Professional and Skilled visas – Onshore skilled visas (if you are in Australia)

Help with applying for a visa: Contact us on (02) 8268 4000 for expert advice, preferably well ahead of the expiry of any current visa.

An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law (as certified by the Law Society of New South Wales) leads our team of migration lawyers and agents.

If you will be in Australia at the time the Department of Immigration decides you skilled visa application it may be appropriate for you to apply for an onshore skilled visa.

Skilled visas are sometimes referred to as “points tested visas” (though not all are points tested) and:

  • points are awarded for English proficiency, work experience, qualifications, age etc
  • if you have enough points you don’t need a sponsor – you are “independent”
  • if you don’t have enough points, you might get extra points if you are “sponsored”
  • the system may change in July 2012.

For information on “offshore” skilled visas, go to the link on this website.

At Craddock Murray Neumann we have lawyers who can also assist with applications to the Migration Review Tribunal and the Federal Court if a visa application is unsuccessful. (Migration agents who are not lawyers cannot assist with applications to the Federal Court.)

Applicants under this Subclass are not sponsored and must pass a points test. This visa provides permanent residency and provides a pathway to citizenship to those who:

  • provide a complying skills assessment;
  • nominate an occupation listed on the appropriate General Skilled Occupation Lists - see: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/sol/
  • score at least 65 on a points test;
  • who also satisfy age, heath, English skills, character, location, Australian Values and other basic requirements,

AND applicants must also:

  • hold an eligible overseas Student Visa (or have held one in the last 6 months and now hold a Bridging visa A or B) and  in the last six months have completed the equivalent of 2 years of study leading to an approved Australian degree, diploma or trade qualification; or 
  • hold a Skilled – Graduate (subclass 485) visa or a Skilled – Recognised Graduate (subclass 476) visa; or 
  • hold a Trade Skills Training (subclass 471) Visa and have completed an approved apprenticeship.

Extra points might be available for such things as:

  • professional accreditation as an interpreter or translator in an approved community language;
  • overseas and Australian skilled employment;
  • your partner’s qualifications and occupation etc. 

Some student visa holders or former student visa holders seeking to apply for a permanent skilled visa are eligible for transitional arrangements (until 31.12.12), including the possibility of taking advantage of migration rules that are no longer in effect. 

If student visa holders cannot meet the requirements to apply for a subclass 885 or 886 visa, they should seek advice about whether a subclass 485 Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) Visa (see below) or another visa is a better option.

Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) Visa (Subclass 886)

This visa allows those unable to meet the Skilled – Independent (Subclass 885) requirements but who have either a sponsoring Australian relative or a nomination from a state or territory government and who satisfy a points test to apply for permanent residency (a pathway to citizenship) if they:

  • score at least 65 on the points test – extra points are awarded if the applicant is nominated by an Australian government;
  • satisfy age requirements;
  • satisfy English language competency requirements;
  • have the skills and qualifications that meet the Australian standard for an occupation on the appropriate Skilled Occupation List (SOL) - see http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/sol/
  • satisfy health, location, character and other detailed requirements (e.g. completion of apprenticeship if you hold a subclass 471 visa),p
AND applicants must also:

·         hold an eligible overseas Student Visa (or have held one in the last 6 months and now hold a Bridging visa A or B) and  in the last six months have completed the equivalent of 2 years of study leading to an approved Australian degree, diploma or trade qualification; or 

  • hold a Skilled – Graduate (subclass 485) visa or a Skilled – Recognised Graduate (subclass 476) visa; or 
  • hold a Trade Skills Training (subclass 471) Visa and have completed an approved apprenticeship.

Extra points might be available for such things as:

  • professional accreditation as an interpreter or translator in an approved community language;
  • overseas and Australian skilled employment;
  • your partner’s qualifications and occupation etc. 

Some student visa holders or former student visa holders seeking to apply for a permanent skilled visa are eligible for transitional arrangements (until 31.12.12), including the possibility of taking advantage of migration rules that are no longer in effect. 

If student visa holders cannot meet the requirements to apply for a subclass 885 or 886 visa, they should seek advice about whether a subclass 485 Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) Visa (see below) or another visa is a better option.   

This is a permanent visa and a pathway to citizenship, available where the applicant:

  • has lived for at least two years and worked for at least one year in a Specified Regional Area in Australia; and
  • already holds and has complied with one of the following visas:
    • Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 495)
    • Skilled – Designated Area – Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 496)
    • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 475)
    • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 487); and
  • satisfies the health, character and other requirements.

This is a three year provisional visa and a pathway to permanent residence for students and holders of certain temporary visas. Applicants must:

  • be either sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area of Australia or be nominated by a participating state/territory government;
  • hold one of the following visas:
    • Skilled – Graduate visa (subclass 485)
    • Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476)
    • Trade Skills Training visa (subclass 471)
    • Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
    • Occupational Trainee visa (subclass 442)
  • have the skills and qualifications for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL): see http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/sol/
  • comply with age, English skills, health, character and other requirements;
  • satisfy the points test.

This visa is also for existing holders of a provisional skilled visa who want more time to satisfy residence and/or employment requirements for a permanent visa.

After living for two years and working for at least one year in a Specified Regional Area, applicants can apply for a permanent visa.

This is an 18 month temporary visa for students with an Australian qualification resulting from at least two years study completed in the last six months.

It entitles those unable to pass the points test to remain in Australia for 18 months to gain the skills and experience required for a permanent or provisional General Skilled Migration visa.

For this visa:

·         no points test applies

  • applicants must have skills and qualifications satisfying the Australian standard for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) - see: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/sol/
  • age, health, character and other requirements must be satisfied.
Warning: this page states the law as at as at 21.11.11. The law is complex. The law may have changed when you read this page. Contact us to confirm your rights.
SkillSelect and Expressions of Interest – visa applications based on employment or business skills
Date: Aug 21, 2014

If you want to migrate to Australia based on your employment or business skills, SkillSelect is an on-line system that assists with the process.

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