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General Skilled Migration

The General Skilled Migration Program targets people who are highly skilled, under 50 years of age, have a high level of English language ability and who will quickly make a contribution to the Australian economy.

General Skilled Visas are divided into the following categories:

  1. If you are in Australia - the onshore program is mainly for overseas students with Australian qualifications obtained here. Visa options are:
    • Skilled - Independent (Subclass 885)
    • Skilled - Sponsored (Subclass 886)
    • Skilled - Regional (Subclass 887)
    • Skilled - Graduate (Subclass 485)
    • Skilled - Regional Sponsored (Subclass 487)
  2. If you are outside Australia - the offshore program is for people living outside Australia with skills that are in demand in Australia. Visa options are:
    • Skilled - Independent (Subclass 175)
    • Skilled - Sponsored (Subclass 176)
    • Skilled - Regional Sponsored (Subclass 475)
    • Skilled - Recognised Graduate (Subclass 476)
  3. If you are a New Zealand Citizen - you may apply for any of the offshore categories listed immediately above
To satisfy the eligibility criteria in these categories you will need to:

  • Be under 50 years of age;
  • Nominate a skilled occupation from the Skilled Occupations List;
  • Satisfy health and character requirements;
  • You must have a good English language ability;
  • Prior to applying, you must have a Skills Assessment completed by the relevant external assessing authority;
  • You must have recent skilled work experience or have recently completed an Australian qualification as the result of two (2) years full-time study in Australia; and
  • Pass the relevant points test.

State and territory nominated visas require that you are skilled in an occupation that is on a specific state or territories State Migration Plan- see State Nomination for further information.

Most GSM visas require that applicants meet a certain number of points in the points test. This test awards points to migrants based their age, work experience, qualifications and English language. The aim of the points test is to identify qualities in migrants which will benefit Australia, and the government requires different factors depending on the visa category. The current passmark for the points test is 65.

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