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Skilled Workers

Skilled Workers can be categorised into two broad groups namely: Sponsored Workers and Independent Skilled Workers. Sponsored workers are those workers who have an offer of employment or are already employed by an Australian company who are willing to sponsor them to work and live in Australia. Independent skilled workers are highly skilled workers who do not yet have an Australian employer and who wish to migrate to Australia based on their personal attributes only.

1. Employer Sponsored Visas

For skilled workers who have an actual or potential Australian employer, there are a number of visa options available. We will evaluate your work experience, personal circumstances and qualifications to provide all the legal options available to you to successfully migrate to Australia.

We advise on all general employer sponsored visas. We also deal with other types of visa applications including specialist entries, for example:

  • Entertainment visas
  • Distinguished Talent visas
  • Religious Worker visas
  • Labour Agreements

Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa

Overseas skilled workers may seek to be sponsored and employed in Australia if they possess the relevant qualifications, English competency and work experience according to the list of recognised skilled shortages in Australia. Skilled workers may apply for a Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa to remain in Australia on a temporary basis for either 2 years or 4 years depending on their occupation.

Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Visa

The Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa is for Australian employers who wish to sponsor highly skilled workers for a permanent visa to work in their business.

Current Holders of the Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (granted before April 2017) may be eligible for permanent residency visa the Temporary Transition Stream pathway.

Grant of the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa grants applicants and their dependents the following benefits:

  • Remain in Australia as permanent residents;
  • Be eligible for Medicare;
  • Be provided with work and study rights; and
  • Be eligible for citizenship when residency criteria has been met.

2. Skilled Independent/Skilled Nominated Visas

Skilled workers who do not have an employer to support their application may seek a migration pathway in Australia based on their personal attributes. Most of these visas [except for the eligible New Zealand citizens] are points-tested where you must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to be able to apply for visa applications. For more information regarding how the points are awarded, please visit the Department’s website.

Depending on your personal circumstances and your intended location of settlement, the following visa subclasses are available:

  • Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa (permanent residence);
  • Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa (permanent residence) – Additional points are awarded for state/regional nomination;
  • Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa* (provisional visa with a pathway for permanent residence) – *This visa will be replaced by Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa from 16 November 2019.

The Skilled migration program is very dynamic and the occupation lists for these visas change periodically. For example, the Department has recently announced new points matrix which will be implemented from 16 November 2019. As such, we strongly advise that you consult us if you are seeking migration pathways.

Regional Migration and Labour Agreements

The Department of Home Affairs has introduced a number of special regional migration programs for skilled workers willing to work in regional Australia. A Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a formal agreement between the Australian Government and a regional, state or territory authority. DAMA provides a number of concessions [such as a broader range of occupations] which may not be available under the standard skilled migration program. Currently, the Department has seven DAMAs in place:


Useful weblinks for the relevant occupation lists for Employer Sponsored Visas:

State and Regional Sponsor Occupation List

Kah Lawyers is a specialist immigration firm in the area of skilled work visas. We will provide expert immigration advice to all skilled workers applying for these visas.

Book an appointment now to discuss how we can help.

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