General Skilled Immigration

In Australia Professionals migrants can work full time on these classes of visas. It is subdivided for different categories people. This visa is based on points system. The points are allotted based on different criteria. The class of visas are sub-divided focusing to cater different Industry sectors in Australia. Each subclass has a Skilled occupation list. Professionals or trade people who have their skill in the occupation list are eligible to apply for that subclass of visa. These are normally temporary and permanent migration/ residency visas.

The General Skilled Migration (GSM) program is for people who are not sponsored by an employer and who have skills in occupations that Australia needs to fill labor shortages. Applicants must be between 18 and 50 years of age and speak good English. They must have recent skilled work experience or a recently earned eligible Australian qualification. In order to apply for the migration one has to have a qualification and experience from an occupation listed in Australia’s Skilled Occupation List (SOL).There are around 80,000 visa positions in the Skilled migration category. These visas are sub divided under different classes.

Large projects like Gas pipeline , Broad band network, Coal mining , Meat production and many more projects have recently got initiated. Australia even though has huge landmass have very less population. It has only 5% unemployment rate. Due to these upcoming projects there is a huge skill shortage in Australia.If one has an employer to sponsor, there are different classes of visas which has to looked in . They are mainly called 457 visas or ENS visas.

Onshore Visas are especially for the persons who are already in Australia and have recently completed 2 years of Australian study. Offshore Visas are for individuals who will be issued a permanent residency Visa from abroad.

Each subclass of visa has different requirements to satisfy, in order to be eligible to apply . The GSM is classified as bellow

  1. Independent skilled migration visa subclass 175/885
  2. Sponsored skilled migration visa subclass 176/ 886
  3. Regional sponsored skilled migration visa subclass 475/ 487

Australian visa system is based on the points system and one has to satisfy 65 points to get eligible to apply for permanent residency.

 Implementation of Skill Select:

Skill Select(Two stage process) will commence on 1 July 2012. As of this date, new applicants for independent, family or state/territory sponsored will need to submit an EOI(Expression of Interest)  and be issued with an invitation before lodging a visa application.


Visa name AGE Onshore/ Offshore Other info and limitations
Skilled – Independent(Migrant) Permanent Visa (Subclass 175) ?50 offshore Applicant must meet academic study or qualificationcriteria. Skills will be assessed. Work experience will assist the points test. Onshore or offshore application (with conditions)
Skilled – Regional(Residence) Permanent visa(subclass 887) Per NoLimit Onshore Applicants must have lived for at least two years andworked full time for a total period of 12 months in aSpecified Regional Area of Australia. Onshore application
Skilled – Independent(Residence) Permanent visa (subclass 885) ?50 Onshore Applicant must meet academic study or qualificationcriteria. Skills will be assessed. Onshore application.
Skilled – Sponsored(Migrant) Permanent Visa (Subclass 176) ?50 offshore Applicant must meet academic study or qualificationcriteria. Skills will be assessed. Work experience will assist the points test. Onshore or offshore application (with conditions)
Skilled – Sponsored(Residence) Permanent visa (subclass 886) ?50 Onshore Applicant must meet academic study or qualificationcriteria. Skills will be assessed. Onshore application

State or family sponsored visas

Skilled – Regional Sponsored(Provisional) Temporary Visa (Subclass 475)



For skilled workers living in regional areas. Offshore application.
Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 487)



For recent graduates and young people wishing to extend their stay and live in a regional area. OffshoreApplication


Other temporary visas which can be utilized by onshore and offshore professionals and students to work directly in Australia without a sponsor are as bellow.

Skilled Independent visas

Visa Name


Onshore/ Offshore

Other info and limitations

Skilled – Graduate(Temporary) Visa(subclass 485) ?50 Onshore Only available to recent graduates of Australianinstitutions who work in an occupation listed on the SOL. English skills required. Onshore application. Valid for 18 months
Skilled – RecognisedGraduate(Temporary) Visa(subclass 476) ?30 Offshore English skills usually required, but it is possible for graduate engineers to arrive without good English language skills. Onshore or offshore application (with conditions). Only available to recent engineering graduates of certain overseas institutions. Valid for 18 months.
Work and HolidayVisa (Subclass 462) 18-30Inclusive Offshore Applicant must prove they have means to support themselves in Australia. Only available to nationals of certain countries. 6 months with each employer over a 12 month entry period
Working Holiday Visa(Subclass 417) 18-30Inclusive Offshore Applicant must prove they have means to support themselves in Australia. Offshore application. Only available to nationals of certain countries.

Decision Ready Checklist

This provision is provided to Registered migration agents in Australia, who will certify that the application which is submitted is decision ready. For such application a priority is provided and the case officer is assigned in 12 days to 30 days based on the visa subclass priority and the bulk of applications pending.

The key to a swift visa application approval is to submit all papers correctly. DIAC refers to such applications as “decision ready” applications. This means that all of the paperwork and evidence required by the case officer to make a decision is submitted with the application. Applicants should be aware that if a case officer requires more information, they will contact the applicant and ask for that extra information to be submitted within 28 days. Even if the applicant provides the necessary information the next day, the case officer will not re-visit the application until the 28th day.

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and eVisitor visas are approved very quickly. Applications made online are often approved instantly. Online applications should be used where possible because it reduces the amount of time required to communicate between applicants and DIAC case officers.

In early 2011, applications for General skilled migration (GSM) visas were taking about 10 months to approve, when lodged in the normal process. If it is an onshore application and a decision ready application and comes under the DIACS priority arrangement, then the applications are processed promptly.

Onshore and offshore applications

Applications for the visas described are usually described as being “onshore”, “offshore”, or “onshore or offshore”. Each of these descriptions is self-explanatory.

A fourth description is used: “Onshore or offshore (with conditions)”. This means that a visa applicant can be either in or outside of Australia at the time of application, but conditions apply to that flexibility. The conditions vary for each visa.

Examples include:

• If an application is made outside Australia, the applicant must be outside Australia at the time a decision is made to grant the visa, and vice versa.

• The applicant must be outside Australia at the time that a decision is made on the application.

The DIAC website should be checked to determine the precise conditions for the specific visa application.

Specified occupations

Several visa classes are only available to people who work in certain occupations. The lists of occupations are called:

  • Skilled Occupations List (SOL): The SOL lists occupations which are acceptable for permanent and temporary skilled migration to Australia under the General Skilled Migration program. The SOL is applicable to visa subclasses, 475, 487 ,175, 176, 885 and 886
  • Separate SOL lists are provided for different subclass of visas. One has to be diligent to choose their skill in an appropriate SOL.

0 thoughts on “General Skilled Immigration

  1. Hi,
    I just finished my Bachelor degree in Australia on 5th of July. I overstated my visa and missed the lodgement day of visa 485 by 1 day. I went to Immigration office and got Bridging visa E to depart Australia. I also received a refusal of my 485 application due to invalid visa holder. I am currently in my home country and want to come back to Australia to apply visa 485 after the first attempt. I just wondering whether I am still eligible to apply for visa 485 if I got refused once. Thank you very much.
    Kind regards,

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top