Comparing your visa options

Intending migrants can use the visa chart to view their visa options for skilled migration to Australia.

See > Visa Options Comparison Chart 

General Skilled Migration

Applying for a Skilled Migration Visa

The first step in the process of Points Tested Skilled Migration or General Skilled Migration is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect. SkillSelect is the Department's online system for assisting with the skilled migration process.  

See > Skill Select

SkillSelect can be used to submit an EOI for all skilled visa subclasses including points tested skilled migration visas, employer sponsored visas and business visas. For points tested and business visas, SkillSelect is a mandatory part of the application process. For employer sponsored visas, SkillSelect is not mandatory but can be used to assist in the locating of an employer. Before you submit your EOI, you will need to meet requirements of the visa subclass that you are interested in.

If you have skills and want to apply for a points tested skilled migration visa to migrate to Australia, you need to submit and Expression of Interest (EOI) and meet the requirements for the visa subclass you wish to express an interest in.

Once your EOI has been submitted, you may be invited to apply for a skilled migration visa.

Visas that require you to submit an EOI include;

If you are invited to apply for a skilled migration visa you will have 60 days to lodge a visa application which will be assessed by a processing team against the visa subclass requirements. Each visa has different eligibility requirements that you must also meet. We recommend you check the eligibility requirements of each visa prior to submitting your EOI.

At time of invitation, you must nominate an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list.

See > Skilled Occupations Lists

Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

Information on how an overseas worker's skills are assessed for a specific occupation in Australia using ANZSCO.


Skills Assessments and Assessing Authorities

A requirement of points tested skilled migration visas is a valid skills assessment issued prior to the date of being issued an invitation to apply for a visa. You must provide a valid skills assessment issued by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation. To learn more about skills assessments and find the relevant assessing authority see Skills assessment and assessing authorities.

English Language Requirement

To be eligible to submit an EOI for points tested skilled migration visas, you must meet the English language requirement. You will need to have undertaken a suitable English language test no more than 36 months prior to being issued an invitation to apply for a visa.

See > English language tests

General Skilled Migration (GSM) applications

General Skilled Migration processing centres allocate GSM applications to teams for processing. Overseas skilled workers can check the allocation date given to their application.

See> Allocation dates for GSM applications

Withdrawing a General Skilled Migration visa application

You can withdraw your visa application at any stage during processing.

See > Withdrawing General Skilled Migration Visa Applications

State Migration Plans

State Migration Plans allow individual states and territories to sponsor applicants to fill skills shortages within their local labour markets.

Find information on State Migration Plans for each state and territory.

See > State Migration Plans

Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa

If you are a recent graduate from an Australian education institution and want work in Australia, you may be eligible for the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

See > Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

Nominated or sponsored workers

Employers can sponsor or nominate workers to remain in Australia for both a temporary and permanent basis.

Temporary Work

If you would like to be sponsored between 1 day to four years, you may be eligible for the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457). Your employer must be approved as a sponsor and nominate your position before you can be granted your 457 visa.

See > Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457).

Sponsorship obligations

Approved sponsors must meet certain sponsorship obligations. The sponsorship obligations will depend on the type of sponsor.

See > Temporary residence sponsor obligations

Permanent Employer Sponsored Programme

Employers in Australia can sponsor skilled workers to remain in Australia on a permanent basis through the Employer Nomination Scheme.

See> Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa will allow a skilled worker to remain in Australia on a permanent basis and work in a regional area.

See> Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)

For information on exemptions for the Employee Sponsored Programme, including:

  • Age exemptions
  • Skill exemptions
  • English language exemptions

See > Age Skill and English Language Exemptions Permanent Employer Sponsored Programme

Working in Australia's offshore oil and gas industry

All overseas workers must hold an appropriate visa to work in Australia's offshore oil and gas industry.

You can find information on working on an offshore site, including:

  • Visa options
  • Travelling to and from an offshore site

See > Working in Australia's offshore oil and gas industry

Investment visas

There are visa options for those who want to invest in Australia.

See > Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa

           Business Talent (subclass 132) visa;

          Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 888) visa;

          Investor (subclass 891) visa;

          State/Territory Sponsored Investor (subclass 893) visa.

Please note that SkillSelect is mandatory for Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa and Business Talent (subclass 132) visa.

Business owner visas

If you want to establish a new or develop an existing business in Australia the Business Owner visa (subclass 890)  may provide you with this option. For those who want to be sponsored by a State or Territory then the  State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa (subclass 892) visa  may be a more appropriate visa option.

Other temporary working visas

If you want to travel to Australia for short-term work, you may be eligible for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400).  This visa will allow you do to short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work in Australia.

If you plan to come to Australia and undertake temporary work to participate in;

  • high level sports competitions
  • exchange arrangements
  • religious work
  • domestic work in the household of certain senior foreign executives,

then you may be eligible for the Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa (subclass 401).  To be granted this visa, you will need an approved sponsor.

For people who will be working in the entertainment industry and be sponsored by and entertainment employer, you may be eligible for the  Temporary work (Entertainment)visa (subclass 420).

Superannuation for workers

Information for former temporary residents on the Departing Australia Superannuation Payments scheme.

See > Accessing Superannuation Benefits – Former Temporary Residents

Repealed or closed temporary work visas

Information on repealed or closed temporary work visas, including alternate visa options.

See > Temporary work visa

Your rights and obligations as a worker

The publication, 'Your rights and obligations – immigration facts for workers', includes information for overseas workers on:

  • Basic protections and entitlements
  • Work rights
  • Visa choices
  • Employer obligations
  • Using a migration agent

See > Your Rights and Obligations - Immigration Facts for Workers.

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