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How to Immigrate to Australia as a Skilled Worker

How to Immigrate to Australia as a Skilled Worker

Australia has become a popular destination for skilled migrants, with more than 128,500 places available under the country's General qualified migration (Skillselect) program between 2015-2016. Under this program, skilled worker applicants can obtain a permanent Australian visa, provided they meet the qualifications, work experience, and language skills required by the Australian immigration office.

The general skilled migration (Skillselect) program took over all other Australian skilled worker visas in 2012-2013. There are 5 visa subclasses linked to Australian skilled migration, and these are Score-based. In order for such a person to be assessed, applicants must receive at least 60 points from the overall skilled migration (Skillselect) score table.

There are two ways to go about processing your migration to Australia:
  1. Using an agent
  2. Do it yourself


Migration agents can assist with visa applications, legal matters and provide general information. You should note that using an agent or lawyer for visa applications does not in any way influence the outcome of applications or even accelerate the process. However, it could mean you will do less work by yourself. If you are using an agent, ensure that the agent is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). That way, you can be sure you will not be duped. You can search for agents on any of the listed websites:
  • MARA
  • Migration Institute of Australia (MIA)
  • Yellow Page.
In the event that you want to use a migration agent within your own country, it is very important to ensure such an agent is registered with MARA or that they meet registration law and requirements of your country.
Migration agents are supposed to help you with, but not limited to the following:
  • offer advice on the most appropriate visa you should use,
  • complete your visa application form(s),
  • preparing supporting documents and information for you as an applicant,
  • submit your applications and deal with the applicable government departments on your behalf
  • provide advice on immigration matters that might be technical for you to comprehend easily.


This will save you the cost of paying agency fees but it will some time and dedication from you.
For those that want to go about it this way, below are the criteria that will be important for you to note:


Applicants are no longer awarded the points for a specific nominated occupation. However, one can still be eligible to apply by nominating a skilled occupation on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List (SOL) or the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) under the General Skilled Migration program. This is also dependent on the visa type; not leaving out the most important of them all – the applicant must have the skills as claimed and this can only be verified by relevant assessing authority for their occupation.
Individual that wants to apply for the following visas must nominate an occupation on:
  • Skilled Occupations List (SOL):
    • Graduate Temporary Visa
    • Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)
    • Skilled Regional (Subclass 887) Visa
  • Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL):
    • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) Visa
    • Skilled – Nominated or Sponsored Provisional Visa
    • Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)


Applicants gain points in accordance with the age group they fall into as at the time of their application.



Most times, Skillselect applicants might be required to take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
Often, for those that are able to prove it, applicants from native English speaking countries and applicants who have bagged a degree from a reputable university where English is the main language might not need to take an English language proficiency test. In this case, they would be required to provide a document titled “Medium Of Instruction” or any other proof subject to acceptance by immigration.
To gain points for Superior or Proficient English language skills, applicants must take the IELTS test.

Superior (IELTS score of at least 8)20
Proficient (IELTS score of at least 7)10
Competent (IELTS score of at least 6)0


Applicants will get 5 points if they have translator/interpreter level language skills in anyone of Australia’s designated community languages. Such language skills must be one that is recognized by Australia’s National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).


Applicants could gain points from their employment experience in a skilled occupation – be it in Australia or any other country. Such experience must be in a nominated occupation as provided in the Australia Skilled Occupation List or an occupation that relates closely to such to earn points for skilled employment. It is also important to note that this experience must have been acquired within the last ten years.
As you would imagine, there are different points awarded depending on where the experience is gained. See below

Length of Skilled EmploymentPoints Within AustraliaPoints Outside Australia


Points are awarded based on the highest qualification attained only as attained by the applicant. What this means is that, if the applicant had both a doctorate and a Bachelor’s degree, points will only accrue to the Doctorate and not both. It is also important to note that for points to be awarded to any qualification, it must be related to the applicant’s nominated occupation, and must be recognised when compared with Australian qualifications. The presented academic qualification will be subject to verification during the skills assessment for the applicant’s nominated occupation.

BSc. Or MSc.15
Australian Diploma or trade qualification10
Award or qualification recognised by the evaluating authority in the valuation of the skilled occupation10

Applicants can gain 5 points if they completed an Australian qualification from an Australian educational institution. The qualification must have been received from an Australian institution during their stay in Australia. The course of study must have had a minimum duration of 2 years.


Applicants can also score 5 points if they completed an approved Professional Year in Australia in the last 4 years. A Professional Year is a structured professional development program that is a combination of formal training and on-the-job experience. The year in question must be in their nominated occupation or a closely related occupation.


Applicants get 5 points should they meet the two-year study requirement listed while living and studying in a “regional Australia/low population growth metropolitan area” in Australia.


An applicant gets awarded an extra 5 points if the applicant’s spouse/partner is part of the visa application, and is not an Australian resident/citizen. For such points to be gotten, the spouse/partner must meet the basic requirements of the Australian General Skilled Migration. Such basic requirements include age, English language proficiency, and nominated occupation.


For any applicant that is being sponsored by an Australian state or territory, points are awarded to such applicants. Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) and Skilled Nominated or Sponsored visa (Provisional) (Subclass 489) fall into the category.

Sponsorship or nominationPoints
Nomination by a State or Territory government under a State Migration Plan for subclass 190 visa application5
Nomination by a State or Territory government under a State Migration Plan, or an eligible relative, to a designated area for Subclass 489 visa application10

Applicants must score a minimum of 60 marks accrued from points gained above to gain a visa under the General Skilled Migration program.
Summarily, to qualify as a skilled worker to migrate to Australia,
  • Have all the above-listed point awarding document intact and proceed to fill the Expression Of Interest form on Skillselect.
  • Submit the expression of interest (EOI).
Also, ensure to not do any of the below listed so as not to have your EOI removed
  • In the event that you received 2 invitations and you did not lodge a visa application in response to either of these invitations, or
  • If you were invited to lodge a visa application for a permanent or provisional visa and are subsequently granted that visa.
After satisfying all the above, you should well be on your way to Australia.