3 Australian Work Visa Options Skilled Migrants Should Consider

3 Australian Work Visa Options Skilled Migrants Should Consider

There are many different Australian work visa options to consider when thinking of relocating to Australia for permanent employment. 

In this article, we are going to be covering 3 skilled migration visas and explore each subclass, its visa requirements and what makes them different so you can make the most informed decision before starting the visa application process.

The Various Options for Obtaining a
Permanent Australian Work Visa

When it comes to permanent work visas, there are quite a few categories to choose from that we’ve written about before that you can familiarize yourself with below:

  • Business investment visas — for investors/entrepreneurs looking to start a new business
  • Distinguished talent visas — for exceptionally talented individuals 
  • Regional visas — for skilled migrants looking to live and work in regional Australia
  • Skilled migration visas (we’ll get to these below)

Skilled Migration Visas —
A Closer Look At  The 186 Visa, The 189 Visa & The 190 Visa

The 186 (employment nomination scheme), the 189 (skilled independent visa) and the 190 (skilled nominated visa) are visas that can grant you access to live, work and/or study anywhere in Australia on a permanent basis. 

Once you’ve obtained either of these visas, another plus point is that you’d be able to sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence — holding a permanent visa makes you an Australian permanent resident by default — and if eligible, you might even be able to become an Australian citizen

The main difference between these 3 visa subclasses comes down to the essence of nomination and sponsorship:

  • 186 — need to be nominated by an employer 
  • 189 — individual/DIY work/skills-based visa to get you into the country and one that does not need to be sponsored or have a nomination from Australian State or Territory government agency
  • 190 — an Australian government agency invites you to apply for the visa based on your skills/occupation and you must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency

Am I Eligible To Apply For The 186 Visa?

In order to apply, you:

  • must have an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations (*note; this is subject to change without notice) 
  • need at least 3 years of relevant work experience in your occupation
  • must be licensed, registered or a member of the professional body (if mandatory in the State/Territory you intend to work in) 
  • require skills assessment
  • must be nominated by an Australian employer (business must be actively and lawfully operating) 
  • must apply within 6 months of the nomination being approved 
  • must be under 45 years old when you apply
  • must have “competent English”
Australian Visa

Special Age Exemptions  

There are special age exemptions that are applicable if:

  • you are nominated as an academic (university lecturer or faculty head at Academic Level B, C D or E) by a university in Australia
  • you are nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian scientific government agency
  • you currently hold a Special Category (subclass 444) or New Zealand citizen’s family member (subclass 461) visa and have worked for the employer who nominated you, in the nominated position, for at least 2 years in the last 3 years immediately before you apply. The 2 years excludes periods of unpaid leave.

Read “5 Telling Reasons For Migration To Australia in A “Post”-COVID World” here

Am I Eligible To Apply For A 189 Visa?

In order to apply, you:

  • require to be invited to apply by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) 
  • will be ranked against other intending applicants after submitting EOI 
  • must have an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • must have a suitable skills assessment
  • must be under 45 years old when an invitation to apply for the visa is granted 
  • need a minimum of 65 points
  • must strive for a higher score as previous invitations (depending on occupation/skills category) are offered to people with 95 or more points. 65 is the minimum, however, you are ranked against others.
  • must have at least “competent English”

Am I Eligible To Apply For A 190 Visa?

Applying for a 190 visa means that you will also need to submit an EOI to be invited to apply, and have the same skills, English and points requirements as the 189 Visa.

How Long Does The Visa Application Process Take?

The processing times of these visas are an estimate based on past experience and what the government details as the typical time frame you can expect. 

It is important to note, that due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, these times are subject to change:

  • 186 — 6-7 months
  • 189 — 9-19 months
  • 190 — 9-12 months

Which Australian Work Visa Subclass is The Best Option For Me?

Answering this question really depends on your own unique situation and skills/abilities in the job marketplace.

Already have someone willing to employ you in Australia? 

Then the 186 visa might be your best bet.

Confident in your own skills and bring a lot of experience to the table? 

Applying independently for the 189 visa might be the path for you.

Willing to take a chance on a state/territory nominating and selecting you based on your expression of interest (EOI)? 

The 190 visa could be your ticket to permanent residency in Australia.

You will need to meet the various requirements in order to be eligible to apply for any one of these work visas for Australia.

Next Steps

Obtaining an Australian work visa to undertake employment is a dream for many, but often navigating the entire process can become tricky if you do it yourself.  

Our registered Australian immigration agents and lawyers are available to discuss your unique situation and immigration options to prepare you for your future career down under.
Take a look at our free Australia visa check to identify the most suitable way forward!

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