The most common visa pathways to migrate, either temporarily or permanently, to Australia with existing qualifications and experience are through Employer Sponsored visas or Skilled Migration (Points Tested Visas).

Where should I start checking my visa eligibility?

You can always get in touch with a Registered Migration Agent who can point you in the right direction, even if you understand how these visa pathways works as there are several exceptions and other small details you should know before you go ahead and start the visa process.

However, a good starting point would be to visit the Department’s website and check if your occupation is listed in one of the Skill Occupation lists:


Which visa subclasses require an employer to become your sponsor?

There are currently three different types of employer sponsored visas. For you to be able to consider either of these visas, you should first have an employer who is willing to sponsor and/or nominate you and your occupation should be on the respective list. There are other requirements to be met by both you and your potential employer sponsor.

The following visa subclasses are part of the Employer Sponsored Program:

  • Subclass 482- Temporary Skilled Shortage (Temporary Visa)
  • Subclass 186- Employer Nomination Scheme (Permanent Visa)
  • Subclass 494- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional with pathway to Permanent Residency)

Which visa subclasses are part of the Point Tested Visa program?

There are currently three different types of points tested visas:

  • Subclass 189- Skilled Independent
  • Subclass 190- Skilled Nominated
  • Subclass 491- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)

Subclasses 190 and 491 require State Nomination after lodging an Expression of Interest.

How do I know if my experience and qualifications are enough to meet the requirements of one of the occupations found on the Skill Occupation Lists?

Assessing whether your existing qualifications, skills and experience satisfy visa requirements is a complex task as there are many factors involved. For some of the visas listed above, applicants will need to obtain a positive Skills Assessment to be able to “nominate” their occupation. There are several Skills Assessing Authorities in charge of this process and their requirements vary.

Your Registered Migration Agent can help you identify which Skill Assessing Authority will assess your set of skills.

How can I make sure that I have chosen the correct occupation from the Skill Occupation List?

This task can be difficult sometimes as your job title may not explain what your role is. A good starting point for you and your Registered Migration Agent is to look at the ANZSCO description of the occupation you have in mind.

What is the ANZSCO?

ANZSCO stands for Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. It has been compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Statistics New Zealand with the intention of assigning a skill level to occupations. The ANZSCO is used to classify all occupations in the New Zealand and Australian markets. There are currently five hierarchical levels used to classify the occupations: Major group, sub-major group, minor group, unit group and occupation.

How can the ANZSCO code be used in Migration?

The ANZSCO Code may be consulted by clients, Registered Migration Agents and perhaps the Department when assessing clients’ visa eligibility, specifically for visas that involve the nomination of an occupation. These are some examples of how a Registered Migration Agent may use the ANZSCO Code:

  • Your agent may compare your job description with the tasks outline in the ANZSCO for the occupation you have selected.
  • Your agent may compare your qualifications with the skill level required to determine whether you meet the requirements.
  • Your agent may check if you are required to hold a license, be a member of a professional body or be registered.
  • Your agent may also double check if you are required to provide evidence of work experience in addition to your qualifications.

Choosing the right occupation is crucial when considering Employer Sponsored and Points Tested Visas. Therefore, it is advised to consult the ANZSCO Code, the Department’s website and perhaps speak with a Registered Migration Agent before you apply for a visa.

Click here to the ANZSCO: