The General Skilled Migration (GSM) scheme is a skilled visa program which does not require employer sponsorship and aims at attracting young, skilled and qualified migrants with a wide range of abilities who will contribute to the Australian economy.
There are currently six visa subclasses under the GSM scheme which enable individuals to apply either independently or through nomination by a state/territory government or sponsorship by an eligible relative living in a designated area of Australia.
The GSM visa program currently consists of the following visa subclasses:
Class SI Skilled — Independent (subclass 189) This is a permanent visa option, and does not require sponsorship by a state or territory or eligible relative. You need to have a point score of 60 or higher. The higher score will increase your chances of being invited to apply.
Class SN Skilled — Nominated (subclass 190) This is a permanent visa option, and requires a nomination by state or territory.
Class SP Skilled — Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) This is a provisional visa, for up to 4 years. You need to either be sponsored by a state or territory or sponsored by an eligible family member to qualify. If you wish to apply for permanent residency at a later stage, you are required to live and work in a designed regional area to be eligible to apply for the permanent visa option (subclass 887).
Class VB Skilled — Regional (Residence) (subclass 887) This is a permanent visa option pathway from visa subclass 489, to be eligible to apply you must comply with your visa condition on the visa subclass 489.
Class VC Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) This is a temporary visa which you can apply for if you have studied in an approved Australian education provider for at least 2 years. Depending on your qualifications you might be eligible for the Graduate Stream or the Postgraduate Stream.
Class VF Skilled — Recognised Graduate (subclass 476) An 18 months work visa for recent engineering graduates.
Steps on how to apply for a Skilled Visa:
Step 1: Points Test Score Ensure you meet the points test pass mark for the relevant visa subclass.
Step 2: Obtain suitable skills assessment Ensure you have applied for the suitable skills assessment. This needs to match your skilled occupation.
Step 3: Ensure you all relevant information If claiming points for work experience, qualifications, english, etc ensure you have all the relevant documents. It is important to note, that you have all support evidence when lodging your expression of interest (EOI). Points claimed cannot be amended once the invitation to apply has been issued.
Step 4: Lodge the EOI Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and wait to be invited.
You might be in or outside Australia when lodging your EOI;
If in Australia you need to ensure you hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C visa. You are not granted a bridging visa when you lodge the EOI;
Step 5: Invited to Apply Once you are Invited to apply you have within 60 days to lodge your application. If don't lodge your application within the timeframe the invitation will lapse.
Once you lodge your visa application you will receive a bridging visa allowing you to stay in Australia while your application is being assessed by a case officer.