Find a visa Find the right visa for your needs

Fact Sheet 25 - General Skilled Migration

On this page


Australia’s skilled migration program is designed to attract people who have the skills and attributes that will contribute the most to the Australian economy. The General Skilled Migration (GSM) program is for people who are not sponsored by an employer, however may be sponsored by an eligible family member or nominated by a state or territory government.

There are basic requirements that all applicants for a skilled migration visa must meet, they include:

  • being under 50 years of age
  • have competent English language skills
  • have the skills and qualifications that are assessed as meeting the Australian standard for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

The SOL is a list of skilled occupations that are in need in Australia. The SOL identifies specialised occupations of high value to the Australian labour market.
See: Skilled Occupation List

Generally, applicants for a skilled migration visa are required to be assessed against a points test and meet the pass mark.

General Skilled Migration visas

There are several permanent and provisional visa subclasses within the General Skilled Migration program.

Outside Australia

Permanent

These permanent visas are for skilled applicants outside Australia. New Zealand citizens in Australia on a Special Category (subclass 444) visa may also apply.

Skilled–Independent (Migrant) (subclass 175) visa

Applicants for the subclass 175 visa do not require family sponsorship or state or territory nomination.
See: Skilled–Independent (Migrant) (subclass 175) visa

Skilled–Sponsored (Migrant) (subclass 176) visa

Applicants for the subclass 176 visa must be sponsored by an eligible Australian relative, or nominated by a state or territory government.
See: Skilled–Sponsored (Migrant) (subclass 176) visa

Provisional

Skilled–Regional Sponsored (subclass 475) visa

This is a three year provisional visa for skilled workers. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible Australian relative living in a designated area of Australia.
See: Skilled–Regional Sponsored (subclass 475) visa

Skilled–Recognised Graduate (subclass 476)

This visa is available to recent graduates in specified disciplines from recognised overseas educational institutions who have skills in demand in Australia. This visa is not points tested.
See: Skilled–Regional Sponsored (subclass 476) visa

In Australia

Permanent

Subclass 885 and subclass 886 visas allow overseas students who have met the Australian study requirement in the last six months in Australia and holders of certain temporary visas to apply for permanent residency.

Skilled–Independent (subclass 885) visa

Applicants for this visa do not require family sponsorship or state or territory nomination.
See: Skilled–Independent (subclass 885) visa

Skilled–Sponsored (subclass 886) visa

Applicants for this visa must be sponsored by an eligible Australian relative or nominated by a state or territory government.
See: Skilled–Independent (subclass 886) visa

Skilled–Regional (subclass 887) visa

This visa is for certain provisional Skilled Migration visa holders who have lived for two years and worked full time for 12 months in a specified regional area of Australia. This visa is not points tested.
See: Skilled–Regional (subclass 887) visa

Provisional

Skilled–Regional Sponsored (subclass 487) visa

This visa is a three year provisional visa for overseas students and other certain visa holders. Applicants for this visa must be nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible Australian relative living in a designated area of Australia.
See: Skilled–Graduate (Temporary) (subclass 487) visa

Skilled–Regional Sponsored (subclass 487) visa 12 month renewal

This visa is for people who currently hold certain provisional Skilled Migration visas and seek to extend their provisional stay in Australia for up to 12 months.

Points test

The points test is designed to select skilled migrants with the skills and attributes to make the optimal contribution to the Australian economy. Points are awarded for:

  • age
  • proficient or superior English language ability
  • Australian skilled employment
  • qualifications
  • Australian study requirement
  • completion of a professional year
  • regional Australia study
  • partner skills
  • state/territory nomination
  • eligible relative sponsorship
  • credentialled community language.

Detailed information is available on the website about the points test.
See: What is the points test?

Online lodgement

Applicants for all General Skilled Migration visas can apply online through eVisa. Applicants lodging online for a Skilled Migration visa that requires sponsorship by a relative must also complete online Form 1277—Application for sponsorship under general skilled migration.

Information on how to apply online is available on the department's website.
See: Applications and Forms
See also: Professionals and other skilled workers

Further information is available on the department's website.
See: www.immi.gov.au

The department also operates a national general enquiries line.
Telephone: 131 881
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Recorded information is available outside these hours.

Fact Sheet 25. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Canberra.
Last reviewed July 2011.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2010.

Last modified Wednesday 27 August 2014