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Common Pathways to Australia Permanent Residency

If you don't have family such as a spouse of defacto partner in Australia to sponsor your application. Another way to obtain permanent residency is through the skilled migration program (189/190/491) or the employer sponsored (482/186/494) pathways.

To be eligible for the skilled migration program, you need:

  1. To be qualified in an occupation on the occupation list - Take a look at the Skilled occupation list on the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government website for a start,
  2. Receive an invitation to apply for the visa by the Australian or State Government - Check State Government occupation lists to see which skills the different states are looking for,
  3. At least 65 points in the points test - However, for a higher chance to receive a 189 invitation quicker, you should aim to score at least 80 points,
  4. Possess at least Competent English* and a positive skills assessment for the occupation that you are nominating. *this requirement does vary by State and nominated occupation.

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To be eligible for the employer sponsored pathways, you need:

  1. Have a company sponsor,
  2. At least 2 or 3 years of post-qualification full-time experience (whether it's 2 or 3 years of experience depends on the visa program),
  3. Possess positive skills assessment for certain occupations, in particular Trades occupations,
  4. Possess English capability,
    1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Overall band score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 5 in each of the test components.
    2. Occupational English Test (OET): Score of at least 'B' in each of the four components
    3. Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT): iBT total score of at least 35 with a score of at least 4 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 14 for each of the test components of speaking and writing
    4. Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): Academic overall test score of at least 36 with a score of at least 36 in each of the test components
    5. Cambridge C1 Advanced test: Overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 154 in each of the test components.

If you are an overseas applicant in current pandemic times, my advise is to start readying your documents beginning with the skills assessment process as this component generally takes about 4 to 5 months to complete (including processing time). Doing so will mean you are ready to submit an full Expression of Interest once the border restrictions are lifted and get ahead in the overseas applicant queue.

If you are an onshore applicant and cannot fulfill the 2 or 3 years work experience and are building your points for the skilled migration program, you may be able to apply for the COVID 408 visa (if you are working in critical sectors) or be eligible for a training visa to enhance your skills (if you have 12 months of work experience).