Skilled Work Visas in Australia

Australia is renowned for its strong economy, diverse culture, and high standard of living, making it an attractive destination for skilled professionals seeking new opportunities and personal growth. The Skilled Working Visa program has been designed to attract top talent from around the world, enabling qualified individuals to live and work in Australia while contributing to the country’s economic and social fabric.

This short guide will provide an overview of skilled working visas in Australia, the various visa categories, eligibility criteria, and the application process. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the skilled working visa landscape, you can take the first step toward turning your Australian dream into a reality.

Skilled work visa australia

Skilled Working Visa Categories

Australia offers a range of skilled working visa categories to suit the varying needs and qualifications of skilled professionals looking to migrate. Each visa category has specific eligibility criteria and requirements that applicants must meet to successfully obtain a visa. Below is an overview of the main skilled working visa categories:

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) is for skilled workers not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member. Applicants must have an occupation listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and pass the points-based test to qualify for this visa. The main benefits of the Subclass 189 visa are that it allows visa holders to live and work in Australia permanently, sponsor eligible family members, and eventually apply for Australian citizenship.

Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

The Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) is for skilled workers nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency. The Subclass 190 visa provides the same benefits as the Subclass 189 visa, such as permanent residency, family sponsorship, and the opportunity to apply for citizenship. To qualify for this visa, applicants must have an occupation on the relevant state or territory’s occupation list and meet the required points for the points-based test.

Each Australian state and territory has its own skilled occupation list and nomination process for the Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190). To learn more about the nomination process and specific requirements for each state or territory, please visit the respective links below:

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

New South Wales (NSW)

Northern Territory (NT)

Queensland (QLD)

South Australia (SA)

Tasmania (TAS)

Victoria (VIC)

Western Australia (WA)

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) is a provisional visa that allows skilled workers to live and work in designated regional areas of Australia. This visa category is for applicants either sponsored by an eligible family member living in a designated regional area or nominated by a state or territory government agency. The Subclass 491 visa is valid for five years, and visa holders may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence visa (Subclass 191) after living and working in a designated regional area for at least three years.

These skilled working visa categories have specific eligibility criteria, application procedures, and documentation requirements. It’s essential to carefully assess your qualifications and circumstances to determine which visa category is the most suitable for your migration goals.

Need help with your visa application? Contact the team at Visa Lounge today to start your visa journey.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process

Each skilled working visa category has specific eligibility criteria that applicants must meet to successfully obtain a visa. While some requirements are common across different visa categories, there are unique criteria for each visa type. This section discusses the general eligibility criteria and application process for skilled working visas in Australia.

General Eligibility Criteria

  • Occupation: Your occupation must be listed on the relevant Australian skilled occupation list, such as the skilled occupation list or a state/territory-specific occupation list.
  • Skills Assessment: You must obtain a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your occupation. This assessment verifies that your qualifications and work experience meet the Australian standards for your nominated occupation.
  • Age: You must be under 45 years of age when you receive an invitation to apply for a skilled working visa.
  • English Language Proficiency: You must demonstrate a sufficient level of English language proficiency, as determined by the Australian immigration authorities. English language proficiency is typically assessed through an approved English language test, such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE Academic.
  • Points-based Test: Skilled working visas in Australia are points-based. You must achieve the minimum points (65) in the points test to be eligible for a visa. Points are awarded based on factors such as age, English language proficiency, work experience, education, and more.

Additional visa requirements

  • Health requirements: You and any family members who apply for the visa will be required to pass the minimum health standards requirement
  • Character assessment: A character assessment is required for you and any family members over the age of 16. This also applies to family members who will not be accompanying you.
  • Financial obligations: You must have repaid or arranged repayment of any outstanding debt to the Australian government (this applies to both the applicant and their family members, including those not applying for the visa).

Application Process

  1. Check Eligibility: Review the eligibility criteria for the skilled working visa category you’re interested in and ensure you meet all requirements.
  2. Skills Assessment: Obtain a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation.
  3. Life in Australia: As part of the application process for most temporary, provisional and permanent visas, you must read the ‘Life in Australia’ booklet and then sign or accept the Australian Values Statement.
  4. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Australian Government’s SkillSelect platform, providing information on your skills, qualifications, and work experience. Based on your EOI, you will be given a points score.
  5. Nomination (for nominated visa applicants): To apply for nominated visa types, you must have submitted a completed expression of interest in SkillSelect. This will put you into a database where government agencies can see your application and may nominate you for the visa. Each government agency will have its own selection criteria. You can contact the state or territory agency directly to find out more about the nomination process and what they require by following the links below.
    1. Australian Capital Territory
    2. New South Wales
    3. Northern Territory
    4. Queensland
    5. South Australia
    6. Tasmania
    7. Victoria
    8. Western Australia
  6. Invitation to Apply: If your points score meets the required minimum and you rank high enough in the pool of applicants, you may receive an invitation to apply for the skilled working visa.
  7. Visa Application: After receiving an invitation to apply, you have 60 days to submit your visa application with all the required supporting documentation.
  8. Application Processing: The Australian Department of Home Affairs will review your application, and if successful, you will be granted a skilled working visa, allowing you to live and work in Australia.

By understanding the eligibility criteria and application process for skilled working visas, you can better prepare for your journey to living and working in Australia. Remember that each visa category has its unique set of criteria, so always consult the specific requirements for the visa you’re interested in before starting the application process.

Skilled worker visa australia

Ready to secure your Australian visa with confidence?

Contact the expert team at Visa Lounge for personalised guidance and support on your application journey.

How Visa Lounge Can Help You Secure a Skilled Working Visa in Australia

Navigating the complex world of skilled working visas in Australia can be challenging, but working with a professional migration agency like Visa Lounge can simplify the process. Our experienced migration specialists are devoted to offering the support and guidance you need for a successful visa journey.

Visa Lounge provides a comprehensive range of services specifically designed to assist you throughout your skilled working visa application process:


  • Personalised Visa Eligibility Guidance: We offer customised advice on visa eligibility, application requirements, and documentation, ensuring your application stands the best chance for approval.
  • Skills Assessments Assistance: Our team helps you obtain a positive assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation, streamlining your application process.
  • Australian Job Market Support: Visa Lounge aids you in navigating the competitive Australian job market and connects you with potential employers, boosting your chances of landing a job in your field.

Visa Lounge has a proven track record of helping countless clients successfully obtain skilled working visas and embark on their new lives in Australia. Our satisfied clients span diverse industries, such as IT, engineering, healthcare, agriculture, and more. 

By entrusting Visa Lounge with your skilled working visa application, you gain the advantage of expert guidance, personalised support, and a committed team focused on helping you secure your Australian migration dream.

Frequently Asked Questions

The minimum points required is 65 out of 100 to meet the pass mark however in order to be invited to apply for a skilled work visa you may require more points.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) is an online application that you need to submit to the Department of Home Affairs including details about your age, qualifications, work experience, English language ability, civil status. The application is free of charge and is lodged online. You do not need to include any documentation. The EOI is a summary of your points, and it is normally valid for two years. It is a critical step of the skilled migration process because you can not make any mistakes, otherwise if you get the invitation and you are not able to demonstrate the points, your visa application will be refused.

No, the Expression of Interest is not a visa application. You will only receive a bridging visa once you have lodged the visa application itself – this would require you to pass skills assessment and receive an invitation beforehand.

Graduate skilled visa subclass 485 is a popular skilled visa which allows visa holders to work full-time upon completion of their Australian study and gain work experience in Australia. Other visas include extensions to skilled visas or permanent stages to provisional skilled visas such as subclass 887 or 888 visas.

Obtain a skills assessment that positively shows your qualifications and relevant work experience to your nominated occupation; Ensure you have met the minimum number of points required at the time you intend to lodge your expression of interest. The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) opposes additional points cut-offs for occupations where there is lower demand Lodge your expression of interest through SkillSelect; Skilled Nominated Visa subclass 190 only: be nominated by a state or territory government. The process varies depending on the state or territory; Once an invitation is received, you have 60 days to lodge an application for the visa through the SkillSelect portal.

It is difficult to predict the processing time for invitations, as this depends on the number of EOIs lodged by other people. If you have been nominated by a State or Territory Government, you will receive an invitation as soon as the nominator confirms the nomination in SkillSelect.

No, your invitation remains in the SkillSelect system for a period of 2 years. You could receive an invitation at any time during this period.

You need to login and make corrections as soon as possible before receiving an invitation.

The main difference between 189 and 190 visa is the requirements of state sponsorship. If you apply for 190 Visa, you’re required to be sponsored by the Australian state or territory government. Whereas you don’t need this sponsorship to apply for visa 189. Both the subclass 189 and 190 visas are points-tested visas which allow you to live and work in Australian permanently. To maximise your score, you should ensure that at the time you are invited to apply, you have: competent English or higher; employment experience in your nominated occupation; and recognised educational qualifications. You will be required to provide evidence supporting your claims when you lodge your visa application.