Australia PR Visa

Australia has always been a popular choice for individuals who desire to migrate to another country.  The country has favorable factors such as a thriving economy which means more job opportunities. Australia promises a better quality of life and a multicultural society where there is peace and harmony.

Australia offers a permanent residency or PR visa to immigrants. The visa has a validity of five years. With a PR visa, you can move into Australia along with your family. You can apply for citizenship after living in Australia for three years with a PR visa.

Benefits of having a PR visa
  • You can live and travel anywhere within Australia
  • You can pursue higher studies in Australia and can apply for certain educational loans
  • You become eligible for Social Security benefits after two years of having a PR visa
  • You can sponsor the PR of your relatives if they meet certain pre-requisites
  • You can apply for government jobs
  • You can travel to New Zealand and can even apply for a visa there
General eligibility requirements

There are various categories under which you can apply for a PR visa which have different eligibility requirements. But the general eligibility factors are as under:

Points Requirement:  Points determine your eligibility for a PR visa You must score at least 65 points under the Point’s Grid. The below table describes the different criteria for scoring points:

Category   Maximum Points
Age (25-33 years) 30 points
English proficiency (8 bands) 20 points
Work Experience outside Australia (8-10 years) 15 points
Work Experience in Australia (8-10 years) 20 points
Education (outside Australia) – Doctorate degree 20 points
Niche skills such as Doctorate or master’s degree by research in Australia 10 points
Study in a regional area 5 points
Accredited in community language 5 points
Professional year in a skilled program in Australia 5 points
State sponsorship (190 visa) 5 points
Skilled spouse or de facto partner (Age, Skills & English language requirements to be met) 10 points
Spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’ (No need to meet Skills requirement or age factor) 5 points
Applicants without a spouse or de facto partner or where a spouse is an Australia citizen or PR holder 10 points

Age: Your age should be below 45 years to apply for a PR visa

Language Proficiency: You should have proof that you have a competent level of proficiency in the English language.

Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL): The applicant must choose an occupation that is available in the following skilled occupation lists. The list contains the occupations that are currently acceptable for migration to Australia. The occupations in the lists are updated regularly and reflect the changes in the Australian labor market. There are three categories of the SOL:

  1. Medium- and long-term Strategic Skills List
  2. Short-term Skilled Occupation List
  3. Regional Occupations List

Eligibility points requirement for PR visa

65 points is the minimum points required to be eligible for PR visa, the higher you score on the eligibility calculation, the brighter the chances of you being invited to Apply for Australian PR. Scoring anywhere from 80 to 85 points can make you eligible for a quicker PR invitation to apply, that is, from around 1 to 2 months.

The following Australian visas require 65 points for eligibility for PR visa:

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

This visa is for those invited foreign workers that possess the skills required by the Australian government. With the subclass 189, the visa holder can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.

No nominator or sponsor is needed.

You can only apply for this visa after being formally invited to do so.

You must be below 45 years of age to be able to apply.

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

Allows nominated skilled workers to live and work/study anywhere in Australia as permanent residents.

Like the subclass 189, to be able to apply for subclass 190 you must have received an invitation to apply.

With both subclasses 189 and 190, you must –

  • Score 65 on the points calculator
  • Receive an invitation to apply
  • Have an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List
  • Be in possession of a suitable skills assessment for the occupation

English test scores will also be required.

How are the eligibility points calculated?

The 65 points to be attained are calculated based on the following criteria:

Age: You will gain a maximum of 30 points if your age is between 25 to 32 years.



18-24 years


25-32 years


33-39 years


40-44 years


English proficiency: A score of 8 bands in the IELTS exam can give you a maximum of 20 points. However, the Australian immigration authorities allow applicants to take any of the English proficiency tests such as IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, etc.  You can try for the required score in any of these tests.

Work experience: Skilled employment outside Australia with 8 to 10 years of experience counting back from the date of your PR application will give you 15 points, lesser years of experience means fewer points.

Skilled employment outside Australia


Less than 3 years


3-4 years


5-7 years


8-10 years


Skilled employment in Australia with 8 to 10 years of experience from the date of application will give you a maximum of 20 points.

Skilled employment in Australia


Less than 1 year


1-2 years


3-4 years


5-7 years


8-10 years


Education: Points for the education criteria depends on the educational qualification. Maximum points are given to a doctorate degree from an Australian university or a doctorate from a university outside Australia provided it is recognized by the Australian government.



A Doctorate degree from an Australian university or institute outside Australia.


A Bachelor (or Masters) degree from an Australian university or institute outside Australia.


Diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia


Any qualification or award recognized by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated skilled occupation.


Niche skills such as Doctorate or master’s degree in Australia


Spouse application: If your spouse is also an applicant for the PR visa, you will be eligible for an additional five points to your SkillSelect Expression of Interest. To get these additional five points, your spouse must meet the following requirements:

Should be less than 45 years of age

Should have the basic competent level scores in English

Job occupation code should appear in the same occupation list as the primary applicant list

Based on the changes in the Australia points-based system from November 2019, applicants can gain points on the following criteria for spouse application. The table gives more details:

Spouse qualification


Spouse has a PR visa or is an Australian citizen


Spouse has competent English and has a Positive Skill Assessment


Spouse has only competent English


Other qualifications:  You can gain points if you meet any of the following criteria.

Study in a regional area

Accredited in community language

Professional year in a skilled program in Australia

State sponsorship (190 visa)

5 points

5 points

5 points

5 points

While 65 is the minimum needed to be eligible for applying, getting an invitation to apply for Australian PR in 2021 is much easier with a score of 80.

What are the various Australian PR Visa Categories an applicant can choose?

Australia offers many options to apply for the PR visa card. You can choose the appropriate option based on your eligibility and requirements. Here are the popular options for your Australian PR:

Family-stream permanent residence visas: This stream is for spouse/partner, children or parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Under the family stream you can migrate to Australia if your close family member is a citizen or permanent resident in Australia. The family stream gives preference to the spouse/partner, dependent children, parents of citizens and permanent residents in Australia. It also provides an opportunity for other family members such as relatives who are old and dependent, caretakers etc. to move to Australia to be with their families.

Business or investment-stream permanent residence visas: This stream is for those willing to invest in Australia for business purposes. To be eligible to apply for PR under this stream, applicants should have had the provisional visa (subclass 188) for at least one year and meet the financial requirements.

The Australian business visa program helps foreign business owners, senior executives and investors to come here for business purposes and develop new or existing businesses in Australia. This can also be a pathway to permanent residency.

Work-stream permanent residence visas: This visa stream is for workers who are sponsored by an Australian employer. The various visa categories under this stream include:

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): This visa option is suitable for skilled workers. However, this visa cannot receive sponsorship.

Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190): This visa is applicable to skilled workers who have a nomination from an Australian state/Territory. For this visa, you will have to prove that your occupation exists in the Skilled Occupation List.

Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491):  For eligibility under this visa, you must meet the skill requirement and get sponsorship or nomination from either state or region or territory.

Permanent residency after studying in Australia

International students who come to study in Australia wish to continue staying there by applying for a permanent residency in Australia. They have the option to apply for a PR visa through the SkillSelect program. They can apply to any one of the following visas:

  • Skilled Independent visa
  • Employer Nomination visa
  • Regional Sponsored visa

They can have their skills assessed in a points test and if they qualify, they can get an invitation to apply for a PR visa.

Those who cannot qualify either through the points test or cannot meet the requirements of SkillSelect have the option to continue in the country by opting for further studies or apply for any one of the temporary visas.

If they choose to extend their further studies in Australia, they will increase their duration of stay in Australia and obtain the skills and qualifications which will help them gain employment in Australia.

Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa grants post-study work rights to international students who have completed a Bachelor’s, Masters or Doctoral degree in Australia. They can work in the country for two to four years to gain international work experience.

Students can also work under the Graduate Work Stream. They are eligible for this stream if they have graduated with the skills and occupation that is related to an occupation which features in the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This visa is valid for 18 months.

Global Talent Program

The government has also introduced a Global Talent Independent Visa program (GTS) to help fill the tech talent shortage in Australia. The GTS aims to attract tech workers and encourage innovation in the future-focused industries in the country. There are plans to expand the GTS visa to provide permanent residence option. 

Eligibility conditions

  • Individuals with work experience in any of the seven future focused fields under the GTI
  • They must earn a salary at or above $153,600 per annum in Australia. (This high-income threshold changes with every financial year).
  • They must be highly qualified in their field and easily able to find employment in Australia
  • They must be highly skilled in any one of the 7 key industry sectors which include:
  • Energy and Mining Technology
  • Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT
  • AgTech
  • Cyber Security
  • Space and Advanced Manufacturing
  • MedTech
  • FinTech
  • Applicants must prove that they have international recognition for their achievements and prove that they will bring benefits to Australia in their field of expertise if they are selected through GTI.
  • Applicants must have a track record of having outstanding professional achievements which can be having patents, international publications, articles, professional awards, and working in senior roles.


Other requirements

Applicants who meet the requirements of the program will be required to have a nominator who will nominate them for the program. The nominator must be nationally reputed in his field and must be in the same professional field as the applicant.

He must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or he can be a citizen of New Zealand or belong to an Australian organization.

The nominator can be from the same university as the applicant or be his employer or an industry peer or belong to an industry body.

Reasons to choose the GTI

  • Does not require a skills assessment.
  • Candidates are not required to meet the minimum points threshold.
  • State/Territory nomination or employer sponsorship is not required.
  • Candidates may be up to 55 years of age or older if they can demonstrate exceptional economic benefit to Australia.
  • Recent PhD graduates in one of the 7 target sectors may be able to apply.
  • There is no occupation list for the Global Talent Visa unlike the Skilled Independent Visa


Benefits of the GTS

  • Access to roles that do not appear in the occupation lists
  • Facility to negotiate terms different from requirements of the TSS visa
  • Priority to processing of applications
  • No age restrictions on the visa
  • Value for emerging technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality

Distinguished talent visa

The Distinguished Talent visa is designed for individuals who have achieved something exceptional in a profession, in arts or sports or in research or academic fields. The visa has two subclasses- Subclass 858 for onshore and Subclass 124 for offshore.

To apply for Subclass 124, the applicant must be outside Australia when the visa is issued.

Apart from this the visa applicant must be nominated by an Australian citizen, eligible New Zealand citizen or a PR holder or an Australian organization that is connected to your area of talent.

Applicants can include family members in their visa application.

Eligibility conditions

You can be of any age when you apply for this visa, however if you are below 18 and above 55 you must prove to be of immense benefit to the Australian society.

You must have a record of having exceptional and outstanding achievement and must have international recognition in any profession, art, sport, research field or academics.

Your contribution which can be either economic, social, cultural etc. should contribute to the country or benefit the Australian community.

You must demonstrate that you are competent to establish yourself in Australia or can find work related to your filed in Australia. However, income from a source outside your field will not be considered even if it is part of your overall income.

You must have the qualifications or awards from internationally recognized institutions and provide evidence that you are still prominent in your field.

You must have skills in functional English.

 You must meet the health and character requirements.


Application steps for Distinguished Talent visa

Step 1: Before you even submit your application, you will have to secure a nomination from an individual or organization.

Step 2: The next step is to gather the documents that will support the claims you have made in your application and evidence that you meet the criteria. You must also evidence of your achievements in your field.

Step 3: Apply for the visa online.

Step 4: You will be notified by the authorities that they have received your visa application.

Step 5:  You will be notified on the outcome of your visa application. You must be outside Australia when you receive the visa decision. If your application is rejected, the authorities will give you the reasons and let you know whether you can apply for a review of the decision.

Benefits of the visa

Live and work permanently in Australia

Study in the country

Get access to Medicare, the country’s scheme to provide healthcare to its residents

Sponsor your relatives to come to the country

Apply for citizenship

Travel to and from Australia for five years

Family stream

Under the family stream you can migrate to Australia if your close family member is a citizen or permanent resident in Australia. The family stream gives preference to the spouse/partner, dependent children, parents of citizens and permanent residents in Australia. It also provides an opportunity for other family members such as relatives who are old and dependent, caretakers etc. to move to Australia to be with their families.

 To help migrants to bring their parents to Australia, the immigration department introduced the Temporary Parent visa. The other option of bringing parents through the Permanent Parent visas only make up 1 percent of the total permanent migration program in the country but can take a long time to process. The other option of the Contributory Parent visa has a shorter processing time but costs more than AUD 45,000 for every applicant.

Features of the Temporary Parent visa

The number of places under this visa will be limited to 15,000 every financial year

Parents can get this visa for either three or five years in Australia. The three-year visa will cost AUD 5,000, while the five-year visa will cost AUD 10,000.

Parents who come to Australia under this visa will be eligible to re-apply for a Subclass 870 visa, and if it is approved, can stay in Australia for a cumulative period of 10 years. But they cannot work under this visa.

Conditions of the visa

Before a parent can apply for this visa, the child must get approval from the government as a parent sponsor. The conditions to get an approval include:

  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • Have a taxable income or a combined income with your spouse or de facto partner of AUD 83, 454 for the recent financial year
  • Must have completed the relevant police checks
  • Not have any debts to pay for public health or Commonwealth
  • Must be ready to provide your parent with financial support and accommodation in Australia
  • Must not have a partner who is a parent sponsor
  • Once you gain approval as a parent sponsor your parent or parents can apply for a Temporary Parent visa


Eligibility requirements for a Temporary Parent visa

  • Applicant should be the biological parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or parent-in-law of their child living in Australia
  • Must have enough funds to meet their expenses during the duration of their stay in the country
  • Plan for health insurance for the duration of their stay
  • Must have complied with the conditions of any previous Australian visas they have had
  • Must have an intention to stay in Australia only temporarily
  • Must satisfy the health and character requirements

The temporary parent visa offers the option for Australian permanent residents and citizens to bring their parents to Australia on a temporary basis.

Documents required in PR visa application:
  • Application form
  • Report of Educational Credential Assessment
  • Birth certificate
  • Character certificate
  • Proof of nomination (if any)
  • Test results of IELTS or PTE exam for English proficiency
  • 2 passport size photos
  • Spouse Skill documents if a spouse is also applying for a PR visa
  • Police Clearance Certification (PCC)
  • Business reference letters
Steps in the PR application process

Step 1:  Check the eligibility requirements

  • Check if you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Verify if your occupation is present in the list of occupations in demand.
  • Check if you have the required points based on the points table.

Step 2: English proficiency Test

Check if you have the required proficiency in the English language by taking the specified English language test. Fortunately, the Australian immigration authorities accept scores from various English ability tests like IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, etc. So, you can take any of these tests to obtain the specified score.

Step 3: Get your skill assessment done

Get your skills assessed by the Skills assessment authority which is an organization that will assess your skills, education and work experience based on Australian standards.

Step 4: Register your Expression of Interest

  • The next step is to register an Expression of Interest (EOI) on Australia’s Skill Select website. You should fill an online form in the SkillSelect portal where you should give responses to questions on your skill which is again based on the visa subclass you are applying under. The SkillSelect program offers three visa categories under which you can apply for a PR visa.
  • Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189
  • Skilled Nominated Visa 190
  • Skilled regional (provisional) Subclass 491

The first two are permanent visas while the third one is a temporary visa with a validity of five years which can later be converted to a PR visa.

You should provide all the required information in the online application.

Step 5: Get your Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Once you submit your application and if it meets all the requirements then you will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Australia PR.

Step 6: Submit your PR application

The next step is to submit your PR application. You must submit it within 60 days. The application must have all the supporting documents for processing your PR visa. These documents are your personal documents, immigration documents, and work experience documents.

Step 7: Get your clearance certificates

The next step is to submit your police clearance certificates. After a medical examination, you must submit your medical clearance certificate.

Step 8:  Get your PR visa

The last step is getting your PR visa.

How much time does a PR visa take?

If you diligently follow all the steps involved in the PR application process, the next question would be how long it will take for the visa to be processed. PR visa processing includes different stages. Each stage has a different time structure.  Here is a breakdown of the time taken for each stage. The addition of the time taken for each stage determines the total processing time for your PR visa.

  1. Skill assessment: This is done by a designated skill assessment body. Based on how soon you submit your documents, you will get a faster response from them. The processing time ranges from 45 to 60 days.
  2. Expression of Interest: The processing time depends on your eligibility score. The higher your score, the better are your chances to get an invitation to apply (ITA).
  3. Visa Application Submission: After you receive your ITA, you must submit your visa application to the DHA or the Department of Home Affairs. This must be done within 60 days of receiving your ITA.
  4. Medical and character certificate: The character and medical certificates may take some time to be processed. It is better if you start the process of getting these documents as soon as you receive your ITA so that you can submit your visa approval as soon as possible.
  5. Visa Approval: Once you submit the required document, the DHA conducts thorough research of your profile. If they are happy with your profile, they will give you a visa grant. This process takes about 3 to 5 months.
  6. Preparation for Departure: Once you get your visa approval, you will have to move to Australia within six months.

Getting your PR visa for Australia can be a complicated process, but with the help of an immigration consultant, it can be easy. Our expertise of over 15 years has helped many individuals to get their Australia PR visas.

Factors affecting the processing time

Many factors can affect processing time. The time can vary every month because of factors such as the number of applications coming in, seasons that see a higher number of applications, a higher number of complex cases, or incomplete applications. Other reasons that impact processing times include:

  • Incorrect applications
  • Lack of supporting documents
  • Time is taken to answer any queries raised by immigration officers
  • Demand for the applicant’s occupation in Australia
  • Inadequate points scored by the applicant in the SkillSelect online system
  • Delay in the background verification process
  • Time is taken to receive information from external agencies about health or character
  • Number of places available in the migration program

Getting your PR visa processed on time

To ensure that your Australian PR visa application is processed on time do not submit an incomplete application. For the smooth processing of your application, make sure you meet the requirements of the visa application process.

Include the key documents:  Your application must have two key documents which are:

  1. The Skills Assessment Report from the relevant Skill Assessing Authority
  2. The results of your IELTS test

Select the right visa category to apply: Analyze each visa category and choose the category that you feel is suitable.

Select the right occupation for the Skilled Occupation List (SOL):  Choose an occupation from the SOL which is relevant to you.

Make an application in the point-based system

Ensure you meet the health and character requirements:  For this, you need to be certified as medically fit and good in your character.

Check the progress of your application

After you have submitted your application, you can check on its status on the ImmiAccount page on the official webpage of Immigration and Citizenship of the Australian Government.

Cost of Australia PR visa?

The application process for the PR visa through the General Skilled Migration program follows a set process that contains a series of steps. These include Skills Assessment, English language test, medical test, police clearance, etc. Each step comes with its own separate cost. The sum total of all these costs will give you the total cost of the PR visa along with the visa application fees.

Overview of costs in the PR application process:

The PR visa application starts with a Skills Assessment where your skills and qualifications are reviewed by an accreditation body affiliated with the Australian Government. You’ll have to pay the Skills Assessment fees for this, which vary depending on the profession.

You will have to prove your English skills by taking some of the Australian Government’s accredited English language exams. Those include IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc. Again, the cost of the exam can vary depending on the exam you choose.

Applying for PR under Subclass Visa 190 requires State sponsorship. This makes you for state nomination for your PR visa. State Sponsorship fees vary with each state, the average cost is around AUD 300.

When applying for your PR visa, you and your dependents should submit certificates for good health and character. For this, you will have to pay for a medical examination and a police clearance certificate.  The cost of the police clearance certificate depends on the country you are from.

Variation in cost:

Please note that the cost of the PR visa application changes periodically. The cost is dependent on the date the application is filed. If the cost of the application increases between the date of filing and the time it reaches the immigration department then you will have to pay as per the new charges.

Total cost for the PR visa:

Reasons for rejection of PR visa application

Here are some reasons why your PR visa application could be rejected

1.Application for the wrong visa type

The Australian PR visa has three subclasses

  • Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189
  • Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491

The application process for all the subclasses is the same. However, the qualifying criteria is different.

Your PR application can be rejected if you do not satisfy the criteria for that visa category you have applied for. So, consider the criteria for each subclass and choose the category under which you are most likely to qualify.

2.Violation of conditions of your previous visa

If your previous records indicate that you have overstayed on a temporary visa or have not adhered to the terms of a previous visa, your application for the PR visa will be rejected.

If they feel that you could abuse the privileges of a PR visa as you did with other Australian visas, the authorities might refuse your visa application. You may be disqualified for the PR visa if your previous records show that you overstayed on a temporary visa or failed to adhere to the conditions of a previous visa.

  1. Incomplete or inconsistent information in your visa application

If you send misleading information or if the authorities notice that you have not submitted full information, your visa application may be rejected. Check your application before sending it, to prevent this. Make sure you provide all the specifics and information needed. Submit any documentation and records supporting the details found in your application. It will be closely scrutinized for any discrepancies. For instance, if your application for a partner visa does not have the supporting documents to prove your relationship, then your visa can be rejected.

In your application, you must supply clear details. The immigration department will cross-check the details you submit and check for any inconsistencies in your previous visa applications. Inconsistencies in your application can be a reason for rejecting your application.

  1. Failure to meet health requirements for the visa

If you need treatment for any health problems that the Australian authorities believe would be a financial strain on their medical system, your application might be refused. PR visa applications are rejected if the applicant suffers from medical conditions such as HIV, cancer, heart conditions or mental health issues.

  1. Failure to meet the character requirements

Australia is wary of allowing immigrants who have a criminal record. Applications are scrutinized on an individual basis and the visa application can be rejected if applicants have:

  • A criminal record
  • History of harassing others
  • Association with a criminal organization
  1. Lack of enough funds

The Australian authorities want to ensure, before entering the country on a PR visa, that applicants have sufficient funds to sustain their stay in the country. So, you will have to include supporting financial statements with evidence of your financial condition. Often, applicants are unsure if they will be asked to provide financial records. In the process, they fail to provide enough proof which may lead to their rejection of their application.

  1. Inability to score the required level in English language proficiency test

If you don’t score the required levels in your English language proficiency test your PR visa can be rejected. Australia is strict in terms of language proficiency and you should have the required score levels to qualify for a visa.

8.Failure to clear the visa verification process

There are chances of your visa application being rejected at the last stages if you are unable to clear the verification of your medical or character requirements or other important information in your application.

The Australian immigration authorities are careful in their verification process. The Australian immigration authorities are careful in their verification process. They focus on reviewing the documents you send thoroughly. You will be barred from entering the country for a certain number of years if it is found that you have submitted false information. Check carefully for any inconsistencies before sending your papers.

Get a review if your application is rejected

If your application is denied, the immigration department will provide you the reasons if you ask them. You must appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, but within the time specified. They will review the decision and provide you with explanations for the refusal.

A review will also give you an opportunity to explain the points raised in the review document and to provide any information or documents that are missing.

You must make sure to meet the review deadline, or you would miss the chance to get a visa. Take care to submit a detailed application for approval and you will still get a chance to obtain your PR visa.

The total cost of your PR visa depends on the kind of visa you are applying for, its application fees, fees for medical examination, English language test, health insurance, number of dependents, airfare to Australia, and other miscellaneous costs.

Changes to the points system

The Australian government implemented changes to its points-based immigration system. Below are the changes to the points-based system:

  • 10 points to applicants who do not have a spouse or a partner.
  • 10 points if you have a skilled spouse or partner
  • 15 points for applicants who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by a family member residing in Australia
  • 10 points for applicants for STEM qualifications
  • 5 points for applicants who have a spouse or partner who has competent English. The spouse or partner need not go through a skill assessment if this is the case

The above changes have created an impact on General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa categories.

Introduction of two new regional visas

The Australian government introduced two visas that came into effect in November 2019. This is intended to attract skilled migrants to settle down in regional areas. The two visas Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional visa (subclass 494) will have 25,000 visa places reserved for them out of the total permanent migration planning level of 160,000 by the Australian government. The two new visas have replaced the Subclass 489 and Subclass 187 visas.

Subclass 491 visa (in replacement for Subclass 489 visa)

With the immigration changes introduced by Australia last year, the Subclass 489 visa has been replaced by the Subclass 491 visa. This is a provisional visa for skilled workers who want to live and work in a regional area of Australia.

Eligibility conditions for the visa

The applicant must be nominated to apply by a state or territory government or be sponsored by an eligible relative

Have an occupation in the relevant skilled occupation list

Must have the skills assessment for the occupation

Get an invitation to apply

Applicant must score the required points (65 points)

Have the required English proficiency level

Meet the health requirements

Meet the character requirements

Be under 45 years of age

With this visa you can:

  • Stay in Australia for 5 years
  • Can live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid
  • Apply for permanent residence

The validity of the visa can be extended if required.

Application steps for Skilled work regional (provisional) visa

Step1: In the first step you must submit your expression of interest (EOI0 through SkillSelect to indicate you want to apply for this visa.

Step 2: Before you even submit your application, you must first gather the required documents to support the claims made in your EOI.

Step 3: Apply for the visa online once you receive the invitation. You can be living in or outside Australia when you are making the visa application. You must make your application within 60 days of receiving the invitation.

Step 4: You will be notified by the authorities that they have received your visa application.

Step 5:  You will be notified on the outcome of your visa application. You can be in or outside Australia during this time but not in immigration clearance.


Processing time

These visa applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and the processing time can vary provided you have met the following conditions:

  • Submitted the complete application with all the supporting documents
  • Your response time to requests for additional information
  • Time taken by authorities to verify the additional information you provided
  • Time taken for the authorities to receive the additional information
  • Places vacant in the migration program


Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 494) visa

With this visa, employers can sponsor Skilled Migrants for jobs ineligible occupations in a specific regional area for five years.

These designated areas cover all of Australia except for the major metro cities – Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Conditions for the visa

This visa comes with certain conditions, the primary visa holder and related secondary visa holders (their family members) are required to live, work, and study only in a regional area. Their visa could be canceled if they fail to comply with these rules.

This visa comes with certain restrictions. Subclass 494 visa holders will not be eligible for another Skilled Visa without a regional requirement for at least three years from the date their Subclass 494 visa is granted.

Visa holders cannot apply for an onshore partner visa for three years from the date of grant of their Subclass 494 visa.

Opportunity for Permanent Residency

Subclass 494 visa holders will be eligible for a PR visa (Skilled Regional) (Subclass 191) visa from November 2022 provided they have worked for a single employer for at least three years. The condition for granting the PR visa is that primary visa holders and the secondary visa holders must prove to the Department of Home Affairs that they worked, studied and lived in a regional area for at least three years.

List of occupations

Under these revised rules, 650 occupations can be nominated for the Subclass 494 visa. This is an increase from the earlier regulations where approximately 500 occupations could be nominated for the Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) visa and only 216 occupations could be nominated for the Permanent Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa.

With these changes, employers will benefit with access to a wider range of eligible occupations and will be in a better position to fill vacant, skilled positions in rural areas when local Australians are not available.

For employees, the changes mean an option for permanent residency which otherwise would be difficult to access.

The changes will also solve the problem of skill shortage in rural Australia because there will be priority processing of Subclass 494 and Subclass 191 visas.

Five-year period

  • The reasoning behind the insistence on a five-year visa period is to encourage primary and secondary visa holders to stay in a regional area and develop a lasting attachment to rural areas.
  • The move is also aimed at reducing the congestion in the metropolitan cities of the country, which the government feels is creating pressure on the infrastructure and resources of these cities.

Features of the visa

  • There will be priority processing of visa applications
  • Visa holders will be eligible for permanent residency without the need to undergo a second nomination stage
  • Subclass 491 visa applicants get access to more points
  • Regional visas have a wider range of occupations compared to non-regional pathways
  • Regional areas will now include Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Perth, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle, Adelaide, Hobart, Wollongong, and Canberra
  • Time required to live and work in regional Australia has been extended to three years from the earlier two years

Validity of the visa has been extended to five years

The key changes these visas have brought include:

  • Priority processing of these visa applications
  • Visa holders will be eligible for permanent residency without the need to undergo a second nomination stage
  • Subclass 491 visa applicants get access to more points
  • Regional visas have a wider range of occupations compared to non- regional pathways
  • The time required to live and work in regional Australia has been extended to three years from the earlier two years
  • The validity of the visa has been extended to five years

The Australian government introduced these visas to encourage immigrants to settle in regional areas and reduce their concentration in the three major cities of Australia.  These visas are expected to provide incentives to migrants to settle in regional Australia and consequently help to improve the economy in these regions.

You can become an Australian citizen through permanent residency, also called as conferral by the Australian government. This is the most popular way to become an Australian citizen.

For this, you will have to fulfill the residence requirements. This is based on the period you have lived in Australia and the time you have spent outside the country.

The residence requirements include:

  • Must have been living in Australia on a valid visa for four years before the date of application
  • Must have lived the last 12 months as a permanent resident
  • Must not have been away from Australia for more than one year in this four-year period
  • Must not have been away from the country for more than 90 days in the year you are applying for the PR visa

Citizenship through residency is possible if the individual stays continuously in Australia for four years on a qualifying visa that includes living in the country for one year as a permanent resident.

Qualifying visas that will help you stay continuously in the country for four years are:

  • Skilled migration: There are various visa categories under skilled migration. Eligibility for these visas is based on a points-based system. Points are given based on age, educational qualification, English language skills. You must score a minimum of 65 points to be eligible for this visa. If your occupation is in demand and appears in the Skilled Occupation List, then you will have more visa options.
  • Employer-sponsored visa: You can move to Australia on this visa if you can find an Australian employee who is ready to sponsor you.
  • Business visas: You can apply for these visas if you are willing to start a business or invest in Australia. The visa can give you permanent residency and subsequently Australian citizenship

Eligibility requirements for Australia Skilled visa

While there are many visas that come under the ‘skilled’ category, here we shall look at the most popular visas under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) category.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) — Points-tested stream. With a subclass 189, invited workers with the skills needed in Australia can live as well as work at any place in the country permanently.

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) — This visa lets skilled workers that are nominated to live as well as work in Australia as permanent residents.

If you are interested in moving to Australia permanently on a subclass 189 or 190 visa, you will have to begin the process by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) on SkillSelect.

Any foreign-born skilled worker or businessperson interested in migrating to Australia will have to go through SkillSelect. All EOIs have to be submitted online. No fees to create/submit EOI.

EOIs are stored in SkillSelect with 2 years’ validity.

Profiles in SkillSelect are ranked against each other. Invitations are sent accordingly.

Skill assessment:

At the time of invitation, you must be able to declare that you have had a skills assessment done.

Skill assessment is an integral part of the General Skilled Migration program which helps select immigrants with the right qualifications. The applicant will not be able to apply for permanent residency in the country without an assessment of his skills.

To get a positive assessment, he should have the relevant credentials and experience.

If you have applied for skill assessment, the assessment authority will consider factors such as your education, work experience and English proficiency level.

Skills assessment must have been done within the 3 years prior to the invitation being sent.

If, in case the skills assessment is based on qualification got in Australia when on a student visa, the course must needs be registered on Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

1. Meet the age criterion:

As per the age criterion, you must be under 45 when you receive the invitation to apply for the visa.

You can still apply: If you complete 45 years of age after you get the invitation.

You will not be invited: If you turn 45 during the period between the submission of EOI and receiving an invitation.

2. Score 65 and above in the points test:

As these visas are points-tested visas, you will have to score a minimum of 65 points to be eligible.

3. Competent English:

At least a competency in the English language is required. The applicant must also be able to provide evidence for the same.

1. Occupation:

Your occupation should be on the corresponding list of eligible skilled occupations.

2. Meet the health requirement:

Generally, all visa applicants applying for permanent or provisional visas will have to undergo certain health examinations. Even the family member applying for the visa alongside the main applicant might be expected to undergo the medical tests.

Do keep in mind that while these are the tests usually required, you might be asked to undergo other medical examinations as well.

3. Meet character requirement:

The main applicant, as well as the accompanying family members [above 16 years], must meet the requirements of character.

Accompanying family members must also meet the character requirements as well.

Skill assessment for permanent residency:

Skill assessment is an integral part of the General Skilled Migration program which helps to choose immigrants with the right qualities to come to Australia. Without a skill assessment, the applicant will not be able to apply for permanent residency in the country.

Under the points-based immigration, the immigrant must select an occupation that is listed in Australia’s Occupational Demand List. This list will mention occupations that face a skill shortage in the country. Every occupation in the list has its own skill assessing authority. For instance, trade occupations are assessed by the TRA (Trade Recognition Australia) or the VETASSESS (Vocational Educational and Training Assessment Services).

To get their skill assessment done candidates must meet the required conditions outlined by the assessing authority which is evaluating their occupation. The candidate should have the related qualifications and experience to get a positive assessment.

The first requirement for a skill assessment is that your occupation must be related to your work experience. If there is a mismatch, then you will not get the required points.

Apart from this, you must submit all the required documents. They must be authentic and complete and any small discrepancy in your documents can lead to a negative assessment. You will have to submit every additional detail requested by the assessing authority. The documents should support your qualifications and experience claims.

Factors considered by the assessing authority:

  • Occupation in which you nominated yourself
  • Your qualifications
  • Your work experience
  • The relevance of your work to your occupation
  • Visa category under which you are applying

Apart from this, proof of undergoing a language assessment test such as IELTS or PTE is required by the skill assessment bodies.

You must also submit proof of your work experience, these can include:

  • Payslips
  • Employer reference letters
  • Recent bank statements that show salary credits

You must also submit proof of undergoing a language assessment test such as IELTS or PTE as required by the skill assessment bodies.

Skill Assessment is an important factor in the General Skilled Migration program and getting a positive skill assessment report is the crucial first step in getting a PR visa to Australia.

Permanent residency with a state nomination:

The Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887) is offered by the Australian government to allow Skilled Regional visa holders to apply for permanent residency. This visa leads to PR for those who have held the Subclass 489, 495, 496, 475 or 487 visa, or a Bridging visa A or B after applying for a subclass 489, 495 or 487 visa.

The condition is that they should have lived for two years and worked full time for one year in a specified regional area in the country.

The application requirements for the 887 visa that leads to the permanent residence are comparatively lesser compared to the Subclass 491 visa. Subclass 887 visa requires no minimum income threshold. On the other hand, the 491 visa which also leads to a PR visa has a high-income threshold that must be sustained for a three-year period.

Family members can also be included in the visa application, this includes your partner, your dependent children, and you and your partner’s dependent relatives.

Eligibility conditions

Applicant must have an eligible visa which includes the subclass 489, 495, 496, 475 or 487 visas, or the Bridging visa A or Bridging visa B, after submitting a valid application for a subclass 489, 495 or 487 visas.

Applicants should have complied with the conditions attached to the eligible visa they are presently holding.

Applicants must meet the health and character requirements for the visa.

Application steps for Skilled Independent Visa

Step 1: Before you even submit your application, you must first gather the required documents.

Step 2: The documents you must submit are proof of your identity, character and other documents which prove that you have fulfilled the visa conditions under which you are presently staying in the country. You will need to provide these documents for your spouse and dependent children.

Step 3: Apply for the visa online. You and your family members must be living in Australia when you are making the visa application.

Step 4: You will be notified by the authorities that they have received your visa application.

Step 5:  You will be notified on the outcome of your visa application. If you get an affirmative decision, you must be in Australia during this time.

Once you are granted this visa, you can

  • Live and work permanently
  • Study in the country
  • Get access to Medicare, the country’s scheme to provide healthcare to its residents
  • Access social security benefits
  • Apply for citizenship
  • Sponsor your relatives for permanent residence

Processing time

These visa applications have priority processing. Applications are assessed individually, and the processing time can vary provided you have met the following conditions:

  • Submitted the complete application with all the supporting documents
  • Your response time to requests for additional information
  • Time taken by authorities to verify the additional information you provided
  • Time taken for the authorities to receive the additional information

Places vacant in the migration program

With a state nomination, you can get a skilled migration visa to migrate to Australia.   For receiving a state nomination, your occupation must be featured in the State Nominated Occupation list and meet all the eligibility requirements of state and federal governments.

Subclass 190 visa

The Subclass 190 visa is for aspiring immigrants who have the skills and abilities that are in demand in specific states of the country. However, these aspirants might not have the required points to qualify for a skilled independent visa under the Skilled Migration program. The advantage of the Subclass 190 visa is that it entitles for a faster visa.

 The Subclass 190 visa is basically a Skilled nominated visa targeting the skilled experts and tradespeople who can be nominated by an Australian state or territory. This visa was designed to enable migrants belonging to occupations in high demand in Australia’s labor market.

Eligibility requirements for Subclass 190 visa

  • Nomination or sponsorship from an Australian state or territory after submitting the EOI
  • Experience in a nominated occupation on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List
  • Completed skills assessment with a relevant assessing authority for the occupation you have selected
  • Age between 18 and 50 years
  • Meet the basic requirements for Skilled Migration which include English language, health, and character checks
  • A minimum score of 65 on the points test
  • Meet health and character requirements

Benefits of the Subclass 190 visa

This is a permanent visa that allows you to stay in Australia for an indefinite period. However, you can travel to and from Australia only in the first five years that you have a visa. After the 5-year period, you will require a Resident Return (RRV) visa (subclass 155 or 157) to travel outside the country and re-enter it as a permanent resident. Other benefits include:

  • Work and study in Australia without restrictions
  • Stay in Australia for an unlimited period
  • Subscribe for Australia’s universal healthcare scheme
  • Apply for Australian citizenship
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for temporary or permanent visas

Obligations under the visa include living for two years in the Australian state or territory under which the immigrant has been nominated. The visa holder can apply for a change of status after two years and can live or work anywhere in Australia.

Graduate Temporary visa (Subclass 485) to permanent residency:

This visa is for migrant students who have studied for two years in Australia. They can live and work here between 18 months and 4 years.

There are two streams for the Subclass 485 visa:

  • Graduate work: This is for students who have completed 2 years of study in Australia. Their course of study must be related to the nominated occupation. The validity of the visa is 18 months.
  • Post-study work: This visa is for international students who have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher degree at an Australian institution. They can stay on this visa for up to 4 years. However, these applicants will not need to nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

The length of stay depends on the applicant’s qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or master’s degree – 2 years
  • Research-based master’s degree – 3 years
  • Ph. D. – 4 years

Family members can be included in this visa. The privileges offered in this visa are:

  • Work and live in Australia on a temporary basis
  • Study in Australia
  • Travel in and out of the country during the visa’s validity

With this visa, graduates can decide to stay and work in Australia and apply for job opportunities. On the Subclass 485 visa, students can apply for a permanent resident visa provided they meet the points requirements and eligibility criteria.

From 2021, holders of the Post-Study Work stream Temporary Graduate Visa [TGV] [subclass 485] who have acquired their degree from an education institution in regional Australia and had lived in Australia’s regional areas on their first TGV – will be eligible for another TGV.

The period of grant for the second TGV will be based on where the student had studied and lived in Australia on their first TGV.

With the additional time granted, international students in regional Australia will get ample time and opportunity for collecting more points for securing an invitation in the future for skilled migration.

This will ensure that prospective international students choose regional Australia as a study overseas destination.

COVID-19: I am an Australian PR. Can I leave and return to Australia?

If you plan on leaving Australia and returning, you will have to confirm the travel facility period available on your permanent visa.

Is it easy to get an Australia PR Visa?

Within one year you will get Australia’s residency with a master’s degree, strong English score and work experience on Australia’s skills list. The minimum points to apply for Australia PR Skill Select 189 (points-based) or 190 (State Sponsored Visa) is 65 in 2020-2021.

If you have the required points, you will be selected, and you will get a PR even before you fly to Australia.

Applicants with 65 + points receive a relatively quick invitation to apply. You should expect to be receiving the PR within 5-8 months of applying.

The best way to acquire an Australia PR always depends on the visa system you want to apply for. Each immigration program has its own specific eligibility requirements, conditions, and selection criteria.

In addition, the government sets the migration planning levels and fixes a number of places under each migration program. In 2019-20, the government allocated about 70 percent of the immigration places to the Skilled Migration program.

How many points are required for Australian PR?

The applicants of Australia PR through a Skilled Visa are required to score at least 65 points for filing an EOI. It must be noted here that scoring the minimum points of 65 doesn’t assure an invite for Visa application. As per the latest data, the points needed for Skilled Visas remain high. As a result, several individuals now opt for sponsorship from a State.

As a matter of fact, applicants need at least 70 to 75 points to receive an invite for Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa application. Applicants have various methods to enhance their score – State Sponsorship, Spouse Skills Points and the English Test.

What are the pathways to obtain Australia PR?

There are 3 pathways through which applicants can obtain the Australia PR:

Australia PR through the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

The Government of Australia has launched a new Visa replacing the Subclass 457 Visa from March 2018. It is the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa.

The 482 or TSS Visa is divided into 2 streams:

  • STSOL – Short-Term Skilled Occupations List: If you qualify for only the STSOL, then you do not have a transition pathway to Australia PR.
  • MLTSSL – Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List: If you qualify for the MLTSSL, then you have the pathway for transitioning to Australia PR after 3 years.

Australia PR through the Skilled Migration Visa

To apply for Australia PR through this pathway, you must select the appropriate occupation. You will also need the required IELTS bands score and Skills Assessment results. This is a points-based system. Thus you will have to score the minimum required points which are 65 now. Nevertheless, higher scores will only enhance your chances of getting the invitation to apply for the Visa.

Australia PR as Partner of Permanent resident or Australian Citizen

You can apply for Australia PR as a Partner Visa holder. This is as a Fiancé, De facto partner or Spouse of Australian Permanent resident or Citizen or qualified New Zeeland citizen. The PR Visa, in this case, is offered after 2 years of applying for the Partner Visa. This is based on the current status of your relationship.

How much do I need to invest in Australia to get PR?

Below is the investment required for Australia PR under the Investment Visa streams:

Business Investment Visa: Business owners or successful investors must be willing to invest at least AUD 1.5 million for 4 years

Significant Investor Visa: Individuals who intend to benefit Australia must make an investment of at least AUD 5 million for 4 years

How many years do you have to live in Australia to be a citizen?

Applicants who have obtained their Australia PR after July 1, 2007, must fulfil the below requirements for obtaining Australian Citizenship:

  • Must have resided in Australia legally for a minimum of 4 years
  • Must have resided in Australia for a minimum of 12 months as PR holders
Why is it easy to get a PR visa under the Skilled Migration program?

This is because skilled migrants bring with them high educational qualifications and higher employment potential. This holds the promise of a better contribution to the economy. Migrants who are sponsored by employees have more potential to bring the desired results.

With the Skilled Migration stream having the greatest number of places, this should be your option when applying for a PR visa. You have better chances under this stream, provided you meet the eligibility requirements and score the required points. Moreover, the Skilled migration stream is a points-based system and is the most popular immigration program to get a PR visa.

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