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Australia: What Is The Best Visa Option For Me?

If your occupation is greatly needed in Australia, then the Skilled Migration Program is the most common pathway you can use to emigrate to Australia. The purpose of the Program is to attract highly skilled and employable people like yourself to start a new life in the Land Down Under.

There are a variety of visa options under the Skilled Migration Program and below is a list of options that may be applicable to you if you are currently living outside of Australia:

Skilled Independent Subclass 189

- Allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

- Nominated occupation must be in SOL

- Does not require sponsorship by a relative or state/territory government.

- No settlement funds required.

- Application may be more competitive.

Skilled Nominated Subclass 190

- Allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

- Requires sponsorship by a state/territory government.

- Nominated occupation must be in CSOL

- Settlement funds may be required.

- Provides additional 5 points for the applicant.

- Less competitive – receive Expression of Interest (EOI) invitation as soon as state/territory government sponsorship is approved.

- Minimum requirement to live and work in the nominated state/territory government for at least 2 years.

Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489

- Allows you to live and work in specified regional areas in Australia for up to 4 years.

- Requires sponsorship by a relative living in a designated area or by a state/territory government.

- Nominated occupation must be in CSOL and in SOL for relative sponsored.

- You can apply for permanent visa after living in the designated regional area for 2 years and working full time in the area for 12 months.

- Provides additional 10 points for the applicant.


It is not surprising that most visa applicants would prefer to apply for a Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa as there seems to be more flexibility in as far as choosing which state to relocate to. Applying for this visa is more straightforward since no sponsorship is required.

Meeting the basic requirements and passing the Points Test are pre-requisites to be eligible to apply for a Subclass 189 visa.

The basic requirements are as follows:

  • Under 50 years of age

  • At least a competent level of English language skill (for applicants having English as a second language)

  • An occupation that’s listed in the Skilled Occupations List (SOL)

  • Successful skills assessment

  • Positive health and character assessments

As for the Points Test, points are awarded for different criteria such as age, work experience, qualifications, English language skills, to name a few, and you would need to achieve a score of at least 60 points.

In the pursuit of applying for a 189 Subclass visa, passing the basic requirements but falling short of 60 points is not an uncommon situation. When this happens, it is definitely wise for you to consider other visa options such as Subclasses 190 and 489 as one or the other may just save the day for you.

Through state or territory government sponsorship, two visa pathways can be utilised to improve your visa eligibility. These are the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190, gaining you 5 points and the Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489, with 10 points bonus. A successful sponsorship application entails that the nominated occupation must be on the SOL or CSOL in addition to scoring at least 50 or 55 on the Points Test. Also, the requirements of the sponsoring state or territory government must be properly looked into and be satisfied.

State sponsorship is indeed considered essential if you are short of 60 points. Though this may be the best option for you, it also does come with a price. With each state or territory government requirements constantly changing, it can definitely get difficult and confusing to keep up with the criteria. Hence, there is a need to be more switched on in keeping yourself updated with the ever so fickle rules. You will find it hugely beneficial to engage a registered migration agent for proper guidance into these types of application as your agent would be one of the very first people to know when changes in the rules have been or are about to be implemented and could definitely act upon your case to your best interest.


So, have you figured out which visa option would best work for you? If you would like some advice on the likelihood of your eligibility for migration to Australia, please book a consultation with our registered agent or complete our free eligibility test so we can have a look at the right visa you can apply for.

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