Skilled migration to Australia is designed to attract individuals who can contribute to Australia’s economy and work in skills shortage areas. 

Visas within the skilled migrant category are either points-based, state- or territory-sponsored, employer-sponsored, or for highly-talented individuals.


The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) lets migrants with skills needed in Australia live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.

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The Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) lets migrants with nomination by an Australian state or territory government live and work in Australia as permanent residents.

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The Skilled Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491) is a provisional visa that lets skilled workers live and work in regional Australia.

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The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (Subclass 191) lets eligible visa holders permanently live and work in Australia.

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The Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186) lets skilled workers, who have nomination from an employer, live and work in Australia permanently.

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The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) lets an Australian employer sponsor a skilled worker to fill a position they can’t find a suitable Australian to fill.

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The Global Talent Visa (Subclass 858) grants permanent residency to highly-skilled individuals within 10 priority sectors.

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The Recognised Graduate Visa (Subclass 476) lets recent engineering graduates live, work or study in Australia for up to 18 months.

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Let’s take a closer look at skilled migration to Australia:


To qualify to apply for skilled migration, you must: 

  • Be under the age of 45, if applicable
  • Get at least 65 points on your assessment, OR have state or territory nomination, OR have sponsorship from an Australian employer, OR have nomination from an Australian business, OR be highly skilled in one of 10 priority economic sectors, OR be a recent engineering graduate
  • Work in an occupation on a skills shortage list, if applicable
  • Have a suitable skills assessment, if applicable
  • Have competent English, if applicable
  • Meet Australia’s health and character requirements


Australia has three skilled occupation lists that allow skilled migration:

  • Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL):
    • Includes 212 occupations
    • Relevant to Subclass 189, 491, 190 and 485 visa applicants
  • Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL):
    • Includes 215 occupations
    • Relevant to Subclass 190 and 491 visa applicants
  • Regional Occupation List (ROL):
    • Includes 77 occupations
    • Relevant to Subclass 491 visa applicants

These lists aren’t set in stone. Australia’s Department of Home Affairs regularly reviews the skilled occupation lists and makes changes if necessary to ensure Australia’s labour shortages are continuously being met.

It’s also important to note that simply having an occupation on a skills shortage list is not enough for an individual to qualify for skilled migration to Australia. Visa applicants must meet all the criteria associated with the occupation as captured in its ANZSCO code and the requirements for skilled migration.


ANZSCO, 'Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations', is relevant to Subclass 189, 491, and 190 visas. 

It’s a system within the skilled migration program that sets the standards for the skills and work experience that visa applicants must meet to work in a specific occupation in Australia or New Zealand. 

Further to this, ANZSCO sets out the tasks that visa applicants must be able to perform as part of their everyday duties.

In other words, ANZSCO determines the most important requirements skilled migration applicants must meet to live and work in Australia.


There isn’t one standard way to apply for skilled migration. Instead, each skilled migration visa has a unique application process. Please see the individual visa pages on our website for more information or speak with our licensed advisor for advice.  


The skills in demand in Australia are on the skilled occupation lists. These lists are as follows:

  • Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  • Regional Occupation List (ROL)

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs regularly reviews these lists to add or remove occupations as Australia’s skills shortages change. 

To apply for skilled migration to Australia through the Subclass 189, 190 or 491 visas, the applicant must be under 45. 

Similarly, graduates who want to apply for a Recognised Graduate Visa must be under 31.

 However, there is no age requirement for the Global Talent Visa and the Subclass 482 visa.

Having at least 65 points is required to apply for skilled migration to Australia with a point-based visa. However, that is only the minimum requirement and candidates with higher points scores stand a greater chance of getting invitations to apply. 

Skilled migration applicants must have an adequate level of English as determined by the relevant visa. Australia expects applicants to speak, read, write and understand English, and applicants must prove their English skills by taking an English language test. 

The Expression of Interest (EOI) is how a migrant shows their interest in applying for skilled migration. 

EOIs are relevant to Subclass 189, 190, 491 and Global Talent visas and include the following information:

  • Personal information, for example, given names and surname, date of birth, countries of citizenship and/or residence
  • Work experience and employment history
  • English language proficiency
  • Any information specific to the visa application 

Australia's Department of Home Affairs will use the information to determine the migrant's ability to apply for the relevant visa.

Migrants whose Expression of Interest are nominated will receive Invitations to Apply. These invitations include the following information:

  • The visa subclass under which the migrant is getting an invitation to apply
  • The time frame within which the migrant must submit their visa application
  • Any additional information the Department of Home Affairs wants, if applicable

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Licenses: Our advisors are licensed to give immigration advice for Australia and New Zealand: Our MARA numbers are 1467325 and 1807854. Our IAA numbers are 201400975, 201600505, and 202300649. Our LIAA number is 220104. Katrin Maja O'Flynn and Maike Versfeld are also authorized under §1 AuswSG in Germany.

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