Australia has a very strong focus on skilled migration, with a focus on attracting qualified, skilled younger people to Australia. But even the most highly skilled, can get it wrong.

The two permanent residence skilled visa options are the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa, and the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa, for those nominated by a State or Territory Government. In addition there is also the four year Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa for those who may not qualify straight away for a permanent residence visa, and who are sponsored by a State/Territory Government or by an eligible relative and invited to apply by the Department of Home Affairs. This visa has a pathway to permanent residence (Skilled Regional Subclass 887) after a minimum of two years. All primary applicants need to be under the age of 45 years, have a minimum competent level of English, positive skill assessment and can achieve at least 60 points on a points test.

Before even lodging a skilled visa application with the Department of Home Affairs, there are a number of crucial steps that must be successfully navigated along the way.

The beginnings of a skilled visa are a choosing the right occupation for your qualifications/employment experience and one that is available for a skilled visa. Some people may have more than one occupation that suits their qualifications/experience. We can guide you on the best occupation based on your background, and whether you require nomination by a State or Territory Government, relative or can apply on your own.

We also need to consider your age, English, qualifications, points test entitlements and whether there are any other factors that may influence the outcome of your application.

Once the occupation is chosen, the next step is a formal skill assessment. Each occupation is assessed by a skill assessment agency. We can assist you and guide you through this process.

All primary skilled visa applicants need to prove their English. This could be by nationality, or a formal English language test. If you need to test your English, we encourage you to do the test as soon as possible. English test results are valid for three years.

It is not possible to apply for a skilled visa without first being invited. If you are applying for a Subclass 189 visa, this means being invited by the Department of Home Affairs directly. If you are applying for a Subclass 190 visa, you must be invited by a State or Territory Government. This involves an application for sponsorship and we can assist you with this as well.

If you have a positive skill assessment, the right number of points, English, correct age and an invitation to apply, then we can lodge your visa application and from there we will monitor your visa application and advise you on the process.

At MSM Legal, our team of lawyers we can also assist you with other areas which can be crucial to the success of your application. 

For example, the Department of Home Affairs has specific requirements for the employment contracts that relate to visa holders.  Even if you have a perfectly valid and legitimate employment contract in place, which complies with Australian law, the Department may require various other issues that are specific to migration to be included in that employment contract.  We can assist you with this step, and our lawyers can provide you with an employment contract that complies with the immigration requirements. 

Similarly, companies and employers may also need various contracts and agreements as part of their business, to demonstrate to the Department of Home Affairs that the company or employer is a legitimate business and operates according to Australian law.  If your documentation is missing in some areas, our commercial lawyers can assist with providing that additional documentation to demonstrate to the Department of Home Affairs that you are operating lawfully in Australia. 

Our Wills and Estates lawyers can also provide further documentation that may be required for some visas.  Partner visas, for example, can be assisted by having Wills recognising the relationship between applicants and sponsors.

There are many ways MSM Legal can assist you to make your application stronger – let us know how we can help you.