General Skilled Migration Australia - Visa classes 189, 190, 491/191

General Skilled Migration (GSM) - visa options for Australia

For the remainder of 2021/2022 program year, Australia's skilled visa stream will focus on categories that will help its economy rebound from Covid-19, with priority given to visa cohorts that drive economic growth, job creation and investment into Australia. This includes applicants whose occupation is on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupations List (PMSOL) which have been identified as filling critical skills needs to support Australia's economic recovery. Employer sponsored nomination and visa applicants with an occupation on the PMSOL will be given priority processing.

The 3 priority visa categories within the skill stream are:

  1. Business Innovation and Investment program
  2. Global Talent visa program
  3. Employer Sponsored program

Whilst the Australian border remains closed, highly skilled applicants who are already living and working in Australia will receive priority over offshore applicants. Visa sub-classes 189 (Skilled Independent) and 190 (Skilled Nominated) will have low priority. If, however, economic growth in Australia stimulates the need to invite offshore applicants, the states and territories may at short notice commence nominating applicants who have lodged an Expression of Interest (EOI). Offshore invitations by the states and territories are often opened and closed within a matter of days as places are extremely competitive. South Australia has for example, recently commenced nominating selected professional and trade applicants - see our news page for more details.

Australian employers are also beginning to report skilled shortages and the Australian Government provides forecasts for future employment growth across a wide range of sectors including information on average salaries which can be found here.

Applying for a skilled visa is not a straightforward process and understanding how the regulations and policy will be applied to your application is complex. Many applicants are successful in receiving a positive skills assessment but, these authorities are not responsible for you meeting Department of Home Affairs (DHA) visa criteria. Before you start out on your visa journey you need to ask:

  • Is my nominated occupation on a state or territory skills list?
  • What are the maximum points I can claim?
  • Is my points score enough to be nominated?
  • Do I need to achieve proficient or superior English?
  • How much work experience can I claim points for?
  • Where do I want to live in Australia?
  • Am I prepared to reside in regional Australia?
  • Am I able to meet state/territory criteria?
  • Will special conditions or ranking reduce my prospect of being nominated?
  • Will I need a job offer?
  • How much funds are required to settle in Australia?

These are the questions you should be asking before planning your move to Australia. Seeking advice at an early stage will provide you with a clear understanding of what you have to achieve to be granted a General Skilled Migration visa for Australia.

SkillSelect and the General Skilled Migration points test

SkillSelect is the DHA online system which enables you and your spouse to submit an EOI) and record your points total. Please click here for a full summary of the points test.

What General Skilled Migration visa sub-classes can be applied for?

Skilled Independent visa for Australia - subclass 189

The Skilled Independent visa is a permanent General Skilled Migration visa which does not require nomination by a state/territory government or sponsorship by a relative. Your nominated occupation must be on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Invitation rounds are held in January, April, July and October by the DHA. To view past and present invitation rounds please click on the following link - invitation-rounds

Skilled Nominated visa for Australia - subclass 190

The Skilled Nominated visa is a permanent General Skilled Migration visa which requires a commitment to living and working in the nominating state or territory for 2 years. The benefit of being nominated is that you will not be subject to DHA invitation rounds and will automatically receive an invitation if you are nominated. This visa class also offers a pathway to applicants whose nominated occupation is only on the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL). At present, this visa class is generally not available to offshore applicants.

Skilled Regional Work visa for Australia - subclass 491/191 

The Skilled Regional Work visa for Australia is for applicants who are willing to live in a regional area of Australia (anywhere except Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane) for a minimum of 3 years. You can either be nominated by a state/territory government or sponsored by a close relative settled and residing in a designated area of Australia. If you are sponsored by a relative your nominated occupation must be on the MLTSSL Holders of a subclass 491 visa will become eligible to apply for permanent residence (subclass 191 - Skilled Regional visa) providing they have lived and worked or studied in a designated regional area of Australia for a minimum of 3 out of a total of 5 years.

Visa stages

The GSM program has a number of stages that need to be completed before an invitation to apply for a visa can be issued by the DHA. You must score a minimum of 65 points and be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation.

Skills assessment

All applicants must have received a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority in Australia before they can submit an EOI.

English language

If you hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Republic of Ireland or New Zealand you are considered to have competent English but if you need to claim  points for this factor you will need to sit an English language test and achieve a level of proficient or superior English.

Expression of Interest (EOI)

It is important that the information you record and the points you claim are accurate as this information will need to be substantiated during the visa assessment process by a DHA case officer. 

Nomination by a state or territory government or sponsorship from a relative 

To be nominated you must have an occupation on the relevant Skilled Occupations List or a state/territory skills list and satisfy individual criteria of the state or territory you have chosen. Factors which will be taken into consideration include the number of years work experience, specialised skills, employability, a job offer, English language skills, relatives residing in the state or territory, settlement funds and overall points score. If you are nominated by a state or territory government you will automatically be invited by the DHA to submit an application but if you are sponsored by a relative you will be subject to quarterly invitation rounds. Currently South Australia is nominating selected professional and trade offshore applicants - see our news page for more details.

Invitation to submit an application

Once you receive an invitation from the DHA, your application must be submitted within 60 days and supported with all of the evidence stated in your EOI. Following a formal assessment by a DHA case officer and the claims in your EOI have been verified you will be instructed to arrange health and character checks and if satisfactory, you will then be granted your visa.   


A consultation with the Registered Migration Agent will provide you with an opportunity to make an informed decision regarding your visa options. We will advise you whether your visa prospects are realistic before you outlay fees to an assessing authority or arrange to sit an English language test and respond to questions that you have not found answers to during your research.

Concept Australia charges a fee of £75 + VAT for a 40-minute consultation which is deducted from the first stage of our fee outlined below should you appoint us as your migration agent. 

What services can I expect to receive from Concept Australia?

Concept Australia has been assisting people since 1991 to obtain skilled visas to reside in Australia and offers a full range of bespoke visa application services tailored to meet your specific requirements. All of our staff including the Registered Migration Agent (9901024) are based permanently in the UK and have previously held positions with the DHA. We work directly with our clients and do not sub-contract work out to other companies or individuals. We take responsibility for the entire management of your application and offer a personal service throughout the visa process so as to ensure that your case runs as smoothly as possible.

Our services include:

  • A consultation to examine your visa options and discuss the visa process
  • Completing the skills assessment and visa application forms
  • Lodging your EOI once your skills have been recognised for migration purposes
  • Ensuring claims made in your EOI can be substantiated and are correct
  • Uploading all relevant documents to the online SkillSelect ImmiAccount
  • Managing your application until your skilled visa is decided by the DHA
  • Discussing any other issues such as health and character

Why should I only use an agent registered with MARA?

Registered Migration agents are managed by the DHA who is responsible for monitoring the conduct of registered migration agents both in and outside Australia. An agent registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) must meet professional standards and is accountable for the advice and information provided to its clients. MARA agents must subscribe to DHA migration regulations and undertake annual professional development activities to ensure they maintain up-to-date knowledge of migration law and procedure. For more information click here.

How much does it cost to apply for a General Skilled Migration visa for Australia?

Our total fee on engagement of our services to manage your skilled visa application for Australia is £2,295 + VAT commencing with an initial fee of £995 + VAT less the fee paid for a consultation (if applicable). This fee is to prepare and submit your application to the assessing authority in Australia and complete, submit and manage your EOI. No further fees are payable until we again act on your behalf in relation to the state/territory and visa process. The remaining balance of £1,300 + VAT is payable in 2 installments and covers the preparation, submission and management of the visa application for the primary visa applicant and dependent family members.

Other costs

  • DHA – A$4,115 (main applicant), A$2,055 (spouse) A$1,030 (dependent child)
  • Skills assessment – will depend on nominated occupation
  • English language test £155 - £175
  • Nomination – will depend on the state or territory selected
  • Health checks – Adult £300, Child 11 - 14 - £235, Child 4 - 10 years - £85
  • UK police report - £55.

Making an initial enquiry for a preliminary assessment of your potential eligibility

When you contact Concept Australia, an experienced staff member will provide you with an honest appraisal of your visa options. If you would like to know how we can assist you in obtaining a General Skilled Migration visa for Australia, please complete the Enquiry form below and submit your details to Concept Australia or send an email to and attach a copy of your CV.


> Make an Enquiry

What visa options are there?

Choose the best option for you:


Australian Skilled Visa Enquiry Form

If you are considering applying for a skilled visa, please complete and submit the form below. The information you provide will be treated in confidence and will not be stored onto a data-base or distributed to third parties.

Please answer all questions as this will enable us to make an accurate assessment of your potential points score and which visa sub class would offer the best chance of being invited to apply for a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa for Australia.

Concept Australia will contact you by email to outline your visa options and the costs for submitting an application for a GSM visa for Australia.




South Australia opens offshore subclass 491 nomination program

South Australia has commenced inviting selected professional and trade applicants under its regional subclass 491 Skilled Worker Program.


What our clients are saying

We would both like to thank you very much for guiding us through this process which at times we found to be quite daunting and bewildering. I think we we’re both caught off guard when the approval came through, it was a surprise to say the least and also a huge relief as we can now both put our anxieties aside and start planning for our future together in Australia. We are both more than happy to if add to your collection of testimonies if you wish and again thank you very much