Guide to Skilled Visas for Living and Working in Australia


Australia has a robust skilled migration program that offers several visa pathways for qualified professionals looking to live and work temporarily or permanently in Australia.

The main skilled visa subclasses include:

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

This is a permanent residence visa for highly skilled professionals who do not need employer sponsorship. Applicants are selected based solely on their skills, experience and other eligibility criteria.

  • Requires expression of interest and invitation to apply based on points score
  • Points-tested based on factors like qualifications, skilled employment, English skills
  • Does not require nomination or sponsorship
  • Leads to permanent residency in Australia

Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

This permanent residence visa requires nomination by a state or territory government. Applicants must have skills in an occupation listed on the relevant occupations list for their nominating state.

  • Requires nomination by a state/territory government
  • Points-tested based on core criteria along with state nomination points
  • Occupation must be on applicable state list
  • Permanent residency granted

Skilled Regional Provisional Visa (Subclass 491)

This 4-year provisional visa requires nomination by a state/territory government OR sponsorship by an eligible relative living regionally.

  • Provisional visa valid for 4 years
  • Designed for skilled workers in regional occupations
  • Requires nomination OR relative sponsorship
  • Can apply for permanent visa after living/working in region for 3 years

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Provisional Visa (Subclass 494)

This is a 4-year provisional visa requiring employer sponsorship in regional Australia.

  • Provisional visa valid for 4 years
  • Requires employer sponsorship in regional area
  • Occupation must be on relevant skilled list
  • Pathway to apply for permanent residence after 3 years

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482)

This short-term work visa allows skilled workers to live in Australia for up to 4 years if sponsored by an approved employer.

  • Maximum 4 year visa validity
  • Requires employer sponsorship
  • Three streams – Short, Medium and Labour Agreement
  • Renewal possible in certain circumstances

In summary, Australia offers various skilled visa programs that provide temporary or permanent pathways for professionals with in-demand qualifications, skills, and experience. Each visa has specific requirements relating to sponsorship, nomination, occupation lists, and other eligibility criteria.


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