australia skilled migration visaThe large array of Australian visa options can be a little intimidating for some. With this in mind we thought we’d write a couple of articles to provide an overview of the main Australian visa categories.

When emigrating to Australia, Migrants apply under one of three main streams; the skilled migration scheme, the Australian Family Visa scheme and the Humanitarian Program

The skilled migration scheme is one of the most popular routes to a new life in Australia so we’ve chosen this visa class as the focus for today’s article.

To begin with, it’s worth noting that the Australian Skilled Migration program is broken into a number of sub categories.

General Skilled Migration (GSM)

The Australian Skilled Visa options are available under General Skilled Migration (GSM) for skilled workers who want to live in Australia and who do not have an employer sponsoring them. These include options for skilled people applying as independent migrants as well as those sponsored by an eligible Australian relative or nominated by a state or territory government.

Two of the larger categories under GSM are the Skilled-Independent and Skilled-Sponsored categories. Entry under both of these categories is dependent on a points test. The aim of the points test is to identify factors in a potential migrant that will benefit Australia and help with settlement. The factors assessed depend on the migration category.

Business Skilled Migration Category

The Business Skills migration category seeks to attract migrants with a proven track record of success in business or investment who will use their skills and experience to engage in business or investment activities in Australia.

Such activities benefit Australia through creating employment, developing links to international markets, exporting Australian goods and services and introducing new or improved technology.

Business Skills migrants are required to obtain an ownership interest in an eligible business and actively manage that business or maintain a specified level of investment activity in Australia.

The Skilled sponsored or Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)

The skilled sponsored or Employer Nomination Scheme (EMS) enables employers to sponsor skilled workers for permanent residence in order to fill vacancies in their business.
Employers looking to bring in migrant workers in this way need to demonstrate that:

  • they are actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • they have made adequate provision for training employees in work relevant to the business
  • they have a need for a paid employee to fill the position
  • the position provides full time employment for at least three years
  • the occupation is specified on a list of eligible occupations for the ENS
  • they are paying the minimum salary specified for the occupation, as well as meeting all relevant Australian standards and workplace legislation for wages and work conditions.

The applicant must also be able to satisfy the skill, age and English language requirements.

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)

Similarly to the Skilled sponsored or ENS Scheme, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) also allows employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor skilled workers for permanent residence, in order to fill vacancies in their business.

Any employer can participate in the scheme as long as their business is actively and lawfully operating in regional or low population growth areas of Australia. This covers all areas except Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The position to be filled must be of a skilled nature and the applicant must be able to satisfy the skill, age and English requirements.

Before the nomination can be approved by the Australian immigration department, the regional certifying bodies must provide advice on whether or not specific criteria have been satisfied in the employer nomination.

State Specific Regional Migration

The Australian Government, in consultation with state and territory governments, has introduced a number of initiatives designed to help state and territory governments:

  • address skill shortage that may exist in their jurisdictions
  • attract overseas business people to establish new or joint ventures
  • encourage a more balanced dispersal of Australia’s skilled migrant intake.

These initiatives are collectively referred to as State Specific Regional Migration (SSRM). They provide state and territory governments with the opportunity to influence the number and profile of skilled migrants settling in their areas.

State and territory governments determine the extent of their involvement in these initiatives based on their own development priorities.

So there we have it. As always, when it comes to the Australian Migration program, it’s always worth noting that things do sometimes change so always ensure you check out the Australian Immigration website for the most upto date details.

Obviosuly if things do change, we also write about these changes here at Getting Down Under.

To your success

Mark Signature



Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia.
Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assitance, Getting Down Under.

If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Forums

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