General Skilled
Migration Visas

The General Skilled Migration (GSM) program is for individual skilled workers who are interested in migrating to Australia based on their age, qualifications, English language abilities, skills and employment experience.

Currently, the GSM program includes the following visa categories:

  • Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) Visa points-tested stream (“the 189 Visa”),
  • Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) Visa (“the 190 Visa”),
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 491) Visa (“the 491 Visa”), and
  • Permanent Resident (Skilled Regional) (Subclass 191) Visa (“the 191 Visa”).

Of these four categories, the 189 and 190 Visas are points-test based permanent visas. The former is for applicants who rely solely on their own skills, qualifications and work experience, whilst the latter is for those who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory.  The 491 Visa is also a points-test based but a five-year provisional visa designed to encourage foreign skilled workers to work and live in a designated regional area.  The 191 Visa is the pathway to permanent residence for the 491 Visa holders who have lived, worked and studied in a designated regional area only for at least three years.  It is not available for new applications until November 2022

The points test contains the following qualification factors for points:

  • age qualifications,
  • English language qualifications,
  • educational qualifications,
  • employment experience qualifications,
  • specialist educational qualifications,
  • Australian study qualifications,
  • credentialed community language qualifications,
  • study in designated region area qualifications,
  • partner qualifications,
  • State/Territory nomination qualifications, and
  • designated regional area nomination or sponsorship qualifications.

To be eligible to apply for the 189 Visa, applicants must: 

  • be able to nominate an occupation that is in the current Skilled Occupation Lists specified for each of these visas and obtain a positive skills assessment outcome from the relevant skills assessing bodies,
  • score at least 65 (the current passmark) on the points test in order to be able to submit an Expression of Interest (“EOI”) with SkillSelect, and be invited by SkillSelect to apply for the visa,
  • have at least competent English language ability at the time of invitation,
  • be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation,
  • lodge visa application within 60 days from the date of invitation with genuine evidence of various qualifications claimed in the points test, 
  • meet health and character requirements, and
  • not have provided any false or misleading information to the relevant skills assessment body and the Department of Home Affairs.

For the 190 Visa, applicants must, in addition to the above 189 Visa eligibility requirements, be nominated by an Australian State or Territory.  Each State or Territory has its own requirements for the 190 Visa nomination.

For the 491 Visa, applicants must, again in additional to the above 189 Visa eligibility requirements, be either sponsored by an eligible Australian relative living in a designated regional area or nominated by a State or Territory.  Further, each State or Territory has their own requirements for the 491 Visa nomination.

If you are interested in apply for a 189, 190 or 491 Visa, we recommend you contact us to set up an initial consultation for a preliminary assessment of your eligibility.



Ryan Curtis-Griffiths

David Stratton

Helen Zheng

Heather Dzviti

Shalini Kodikara

Chloe Wang

Lien Hoang

Topics We’ve Written About

New changes for Australian Partner Visa Applications

New changes for Australian Partner Visa Applications

In the 2020 -21 Federal Budget, changes to Australia’s Partner visa program were announced to commence in November 2021. Application process Currently, sponsors and partner visa applicants may submit their applications at the same time. Under the arrangement announced...

read more

    Contact us

    Nevett Ford Melbourne Pty Ltd

    ABN: 144 697 790

    Level 16, South Tower, Rialto Building, 525 Collins Street
    Melbourne, VIC 3000