Skilled Independent (subclass 189) or Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) or Skilled Regional (provisional (subclass 489)


SkillSelect offers a number of visa options to choose from which, generally will be determined by your nominated occupation, age, work experience and English language test results. Before you start the process of arranging for your skills to be assessed and, if applicable, studying and preparing to sit an English language test, you need to understand whether you have a realistic chance of being granted a visa to live and work in Australia.

Skilled Occupations List (SOL)

If your nominated occupation features on the SOL you can select any of the above visa classes but if you are able to achieve a score of 60 points (without nomination points) the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is the best option. This visa class is permanent and will allow you to reside anywhere in Australia.

Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL)

The situation changes completely, however, if your nominated occupation is only on the CSOL as you must be nominated by a state or territory government or by an employer. Selecting the Skilled Nominated or Skilled Regional pathways introduces a range of factors that can offer some benefits but also carry risks as you progress your application through the migration maze.

Benefits and risks of state/territory nomination

If your only visa option id to seek nomination support from a state or territory government in Australia, you enter into process that may be determined by factors beyond your control. State/territory nomination does offer some advantages as you will not be subject to monthly invitation rounds and if you have achieved a score of 60 points (including nomination points), you will automatically receive an invitation to lodge a visa application.

The risks to be aware of are as follows:

State and territory governments produce their own individual skills lists which can change at any time once occupational ceilings have been met;

Some states and territories suddenly close their skills lists without warning if planning levels have been reached and the program becomes oversubscribed;

Each state and territory has different selection criteria. This can range from the amount of settlement funds you have available, your level of English, the number of years of post-qualification work experience, specialsations within your nominated occupation, referral to an industry panel who have the power to refuse your application even if you have met all of criteria, or a firm job offer or Expression of Interest from an employer;

You will also be expected to demonstrate realistic settlement intentions through comprehensive research as well as a commitment to living and working in the nominating state or territory for at least 2 years. If for example, the Northern Territory is your only option but you have family residing elsewhere in Australia, your application will almost certainly be refused. Other states will give you a higher level of priority if you only selected that state for settlement.

Expert advice

As you can see, there is much to consider and you may feel that discussing your visa options in more detail before proceeding with your migration plans will provide you with a better understanding of the visa process. The appointment will provide you with an opportunity to prepare a list of questions and to check whether there are any unforeseen factors which you may have overlooked.

Concept Australia has offices in the London Borough of Bromley and Manchester but if you are unable to meet with us personally we can also offer a SKYPE appointment if this is more convenient.


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Jane, I just wanted to thank you. My Dad was in a state of disbelief when I told him his visa had been granted. My brother had only just advised him that he probably would not be granted his visa in time and therefore we are all delighted with the outcome.