Unlocking the Door to Australia: General Skilled Migration


General Skilled Migration (GSM) to Australia is a popular option for skilled workers who wish to immigrate to Australia. It is designed to attract highly skilled workers from around the world who can contribute to Australia’s economy and society.


The General Skilled Migration program is managed by the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs and it aims to select people who have the skills and experience that are in demand in the Australian labor market.


According to the data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of general skilled migrants who arrived in Australia has varied over the past few years. In the 2019-20 migration program year, 70,000 places were allocated for the skilled stream, which includes the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. Out of these, 60,000 places were reserved for the GSM program. In the 2020-21 program year the number of GSM visas granted was 18,652. In the 2021-22 migration program year, the number of places allocated for the skilled stream was reduced to 65,000 out of which 47,732 places were granted to GSM visa holders.


Eligibility for General Skilled Migration


To be eligible for General Skilled Migration, applicants must meet the following criteria


  • Age: Applicants must be under the age of 45 when they apply for the visa.


  • Language skills: Applicants must prove their English language proficiency by taking an approved English language exam, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


  • Qualifications: Applicants must have skills and qualifications that are in demand in the Australian labor market. The skills and qualifications must be assessed by a relevant assessing authority.


  • Work experience: Applicants must have relevant work experience in their nominated occupation.


  • 65 Points: Applicants must score at least 65 Points on the Australia Points System


  • Health and character: Applicants must meet health and character requirements, which include passing a medical examination and providing police clearance certificates.


Types of General Skilled Migration Visas


These are the General Skilled Migration visas available


  • Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189): This visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory government or a family member. To apply for this visa applicants must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and then receive an invitation to apply.


  • Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190): This visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory government. To apply for this visa applicants must first be nominated by a state or territory government and then submit an EOI through SkillSelect. If the applicant is invited to apply they must then apply for the visa within 60 days.


  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491): This visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member who lives in a designated regional area. To apply for this visa applicants must first be nominated or sponsored and then submit an EOI through SkillSelect. If the applicant is invited to apply they must then apply for the visa within 60 days.


General Skilled Migration Visa Application Process


The visa application process for Skilled Migration is a multi-step process


  • Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI): Applicants must submit an EOI through SkillSelect, which is an online platform that allows skilled workers to be considered for a General Skilled Migration visa. The EOI must provide details about the applicant’s skills and work experience.


  • Receiving an invitation to apply: If the applicant is selected from SkillSelect they will receive an invitation to apply for the visa. The invitation will include instructions on how to apply and the documents required for the visa application.


  • Applying for the visa: Once the applicant receives an invitation to apply, they must submit a formal visa application within 60 days. The application must include all the required documents such as proof of qualifications, work experience, English language proficiency, health and character checks and any other documents specified in the invitation.


  • Visa decision: After the visa application is submitted the Department of Home Affairs will assess the application and make a decision


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Subject Matter Expert at Visa Bureau | Website | + posts

Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.

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