZSCO occupation. For example, 65 points may be enough to get a 189 visa for a marine engineer or a scientist.

There are various categories under which you can apply for a PR visa which have different eligibility requirements. But the general eligibility factors are as under:

1) Points Requirement

Points determine your eligibility for a PR visa. You must score at least 65 points under the Point’s Grid. The below table describes the different criteria for scoring points:

Category   Maximum Points
Age (25-33 years) 30 points
English proficiency (8 bands) 20 points
Work Experience outside Australia (8-10 years) 15 points
Work Experience in Australia (8-10 years) 20 points
Education (outside Australia) – Doctorate degree 20 points
Niche skills such as Doctorate or master’s degree by research in Australia 10 points
Study in a regional area 5 points
Accredited in community language 5 points
Professional year in a skilled program in Australia 5 points
State sponsorship (190 visa) 5 points
Skilled spouse or de facto partner (Age, Skills & English language requirements to be met)  10 points
Spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’ (No need to meet Skills requirement or age factor) 5 points
Applicants without a spouse or de facto partner or where spouse is an Australia citizen or PR holder  10 points

2) Age

Your age should be below 45 years to apply for a PR visa

3) Language Proficiency

 You should have proof that you have a competent level of proficiency in the English language.

4) Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL)

The applicant must choose an occupation that is available in the following skilled occupation lists. The list contains the occupations that are currently acceptable for migration to Australia. The occupations in the lists are updated regularly and reflect the changes in the Australian labor market. There are three categories of the SOL:

  1. Medium- and long-term Strategic Skills List
  2. Short-term Skilled Occupation List
  3. Regional Occupations List


GSM (General Skilled Migration) Visa Applications Are A 3 Step Process

You must complete step 1 before step 2, and can only get to step 3 (the visa application) following step 2

 STEP 1 – Skills Assessment

  • Your skills might need be assessed for the purposes of skilled migration by the relevant assessing authority for the occupation you nominated when you apply for a GSM visa
  • An assessing authority checks that you meet the standards they set for your occupation. The standards include university or trade qualifications for your occupation as well as relevant work experience

Assessments are valid for 3 years from their issue date unless a shorter period is listed on the assessment

 Average Processing Time

  • Pre application: Takes most applicants around 2 to 4 weeks to prepare and gather all the documents / evidence for the assessment
  • Processing by the Skills Assessment Authority: Takes between 4 and 16 weeks (depends on the occupation and authority)


STEP 2 – EOI stage + a State sponsorship Stage if you apply for a 190 or 491 visa

  • An expression of interest (EOI) is a pro forma application to show your interest in applying for a skilled visa for a GSM visa
  • The EOI is lodged online.
  • Invite rounds are held on the 11th of each month

It is essential that all claims made in the EOI can be verified if you are invited for a visa

 Average Processing Time

  • Invite rounds held once a month on the 11th
  • an Invite for a 189 visa is based on numerous factors e.g. points total, number of places for the specific occupation and other policy items
  • 189 applicants: High points applicants (75+) typically receive an invite within 30 – 60 days. 70 point applications can take longer (depends on the occupation) and at 65 points, you can potentially have a wait time of up to 2 years or more
  • 190 & 491 Applicants: Invite for the visa received pretty much instantly after a state approves your sponsorship
    • State sponsorship applications: The state has to invite you to apply for state sponsorship (can take several months) and the state processing varies between 2 to 8 weeks

 STEP 3 – The Visa stage

 The actual main visa application

 Average Processing Time

  • Typically processed in 4 to 9 months
  • Medicals & Police Clearances only done after the main application is lodged

Typical Things You Need To Do And Have Ready

  1. Complete your English test (must be done for you to lodge an EOI)
  2. Ensure that you can verify and evidence all your claimed employment
  3. Have all your ID documents ready e.g. passport, unabridged birth certificates, marriage / divorce documents, ID documents, drivers licences etc
  4. Have copies of all your qualifications, including transcripts

If you intend to apply for an Australian Points Tested Skills Visa (GSM) or a Business Skills Visa, you have to first lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI). The best candidates will then receive an invitation to apply for a visa

  • Your nominated occupation is a critical and vital part of your application
  • The nominated occupation has to be in “the right occupations list”, have a realistic chance of securing an invite for a visa, and obviously, you have to be absolutely certain that you will satisfy the criteria set by your occupation’s skills assessment authority
  • You have to also consider whether the occupation is on the STSOL or MLTSSL (Skills Occupation Lists), and whether there are state sponsorship options available if the occupation is on the STSOL or 491 list

To nominate an occupation, you have to first “pass” a skills assessment.

  • The skills assessment is conducted by a relevant authority, and that assessment is based on the assessment of your qualifications AND your work experience
  • Your work experience must match the requirements of the occupation we nominate for you (requirements are set by the specific authority responsible for the skills assessment of your nominated occupation). For instance, your qualifications / training must satisfy the qualification requirements and then we look at your work experience, and there, it should match those of the occupation nominated for the visa application.

People are often under the impression that you have to work in your nominated occupation or that your visa is tied to that occupation.

  • This is not the case. The occupation nominated for a visa does NOT mean that is the occupation you must work in, in Australia. (there are some exceptions eg. employer nominated visas)
  • It has no bearing whatsoever on the work you do / can not do / occupation you follow in Australia. It is based on the historical data at time of application for the visa only.
  • It is important therefore to nominate an occupation, where you will pass the skills assessment and where you will satisfy the requirement of the Migration Act, and where you have a realistic and feasible pathway towards a visa grant (and invite during the EOI)

How do you “pick” your nominated occupation ?

As outlined above:

  • ensure that you will satisfy the skills assessment criteria,
  • ensure that you will get to at least the pass mark (or higher for some occupations) with that nominated occupation
  • ensure that your work experience (tasks & duties) line up with those of the nominated occupation
  • ensure that any official reference you provide will confirm your employment details and will confirm that your usual tasks & duties matches those of the occupation we nominate by at least 70 – 75% (and that your recent work experience is closely related to your nominated occupation)

Have a look at the tasks and duties and overall description of your potential nominated occupation. This is provided in the ANZSCO definitions

Check whether your tasks and duties, for the last 3 or 5 or 8 years matches those of the intended nominated occupation (by 70% or more)


After you submit your EOI

You can update your information at any time prior to receiving an invitation to apply for a visa. Your EOI will remain in the system for up to 2 years from the date you apply

How are the invites issued?

State sponsored applicants: You will receive an immediate invite to apply for your visa when the state approves your sponsorship

189 applicants:

  • There is one invite round per month (11th of each month)
  • The invites are issued based on numerous factors e.g.
    • Quotas (occupation ceilings) are set for each occupation group for the year
    • Points totals (applicants with the highest points will be issued an invitation)
      • For some occupation groups, you need at least 70 or even 75+ points in order to have a realistic chance of receiving an invite
      • Applicants at 65 points (the pass mark) can potentially have a wait of up to 2 years for an invite, and for some occupations, the invite might never materialise

If you applied for a state nominated / sponsored visa 

The states review the EOI’s and they select applicants to apply for state sponsorship based on their own set of criteria and occupation lists

The states are under no obligation or requirement to offer sponsorship to you, even if your occupation is on their occupation list

To get an Australian Permanent (PR) residency you need to score a minimum of 65 points. These points are based on your age, education, work experience, language skills, etc.

You are likely to get a PR of Australia with 75 points or above. A lot depends on the volume of applications received by Australia with the same ANZSCO code as yours.

1) Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

This visa option is suitable for skilled workers. This visa does not require sponsorship.

2) Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

This visa is applicable to skilled workers who have a nomination from an Australian State/Territory. For this visa, you will have to prove that your occupation exists in the Skilled Occupation List.

3) Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

For eligibility under this visa, you must meet the skill requirement and get sponsorship or nomination from either state or region or territory.



  • You should ideally be under age 45 at time of application for a skills based visa (employer sponsored visas can be applied for when you are over 50 but conditions apply).
  • You can claim points for age up to age 44.
  • The only realistic option for applicants over 45 would be the employer sponsored or regional employer sponsored pathways (or business stream/ investors etc)

Nominated occupation

  • You must be able to nominate an occupation on the STSOL or MLTSSL (skills occupation lists)
    • MLTSSL occupations requires state sponsorship in order to apply for a visa (the state governments support occupations on the STSOL or MLTSSL based on specific skills shortages in that state).
    • BUT do note, the states each have their own list of occupations they sponsor and NOT all occupations on the STSOL are sponsored. Furthermore, the states have specific requirements in order to sponsor.
    • Eligible Family in Australia can also sponsor you if you have an occupation on the MLTSSL
      • Eligible family means close family eg siblings / uncles / aunts / 1st cousins (in select cases only) and then step versions of these.
      • Eligible family must be settled permanent residents or citizens of Australia, and live in a specific designated part of Australia (e.g not Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth etc)
  • to nominate an occupation (for visa purposes), you have to have the right set of qualifications PLUS work experience for that occupation. Post graduate work experience is very important, and you need the points claimed for post grad work experience in most instances
  • In the majority of cases, to qualify for a visa (based on your nominated occupation), you need either a bachelors degree OR a formal regulated apprenticeship to meet the base criteria or points test criteria

Work experience

  • Work experience must be relevant to your qualifications.
    • Work is defined as a min 20 hrs per week (paid work) in your nominated or closely related occupation
  • In most cases, you need at least 3 years work experience in your nominated or closely related occupation (and those over 40 need at least 8 years work experience)
  • work experience is critical as the minimum requirement is to have some post graduate work experience  to claim work experience points (this means, after you met the academic or training requirements, or trade qualification for the occupation you will nominate), and in many cases, this extends to 3 years post grad work experience (to enable you to claim any points for work experience, 3 years post grad is the min requirement).
  • To claim points for work experience you need either 3, 5 or 8 years post grad work experience.

Qualification skills assessment

  • The first step in a GSM application is called a skills assessment. (always step one in any skills application) This is basically where a specific authority determine whether your qualifications and work experience meet the base criteria for migration.
  • This is determined by the specific authority tasked with setting the standards for the occupation nominated (there are 20+ of these authorities for all the different occupations).
  • The skills assessment is an assessment of your qualifications AND work experience.
  • In most instances, the minimum academic requirement is either a bachelors degree OR a formal apprenticeship (trade training) .
  • Note however, unless you have a formal diploma (2 or 3 year diploma) or degree or completed formal trade training, you can not claim any points for qualifications. Therefore, managers and IT applicants, without formal qualifications, would most likely only meet the pass mark if they achieve an IELTS score of 8 for each part, and have 8 years work experience etc

Other considerations

  • English language abilities
    • IELTS test or similar
    • The majority of people need to score at least 7 (from 9) for all 4 categories of the IELTS test, and those over 40, generally need to score 8/9 for all 4 categories of the IELTS test
  • specific work experience in e.g. Australia
  • Spouse / partner points can be claimed if your spouse meets ALL criteria in terms of IELTS, occupation, qualifications & work experience (and partner must have an occupation on the same occupations list as your occupation)
  • Family sponsorship:  Family can only sponsor if they reside in a designated area (generally in a rural area)


  • You cannot apply for a “work visa” as such. When you apply for a visa, the visa will either allow you to work (e.g. a skilled visa) OR not (e.g. a visitors visa)
  • You can apply for an employer sponsored visa (you get a temporary residence visa (called a TSS), or in select cases, an employer can sponsor you for a permanent residence visa. BUT you can only apply for these visas if you have a job offer in hand (which must meet minimum salary levels, and in many cases also minimum qualification / work experience levels) from an eligible employer (generally the employer must show that they have been in business a while, can afford to sponsor you etc)

Briefly therefore, what you need to show:

  1. The points test pass mark = 65 (in most instances, you realistically need at least 80+ points to receive a 189 visa invite, and 80 (including state points)  for a 190 visa (and 85+ for a 491 visa)
  2. Have an occupation on the STSOL or MLTSSL (and if on the STSOL have options for a state to sponsor you)
  3. Have the correct qualifications AND work experience (tasks & duties similar to that of the occupation you nominate) for the occupation you nominate
  4. Meet the skills assessment criteria for the occupation you nominate
  5. Meet the age, and English criteria
  6. Meet health and character criteria

When you submit an EOI, you will be asked to submit information about yourself, and your potential points claims

You do not have to submit any documentation, however, you do need reference details for your skills assessment and approved skills assessment

It is absolutely essential that the information you provide in the EOI is accurate. If you receive an invitation to apply for a visa, and the information (claims) you provided in the EOI is not accurate, your application will be refused.

For a Skills Visa (189, 190 and 489 visa) you will need to provide the following information

  • Your personal details (name, surname, date of birth, citizenship details, residence details)
  • Details of your partner (if applicable)
  • Your nominated occupation (you must have an approved migration skills assessment in place as you will need to provide details of your approved skills assessment)
  • Your work and employment experience
  • English Language proficiency (you will need to provide details of your English test outcome)
  • and if you are applying for a state/territory nomination, you need to select your preference

You will have 60 days from the date of the invitation to lodge your visa application. When you lodge your application, you will need to provide all your supporting information and evidence to support your points claims