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Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) - Benefits and Eligibility

As a prospective migrant to a new country, the range of visas on offer can initially seem very confusing and daunting. Even if you understand the routes available and you select one to apply for, how do you know it is the best option for you? After all, each visa has its own set of conditions, benefits, eligibility criteria, processing times, and fees. The choice you make should be based not just on your current situation, but it should also take into account your family's needs and your future plans. Australia offers a wide range of visa programmes to cater for migrants in different situations. If you are planning to migrate to Australia to work, it is important to review all of the work visa routes on offer. Many applicants will automatically choose the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) route, but there are several others, including regional work visas, business investment visas, distinguished talent visas, and the skilled nominated route. In this article, we will focus specifically on the 'skilled nominated visa' (subclass 190), explaining the benefits it provides and the eligibility criteria, which much be met by aspiring migrants to Australia.

What is the Difference Between the Skilled Nominated Visa and the Skilled Independent Visa?

In many ways the skilled nominated and skilled independent visas are very similar. They both follow the points-based system meaning that applicants are initially scored against set criteria to determine their suitability. And both require an expression of interest (EOI) before being invited to apply. The difference is that once an EOI has been submitted, with the skilled independent visa, the applicant will need to wait to be selected from a pool of suitable candidates, with the highest scoring individuals being chosen, whereas this selection is made by individual state or territorial governments with the skilled nominated visa. The skilled occupation list is also different for each.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for the Australian Skilled Nominated Visa?

In order to be eligible to apply under the Australian skilled nominated visa, you must:

  • Have an occupation on the skilled occupation list for the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa.
  • Score at least 65 points on the points-based system
  • Be invited to apply by an Australian state or territory government (there are six states and two territories in Australia)
  • Have a completed skills assessment
  • Be aged between 18 and 45 when you apply
  • Have sufficient English language skills
  • Pass a health examination
  • Meet the character requirement

You will also need to pay a fee of AUD$4,045 when you submit your application.

What are the Benefits of the Australian Skilled Nominated Visa?

As a holder of an Australian skilled nominated visa, you will have a considerable amount of flexibility in terms of work, study, and travel. Specifically, your visa will allow you to:

  • stay in Australia permanently (you will effectively become a permanent resident as soon as your skilled nominated visa is granted)
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Australia's public health care scheme, Medicare
  • sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
  • travel to and from Australia for five years
  • if eligible, become an Australian citizen

Crucially, the skilled nominated visa will enable you to include those in your immediate' family unit' on your application. 'Family unit' in this context means the following:

  • the main applicant's spouse or de facto partner
  • the main applicant's child, or their partner's child, who is not engaged, married or in a de facto relationship and is:
    • o aged under 18 years, or
    • o aged 18 to 23 years and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant's partner, or
    • o aged 23 years or older and dependent on the main applicant or the main applicant's partner due to a partial or total physical or mental disability
  • the dependent child of the child above

How do I Apply for an Australian Skilled Nominated Visa?

Before you pursue the path of applying for a skilled nominated visa, we recommend that you speak to an immigration lawyer who can verify that this route is best for your short-term and long-term needs, and those of your family. They can also assist you with the application process, either completing this on your behalf, or assisting you to verify that you have provided all of the information necessary. Doing so will reduce the chances of being refused or having the application process extended due to additional questions and checks being carried out by the Australian Department of Internal Affairs. We also advise prospective applicants to check they score at least 65 points, and they have an occupation on the skilled occupation list.

You can apply for your Australian skilled nominated visa whether you are currently in Australia, or outside. The application process is completed online, with the first stage being submitting an expression of interest (EOI). If selected to apply by a state or territory government (this may happen any time up to two years after you submitted your EOI), you will need to have a skills assessment completed by a skilled assessment authority. Details on how to have a skills assessment are available on the Australian government website.

Once invited to apply, you will then need to gather all of the documents required, including evidence in relation to your identity, relationship, character, English language competence, partner, dependants, and skills assessment. You can then apply online for the skilled nominated visa. You can expect to receive a decision on your application within nine months. If granted, you will be advised in writing of your visa grant number, the date your visa starts, and your visa conditions.

Wrapping up

The skilled nominated visa is an excellent option to consider if your occupation is on the relevant skilled occupation list or if you might struggle to score a high level of points to be selected from the skilled independent visa pool. We wish you all the very best with your working life in Australia.

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