Australia General Skilled Migration (GSM)

The General Skilled Migration (GSM) program is an Australian work visa program for skilled migrants. If you want to work and live in Australia, you may be eligible for a visa through this program.

SkillSelect vs. GSM — What’s the Difference?

SkillSelect is a component of the GSM program. Though it is only required for some visas, it is a useful tool to help employers match up with workers. The first step to getting a Points-Tested Skilled Migration Visa is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect, an online system for assisting with migration programs. Employer-sponsored visas do not require you to submit an EOI; it is optional.

SkillSelect asks you to provide basic information including personal background, occupation information, work experience, and education level. When you submit this information through SkillSelect, you create an EOI. This EOI can be accessed by Australian employers or state and territory governments. If your EOI matches their needs, they can then nominate you for a visa.

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GSM, Visa Categories

There are two basic visa categories under the GSM program — employer sponsored and points-tested.

Employer-Sponsored Visas

Employer-sponsored visas all require employer sponsorship. A SkillSelect EOI is optional.

Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (subclass 457)

The Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa is a temporary visa valid for 4 years. It does not require you to work in regional Australia (unless approved prior to Sept. 2009 under regional certification arrangement).You must work in an occupation on the prevailing Consolidated Skilled Occupations List and you must have necessary English skills.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa (subclass 186)

The visa is a Permanent Resident Visa. It does not require you to work in regional Australia. However, it does require skills assessment by the relevant Australian authority and 3-years of work experience.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187)

This is a Permanent Resident Visa. It does require you to work in regional Australia and you must have an Australian or related overseas equivalent qualification (unless exempt).

Points-Tested Skilled Migration Visas

Points-tested visas do require employer sponsorship, but may require sponsorship by an eligible relative or nomination by a state or territory government.

Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)

The Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored. Sponsorships can be from employers, a state or territory, or a family member, but they are not necessary for this category. This is a permanent residency visa, meaning the applicant can live and work in Australia permanently and eventually have the option for citizenship.

Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190)

The Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa is a for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory of Australia. This is a permanent residency visa, meaning the applicant can live and work in Australia permanently and eventually have the option for citizenship.

If applying for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa, you must be willing to settle in the state or territory that nominates you and will need to remain in this state or territory for at least 2 years.

Skilled Regional Visa (subclass 489)

The Skilled Regional Sponsored (Subclass 489) visa is for skilled workers who are sponsored by an eligible Australian relative living in a 'Designated Area' or nominated by a participating state or territory government.

This visa is valid for an initial period of 4 years at which point you may apply to adjust your status to permanent resident, meaning the applicant can live and work in Australia permanently and eventually have the option for citizenship.

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