General Skilled Migration Visa

Australia has required skilled immigrants since the birth of the country. The recent research also shows that Australian economy cannot be sustained without influx of skilled persons from overseas countries. GSM program is designed for relatively young people who have skills in demand in Australia.

General Skilled Migration (GSM) requires all applicants to meet certain basic or ‘threshold criteria:

• skills assessment in a nominated occupation on the appropriate Skilled Occupations List

• age: in general, main applicants must be aged between 18 and 49

• English language ability: most applicants will need to sit for formal English language testing

• applicants will need to lodge an Expression of Interest using SkillSelect and be invited to apply for a visa, before they can lodge their GSM application

• in certain cases completion of one or more suitable qualifications after at least two years of study in Australia

• applicants may be sponsored by an Australian state. Each state has its own occupation list and criteria

Most GSM subclasses also require the applicant to meet the applicable pass mark in the GSM points test, and for this reason GSM visas are often referred to as ‘points tested’ visas.

Skill Select

SkillSelect is a major change to how Australia manages its skilled migration program. The department announced “SkillSelect helps to ensure the skilled migration program is based on the economic needs of Australia.  It will support the Australian Government in managing who can apply for skilled migration, when they can apply and in what numbers. As a result, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship expects to significantly reduce the time taken to process a visa application.”

The SkillSelect system involves prospective GSM applicants first lodging an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI).

The EOIs will be reviewed periodically by the Department, and the highest calibre prospective GSM applicants will be issued with invitations to lodge GSM visa applications.

Intending migrants express their interest in applying for a skilled visa through an online EOI form. They are required to indicate categories of skilled migration they are interested in, and answer questions relevant to the visa subclasses of interest.

Point Test

All the applicants are required to get 60 in the GSM point test for the successful application. If you get the pass mark, you can apply for an SC189 visa (independent permanent visa). If you fall short of the pass mark, you may consider applying for a state sponsorship;

SC190 (Nominated Permanent visa)

• If you are sponsored by an Australian state, 5 points will be rewarded.

• The applicant usually will be required to reside in the sponsoring state after SC190 a permanent visa is granted.

SC489 (Nominated or Sponsored Provisional visa)

• 10 points will be rewarded if the client is sponsored by the state or a relative residing in the state.

• This visa allows the applicant to remain, study and work in the designated area for 4 years. And this visa can be granted twice in the person’s entire life.

Visa Application

Based on an EOI, a person may be invited to apply for a GSM visa. The highest ranking applicants across a broad range of occupations may be invited to apply for a skilled visa. If a prospective GSM applicant is interested in making themselves available for State or Territory nomination, they can also indicate this in their EOI. The prospective applicant can indicate their preference for a particular or all States and Territories.

If a person receives an invitation to apply, they will have 60 days (from the date of invitation) to lodge their valid visa application online through SkillSelect. Applications lodged outside this timeframe will be invalid.

If a person does not make a visa application after two invitations to apply, their EOI will be removed from the database.