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Visa Services

General Skilled Migration (GSM) Visa

Australia is one of the leading relocation destinations in the world and constantly attracts skilled workers and students. The list of top universities, excellent job opportunities, and a stable economic environment are primary reasons that encourage people to choose Australia as their destination. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) maintains and regulates the migration process to the country.

There are streamlined visa application processes established by the DHA to optimise the processing time. Though the country offers a vast range of visa programs, the most sought-after category is the skilled migration program. It is a category designed for people who have a specific talent or skill to permanently migrate and settle in the country.

Australia’s general skilled migration is point-based, and the DHA evaluates the criteria of an applicant during the invitation process. The following factors are considered testing your points, and each of them carries specific points:

  • Age
  • Language proficiency
  • Overseas work experience
  • Australian experience
  • Overseas qualifications
  • Australian qualifications
  • Partner’s skills
  • Stay or study in a regional area

The total points you get for these categories decides your eligibility for permanent migration to the country. Individuals under 50 years of age with proficient English language skills and adequate work experience can secure higher points. All General Skilled Migration program visas are point-based and either State/Territory, independent, or family-sponsored permanent visas.

Do you have specific questions regarding these factors that decide the testing points or want comprehensive immigration guidance? Contact Southern Stone today, as our skilled migration agents are happy to help you with their expertise and guide you to make your dream a reality.

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    Skilled Independent Visa 189

    The Skilled Independent Visa 189 is for invited works and New Zealand citizens with the skills to work and live permanently anywhere in Australia.

    Eligibility

    • Be invited to apply
    • Have a suitable skills assessment
    • Have paid back your debt to the Australian government
    • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused
    • Score 65 points or more when you submit your EOI in SkillSelect
    • Sign the Australian values statement
    • You and any family who apply for the visa with you must meet our health requirement
    • You and family members aged 16 years and over who apply for the visa with you must meet our character requirement
    • You must be aged under 45 when we invite you to apply for the visa.
    • You must have at least competent English
    • Your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) Point-Tested stream

    Stay

    Permanent

    Processing Time

    75% of applications: 15 months
    90% of applications: 25 months

    Skilled Nominated Visa 190

    The Skilled Nominated Visa 190 allows nominated skilled workers to work and live permanently in Australia.

    Eligibility:

    • Be invited to apply
    • Have paid back your debt to the Australian government
    • Meet our character requirement
    • Meet our health requirement
    • Meet the skills requirement
    • Nominated for this visa by an Australian state or territory government agency.
    • Not had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused
    • Score 65 points or more when you submit your EOI in SkillSelect
    • Sign the Australian values statement
    • You must be aged under 45 when we invite you to apply for the visa
    • You must declare that you have a suitable skills assessment at the time of invitation
    • You must have at least competent English

    Stay

    Permanent

    Processing Time

    75% of applications: 14 months
    90% of applications: 17 months

    Graduate Work Visa 485

    A temporary visa that allows international students to live, study and work after you have finished your studies.

    Stay

    • Graduate Work stream: 18 months — Hong Kong passport holders may stay for 5 years
    • Post-Study Work stream: 2–4 years — Hong Kong passport holders may stay for 5 years
    • Second Post-Study Work stream: 1–2 years — Hong Kong passport holders may stay for 5 years

    Processing Time

    • Graduate Work stream: 75% — 9 months and 90% — 10 months
    • Post-Study Work stream: 75% — 9 months and 90% — 9 months
    • Second Post-Study Work stream: Processing times are not available

    Eligibility

    • Under 50 years of age
    • You are the main holder of a current student visa or held a student visa within the past 6 months
    • Meet the Australian study requirement
    • Have skills and qualifications that Australia needs
    • Hold a valid passport from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland, or prove your English proficiency
    • Have adequate health insurance
    • Meet our health requirement
    • Meet our character requirement
    • Sign the Australian values statement
    • Have no debt to the Australian Government
    • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused

    Skilled Work Regional Visa 491

    The Skilled Work Regional Visa 491 is for skilled works nominated by one of our state or territory governments to work and live in regional Australia.

    Eligibility

    • Be invited to apply
    • Be nominated or sponsored
    • Have a suitable skills assessment
    • Have paid back your debt to the Australian government
    • Meet our character requirement
    • Meet our health requirement
    • Meet the skills requirement
    • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused
    • Score 65 points or more when you submit your EOI in SkillSelect
    • Sign the Australian values statement
    • You must be aged under 45 to be invited to apply for the visa
    • You must have at least competent English

    Stay

    5 Years

    Processing Time

    75% of applications: 11 months

    90% of applications: 14 months

    Permanent Residence Visa 191

    The Permanent Residence Visa 191 is for people who have worked, studied or lived in a designated regional area on a previous eligible visa.

    Eligibility

    • both primary and secondary applicants have complied with the conditions of the eligible visa you hold or have held
    • have had a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold for at least three years while holding your eligible visa
    • have lived for at least 3 years in a designated regional area
    • hold an eligible visa

    Stay

    Permanent

    Processing Time

    Case-by-case basis

    Global Talent Visa 858

    This is a permanent visa for people who have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in an eligible field.

    Stay

    Permanent

    Processing Time

    • Global Talent Pathway: 75%— 62 days and 90%— 3 months
    • Distinguished Talent Pathway: 75% — 18 months and 90% — 23 months

    Eligibility

    • Be of benefit to the Australian community
    • Have the ability to establish yourself in Australia
    • Be internationally recognised with a record of achievement
    • You must be nominated to apply for this visa. Your nominator must also meet our criteria
    • You can be any age to apply for this visa. If you are under 18 years old, or are 55 years or older when you apply, you must be of exceptional benefit to the Australian community
    • If you are outside Australia at the time you apply, you do not need to hold a specific visa to apply for this visa. However, if you are in Australia at the time you apply, you must hold one of the following: a substantive visa
    • Have functional English
    • Meet our health requirement
    • Meet our character requirement
    • Have paid back your debt to the Australian Government
    • Sign the Australian values statement
    • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused

    Skilled Independent Visa

    Under the GSM visa program, people from all occupations can apply for permanent residence. This visa category is further classified as subclass 189 Visa or Skilled Independent Visa.

    As you can guess from the name, the subclass 189 visa is designed for independent skilled workers – based on the points test – and not sponsored by employers or their family members. It is a permanent visa type that allows the holder to live in the country as a permanent resident. The visa is further classified into the following streams:

    • Point-based stream – The stream allows a skilled worker to work and live permanently anywhere in the country.
    • New Zealand stream – Skilled independent visa (subclass 189) designed for New Zealand citizens who wish to work and settle in Australia. New Zealand citizens who have demonstrated a commitment and contribution to Australia can utilise the opportunity to settle in the country permanently.

    The advantage of a 189 visa is that the holder can stay in the country for an indefinite period of time. Similarly, the holders of the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) also get the option to study in the country, engage in professions of their interest, and enrol in Australia’s healthcare scheme.

    The applicants should qualify for the 189 visa based on the points test. The candidates must secure at least 65 points and shouldn’t be more than 45 years of age when they are applying for this skilled migrant visa program. The applicant should submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to submit an application to begin the processing.

    If you submit a visa application, the DHA will compare it with other applications. If suitable positions exist, you may get an invitation to apply for a visa. Importantly, you must apply for the visa within 60 days from the date you get the invitation. You should also pass all the character and health requirements and provide evidence for your English proficiency.

    Children

    You can include your children or stepchildren in the skilled independent visa application form. To include children, they should either be below 18 years, above 18, or below 23 but must be dependent on you or your partner, or above 23 years and dependent on their parents due to some physical or cognitive disability. Importantly, the children should meet the health standards set by the DHA.

    When it comes to the cost of the visa processing, the main applicant should pay at least AUD $4,045 for the subclass 189 visa. If family members are included in the application, the applicant might need to pay extra charges.

    Related Visas

    Australia offers a number of other subclass visa programs under the category in addition to the 189 visa:

    • Skilled Work Regional Provisional visa subclass 491 – The visa subclass is the choice for overseas skilled workers who have an eligible Australian relative – residing in a “Designated Regional Area” – to be sponsored or be nominated by a participating Territory or State government.
    • Skilled Nominated visa subclass 190 – The 190 visa subclass is designed for skilled labourers who are nominated by a Territory or State government of Australia. Similar to the 189 subclass visa, the visa is point tested, giving the holder the option to apply for citizenship after becoming eligible.

    In addition to point-based visa systems, employer-sponsored visa options are also a popular choice for people who wish to join the country’s workforce. Named subclass 186 and 187, these visas must be sponsored by Australian employers, and the SkillSelect EOI is optional.

    When it comes to the SkillSelect program, it is an online tool that completes in two stages: the submission of Expression of Interest (EOI) and the visa application process.

    There is no standardisation for the processing time of a GSM visa, and it changes according to the applicant’s personal profile and the visa conditions. Additionally, the general processing time for an independent skilled visa depends on the complexity of the visa program and the candidate’s background.

    Why Choose Us?

    The immigration law and the procedures are difficult to understand for most applicants. As a team of skilled migration agents, we are happy to help you with our expertise in offering end-to-end services. Our consultants will listen to your needs, provide you with various options that can best fit your immigration needs, and guide you through the application process.

    Get in contact with our expert GSM visa agents today to discuss your needs and get a briefing on various skilled migrant visas in detail. Our visa consultants will give accurate answers to all your questions and ensure that you are expertly guided through the procedures.

    Skilled workers can choose either a temporary or permanent migration option to settle in Australia. There are visas classified based on various stipulations and conditions, such as the applicant’s age, temporary or permanent residence, support of an eligible employer, and sponsorship. You might find it difficult to comprehend all these visa categories and options.

    This is the reason why we request you to get the assistance of our visa immigration agents in choosing the right General Skilled Migration program for successful visa processing. Southern Stone has standardised procedures for processing each immigration application and tracking by collaborating with the DHA to get a positive result. As our visa consultants are constantly updated about the changes in procedures and immigration laws.

    Contact Us Today

    We are excited to make your Australian dream a reality and to be part of this milestone in your life. Talk to our migration visa consultants today on 1300 188 999 or connect with us using our contact form.

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    Kathy and Gloria were amazing. Very responsive and helped me a lot to get my permanent residency. Also the price that they charge is so little compare to other migration agent and the service is excellent. I would definitely go again with them for myself or other members of my family.

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