Skilled Visa — 491, 190, 189
What is A Skilled Visa Program in Australia?
The skilled visa program is designed for skilled migrants who are not sponsored by an Australian employer to migrate to Australia. There are three subclasses of visas in the skilled visa category.
The Three-Step 491 or 190 Visa Application Process
Lodge an expression of interest (‘EOI’) via SkillsSelect.
Apply for a nomination from an Australian State or Territory government agency.
- For subclass 491 visas, you do not need to obtain a nomination if you can be sponsored by an eligible family member [this includes a parent; child or step-child; brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister; aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle; nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece; grandparent; or a first cousin.
Apply for the visa.
The Two-Step 189 Visa Application Process
Lodge an EOI.
If an invitation to apply for a subclass 189 visa is received, lodge a visa application.
There are certain visa requirements which apply to all of the skilled visa subclasses, except for the New Zealand stream of the subclass 189 visa. These common requirements include:
- Being under the age of 45 at the time of receiving your invitation to apply for a skilled visa;
- Nominating an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list (‘SOL’);
- Having a positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation;
- Having competent English language abilities;
- Having at least 65 points; and
- Meeting the public interest criteria and special return criteria.
Subclass 491 Visa Criteria
The subclass 491 visa is a temporary, regional visa. You can hold this visa for up to 5 years, and it is possible to transition to a permanent regional visa after holding your subclass 491 visa for three years.
To be eligible for a subclass 491 visa, you must live and work in a ‘regional’ area. A regional area is any area in Australia outside Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Perth.
If you are unable to be sponsored by an eligible family member, then you will need to obtain a nomination from the Australian State or Territory that you will be living and working in. Each State and Territory has its own criteria for determining who it will provide a nomination too.
The best way to find the relevant nomination criteria is to visit the applicable State or Territory government agencies website.
Subclass 190 Visa Criteria
The subclass 190 visa is a permanent skilled visa. It is not possible to be sponsored by a family member for a subclass 190 visa. To be eligible for this visa, you must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency. You should check the State or Territory government agencies websites to see what criteria apply to your application.
Subclass 189 Visa Criteria
This is a permanent visa that allows you to live and work anywhere in Australia. Unlike the subclass 491 and 190 visas, you do not need to be sponsored or have a nomination from an Australian State or Territory government agency to be eligible for this visa.
Because of the flexibility that the subclass 189 visa provides, it is an extremely popular and competitive visa to apply for. You should only apply for this visa if your points score is well above the 65 minimum requirement mentioned above.
*Please note that the information and visa requirements stated on this page is not an exhaustive list, and other requirements will need to be met to be eligible for the visas listed above. Furthermore, migration laws and policies can be changed at any time without prior notice. Therefore, the contents of this page cannot be relied upon as being completely accurate after the date of publication.