Skilled Migration (Points Tested)

Do you want to work in Australia and obtain permanent residency? STEP MIGRATION will provide a complete migration service aimed at maximising your chances of obtaining these classes of visas.


Skilled Work Regional (491) Visa – Provisional

This visa will enable eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residency visa, the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa after having lived and worked in a designated regional area for at least 3 years, and having had earnings of at least $53,900 per annum for 3 years.

Applicants for this visa must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government, an employer or be sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area. Applicants have to be invited to apply for the visa, following submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) in Skill Select. Applicants can also be nominated by an employer.

In addition to the general criteria, each Australian State or Territory will have their own criteria as specified on their migration websites.

The 491 visa is points tested visa. It has a 45 year age limit and requires a positive skills assessment. Priority processing for this visa will apply.

Visa holders must live, work and study only in regional areas. Visa holders may move between regional areas. Regional areas are defined as any area excluding Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. You may work in any occupation and for any employer in line with the work and residence conditions attached to your visa.

Visa holders must nominate an occupation on the 491 occupation list, although you can work in any occupation. However, if nominated by an employer the visa applicant must work in the nominated occupation.

Holders of this visa will also be unable to apply for most other skills-based visas in Australia unless they have completed at least three years in a designated regional area.

Points will be given for:

  • Age
  • Qualifications
  • Overseas & Australian work experience
  • Australian study
  • English language ability
  • Nomination by a State or Territory Government or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia
  • Partner’s skills and English language ability

Additional points are also provided for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics qualifications.


Skilled Independent (189) Permanent residency visa

This is a permanent visa intended for foreign nationals who have skills that are in demand in Australia’s labour market. You do not need a sponsor but you must pass a points test. 65 points is required to qualify, as well as meeting other standard requirements such as being under 44years of age.

Points are awarded in categories such as English language ability, qualifications, work experience (either overseas, in Australia or both), and partner skills.

Prospective applicants are required to submit a Expression of Interest (EOI), through the online Skill Select system. Once a EOI is submitted these details can be viewed by Australian employers, State and Territory governments and the Australian government. An invitation can be extended to applicants from any of those sources.

Invitations are issued based on occupational category. Applicants with the highest points within each category will be offered the first invitations.

Skilled sponsored (190) Permanent Residency Visa

This is a permanent visa for skilled workers who are sponsored by State or Territory government. Applicants for this visa still need to pass the standard requirements that apply to the 189 visa, such as the points test.