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Australia's Skilled Immigration: Permanent and Provisional Visa Subclasses

Still wondering how to immigrate to Australia? Worry not. We've summarized have compiled the visa subclasses for you to live permanently in the country.

Crispin Aranda

Australia's Skilled Immigration: Permanent and Provisional Visa Subclasses

Permanent Resident Visas

The various Australia permanent visa subclasses require that:

  • Your occupation is on the specific list of current and eligible occupations.
  • The designated assessing authority for your nominated occupation must issue a suitable or positive assessment to you.
  • You must demonstrate English proficiency (e.g., IELTS score of 7.0 in all components),
  • You must be less than 45 at the age of filing.
  • You must complete a SkillSelect application of the Department of Home Affairs.
  • The Department of Home Affairs must issue you an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residency.
  • You must meet and comply with health and character requirements.

If you are qualified and were fortunate enough to be issued an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence, you can

  • Live and stay in Australia indefinitely.
  • Work and study in Australia.
  • Enroll in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses.
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence.
  • Travel to and from Australia for five years.
  • Apply for Australian citizenship if you lived in Australia for the last four years, including the most recent 12 months, as a permanent resident.

These are Australia's work-related permanent visa subclasses as of 2019.

Are you applying for skilled immigration and are not being sponsored by an employer, agency, state, or territory? Check the following.

Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa

If you are applying independently, you must apply for immigration under Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa. You may file from outside Australia (offshore) or if you are already living legally in Australia (onshore).



Check the visa subclasses below if you are being sponsored for work.


Subclass 124 Distinguished Talent Visa.

You may apply for this permanent visa if:

  • You live outside Australia and;
  • Have been a prominent figure in your field during the past two years;
  • Any of the following nominates you:
    • An Australian citizen or permanent resident
    • An eligible New Zealand citizen 
    • An Australian organization with a national reputation in your field.


Subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme Visa.

Another permanent visa, the Subclass 186 visa is for people nominated by an employer. There are three streams under SC 186.

  • Temporary Residence Transition stream. Apply for SC 186 Visa if you hold any of the following:
    • Temporary Skills Shortage Subclass 482 Visa.
    • Any related Bridging Visa A, B, or C.
  • Direct Entry stream. You must meet the conditions to apply to SkillSelect, including a positive skills assessment.
  • Labour agreement stream. Your nominating employer must be a party to a labour agreement, and you must meet the requirements of the labour agreement.


Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa.

As the category states, your employer must offer you work in a regional area of Australia. Employment must be for at least two years after your visa is i. If your occupation requires licensure, you will need relevant registration. You can check if your occupation will qualify you for immigration by looking it up in the Regional Occupation List, or ROL.


Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa.

Australia's states and territories can nominate individuals for permanent residence! As a SkillSelect applicant, you should select a State or Territory government to be considered for nomination. The State or Territory then reviews and decides who to nominate from among the applicants.

Remember, each State or Territory has its own Migration Plan and list of eligible occupations. It is, therefore, good practice before completing your EOI, to check which State or Territory has your trade or profession.


Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa.

If you recently graduated from an Australian educational institution, and have relevant skills and qualifications that are needed in Australia, consider applying for Subclass 485 Visa. To qualify, you must be living in Australia legally once a decision is made on your application. You can only access the visa application once as a primary applicant, so be careful when completing your form.

There are two streams for this temporary visa that will allow you to live and work in Australia for a limited time:

  • Graduate Work Stream. Your Australian qualification must be related to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List.
  • Post-Study Work Stream. You must have graduated with a higher education degree.


Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa.

This is a temporary visa for skilled workers who are willing to live, work, and study in specified regional areas of Australia. To qualify, you must be a current holder of specific visa subclasses. If your application is approved, you may stay up to four years from the date your current skilled visa was granted.

If you were granted a Subclass 489 Visa, a member of your family holding either a Subclass visa 475, 487, 489, 495 or 496, may apply for a Subsequent entry pathway visa. Your family member must live, work, and study in a specified regional area of Australia as well. The visa is valid until your Subclass 489 visa ends.

Subclass 887 Skilled Regional Visa.

To qualify, answer these two questions first:

  • Have you lived in Australia legally for at least two years, working full-time in a specified regional area
  • Was it under any visa subclass, including a Bridging Visa A or B after applying for either a Subclass 489, 495 or 487 Visa?

Authors & Contributors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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