What are the Australian Skilled Visa Requirements?
If you are considering migrating to Australia, you could be invited to apply for a skilled visa using their Skillselect system. This is an internet-based service that the Australian immigration department uses to manage its skilled worker migration programme; it helps them to prioritise applicants who have specific qualifications or skill-sets that match the country’s current economic needs.
If you’re looking to acquire a skilled visa, you must first complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) form in order to be registered on the Skillselect database. This is not in itself a visa application, but a request to be considered for an invitation to apply for a skilled visa. People who have submitted an EOI can then be found and nominated by Australian Employers and regional governments, if they have desirable skills or occupations. They will then be invited to apply for a skilled migrant visa.
In order to be nominated and invited to apply, the occupation you specify on your EOI must appear on the Australian Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Certain occupations among them will only apply to regional areas that may have a high demand for particular skills. These are typically farming-related occupations such as produce growing and animal rearing.
What happens when you are invited to apply for a skilled visa?
Once you have been invited to apply for an Australian skilled visa you will have 60 days to complete your application. You will not need to re-enter information which is already recorded on your EOI, however you may be asked for additional information and for evidence to support your application.
In order to be accepted for a skilled visa you must:
- Be under 50 years of age at the time of application
- Pass a skills assessment (an evaluation of how qualified you are for your nominated occupation in experience, qualifications etc.)
- Pass a medical examination
- Have sufficient English language skills to enable you to work successfully in Australia
- Pass a good character test
What is a good character test?
All skilled migrants whether permanent or temporary must pass a good character test to be considered for an Australian visa. In addition to personal and professional recommendations, a good character test involves an assessment of any criminal history the applicant may have. Consequently, you will likely be required to produce a Police Check or Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) from any country you have lived in for 12 months or longer, in the past ten years or since you have been over 16 years of age.
Being able to produce complete and accurate Police Clearance Certificates is vital to the skilled visa application process. Failing to fully declare any criminal offences, no matter how minor they may seem, can result in your application being seriously delayed or declined for reasons of non-disclosure.
Any person wishing to move to Australia under a skilled visa who has lived in Qatar for over 12 months at any time in the past ten years will need to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from the state of Qatar to support their application. This can be done by applying to the Qatari embassy if you hold or previously held a resident’s visa. Alternatively, other types of visa holder can use a professional PCC application service to obtain their document. This method also has the advantage of being faster and safer than applying directly to the Qatari Embassy.