Individuals and Travellers

Skilled Visa Options

A high level overview of Australia’s skilled visa options are provided below. This information is to be used for comparison only and does not represent an exhaustive list of visas or their requirements. You should use the Visa Finder in the first instance to determine which visa(s) best suit your individual circumstances.

Sponsored skilled visas

All visa categories in the table below require sponsorship by an employer.

The visas listed in the table immediately below:

  • require sponsorship by an employer, with subclass 187 requiring sponsorship by a regional employer
  • are not points-tested
  • do not require a mandatory Expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.
Visa typeVisa durationRequired to work in regional AustraliaSkill/qualification requirementsOther main visa eligibility requirements
Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)From one year to four years depending on occupation and any international trade obligations.No, unless the occupation is only available where the position is located in regional Australia.

Applicants must have the skills necessary to perform the nominated occupation, as well as at least two years' work experience in that occupation or a related field. Some applicants are required to undertake a mandatory skills assessment - see Skills, qualifications and employment background.

The nominated occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations for the TSS visa or specified in the relevant labour agreement. Applicants must also have the necessary English language skills unless exempted.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186)PermanentNo, unless the occupation is only available where the position is located in regional Australia.

Unless exempt, Direct Entry stream applicants require a skills assessment by the relevant assessment authority.

Skills assessments may be required if you are applying for a different stream.

Relevant registration or licensing must be held if required.

You must have three years' work experience.

The nominated occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations for the ENS visa or specified in the relevant labour agreement.

Unless exempt, must:

  • be under 45 years of age
  • have at least competent English.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187)
PermanentYes

Currently, overseas qualified trades workers applying for the Direct Entry stream must have their skills assessed by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA). Skills assessments may be required if you are applying for a different stream.

Note: From 1 July 2018, all Direct Entry stream applicants, will require a skills assessment by the relevant assessment authority and three years' work experience, unless exempt.

Relevant registration or licensing must be held if required

You must have three years' work experience.

The nominated occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations for the RSMS visa.

Unless exempt, must:

  • be under 45 years of age
  • have at least competent English.

Points tested permanent skilled visas

All the visas in the table below are points-tested visas. A SkillSelect EOI is mandatory for all these visas, unless renewing a provisional visa.

Visa type Visa duration Sponsorship required Required to work in regional Australia Skill/qualification requirements Other eligibility requirements
Skilled - Independent visa (subclass 189)PermanentNoNoNominated occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations and skills assessed by relevant assessing authority

Must be:

  • Invited to apply
  • Under 45
  • Have at least competent English
Skilled - Nominated visa (subclass 190)PermanentYes, applicant must be nominated by a state/territory governmentNoNominated occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations and skills assessed by relevant assessing authority

Must be:

  • Invited to apply
  • Under 45
  • Have at least competent English
Skilled - Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)
Sponsored
Up to four yearsYes, applicant must be sponsored by an eligible relativeYesNominated occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations and skills assessed by relevant assessing authority

Must be:

  • Invited to apply
  • Under 45
  • Have at least competent English

Skilled - Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)
State or territory nominated

Up to four yearsYes, applicant must be nominated by a state/territory governmentYesNominated occupation must be on the applicable list of eligible skilled occupations and skills assessed by relevant assessing authority

Must be:

  • Invited to apply
  • Under 45
  • Have at least competent English

More information about Australia's list of eligible skilled occupations is available.

Other similar type visas

If you believe that you do not qualify for any of the skilled visas listed above, there may be other similar type visas available for you. This includes visas for entrepreneurs, business owners and investors - see Workers.