The General Skilled Migration programme aims to provide skills to the Australian economy in particular occupations where these skills may be lacking. It is aimed at people not sponsored by an employer, who are aged between 18 and 45, have recent skilled work experience and have strong English language ability. Applicants must select a particular occupation on the Australia's Skilled Occupation List and must be able to prove they have the skills relevant for that job.
There are a range of visas available under the General Skilled Migration programme but essentially it is a points system where applicants must attain the required number of points in order to qualify. Once granted permanent residency the applicant can access most of the public services that are on offer, including education and healthcare.
Skilled workers and business people interested in migrating to Australia can be considered for a skilled visa by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.
Skillselect is an online service which works as a filtering system to ensure applications for Skilled Migrant visas can be processed more efficiently. An EOI is NOT a visa application but an indication that the person would like to be considered for a skilled visa by the Australian authorities. Via this system, skilled workers can be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments. If successful, candidates will be invited to lodge a visa application.
Skilled foreign workers looking to move or work in Australia temporarily can get a Skills Assessment via the Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) area of the DIBP website. The ASRI assists skilled workers in finding information for a nominated occupation and assess qualifications, skills and experience.
Applying for residency under this programme takes approximately one to two years to complete. The entire process and what is required is outlined in Booklet 6: General Skilled Migration.
General Skilled Migration applications can be made online. All paper applications must be sent to the following address:
Under the Skilled Migration Programme, the Department of Immigration operates a points system where applicants must meet certain criteria. This is based on language ability, skills, experience, age and their occupation. Applicants must gain a certain number of points to obtain the pass mark.
Some people choose to use a migration agent to assist with their application, although it is not necessary to do so. If using a migration agent then it is recommended to use a registered agent. A list of registered agents is available from the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA).
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