To apply for any Australian visa is to commence a legal process under Australian migration law. If you meet the legal requirements at each step you will be granted a visa. The visa process takes on average between 9 to 12 months to complete giving you the opportunity to organise your departure from your country and arrival in Australia.
For a Skilled Migration visa there are 6 steps that you must complete.
Step 1: Accreditation of Studies and Work Experience
The first step is to be accredited in your occupation.
Different occupations have different accrediting bodies, usually the relevant professional association for your profession or trade. Once an accrediting body has determined that your qualifications and work experience are equivalent to Australian qualifications and work experience for your occupation, you will be issued with a letter of accreditation.
Costs and time frames
The application fee is paid directly to the accrediting body relevant to your occupation and is between AUD$450 and AUD$4000. Most accrediting bodies charge an assessment fee of around AUD$800.
It takes 2 to 3 months to receive a decision on an accreditation application.
Step 2: Evidence of English Language
As part of the visa process all non-native speakers of English have to take an English exam.
The exam used by the Australian Government is called the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The IELTS examines 4 language skills: speaking, reading, writing and listening. You must obtain a minimum of 6 out of 9 on each part of the exam to satisfy the basic requirements for the visa.
VisAustralia strongly recommends that you book your place in the test as soon as you decide to apply for the visa. We also strongly recommend that you undertake an IELTS preparation test to ensure you achieve the best possible score in the test.
The IELTS exam costs about AUD$300 per person and is paid to the IELTS administrator in your country.
Step 3: Lodge an Expression of Interest under SkillSelect
On being accredited you must formally express an interest in applying for the visa through SkillSelect.
There is no cost in applying to SkillSelect.
Step 4: State Nomination Application
If you are applying for a state nominated visa the next step in the process is to apply for the nomination of a state government. The requirements of each state government are different as are the application procedures.
Costs and time frames
State government application fees range from NIL to AUD$ 300.
It generally takes between 1 to 4 weeks to receive a decision on your state nomination application.
Step 5: Visa Application
The fifth step is to apply for your visa.
The visa application is made on line and must include certified copies of your professional and work experience documents, certified translations, and other formal documents.
The visa application fees currently paid to Australian Government are as follows:
- Primary visa applicant: AUD $ 3,670.00
- Each additional applicant over 18 years old (if applicable): AUD $ 1,835.00
- Each additional applicant under 18 years old (if applicable): AUD $ 920.00
An additional fee of AUD$4,890 is payable by each applicant over 18 years old who does not speak intermediate English. This person is then entitled to 500 hours of “free” English classes after arriving n Australia.
Step 6: Medical Exams and Police Certificates
To enter Australia you and your dependents must comply with strict health and character requirements.
After you make the visa application you will need to have a medical examination with a local doctor registered with the Australian Embassy. All members of the family must have the exam including in some cases those who are not migrating.
The Department of Immigration will also request that you provide it with a police certificate for each country where you have lived for 12 months over the last ten years. This certificate is obtained from the local police in those countries.
The medical exam costs about AUD$200 per person and is paid directly to the local doctor and radiographer.
The cost of obtaining a police certificate depends on the local police authority. In many cases there is no cost associated with this application.
To discover whether you are eligible for a Skilled Migration or Student Work visa we invite you to take VisAustralia’s Migration Assessment Tool or to book a consultation with one of our expert migration agents. The Migration Assessment Tool includes all occupations on the Skilled Occupations List and on the state and territory government nomination lists, and will accurately calculate your score in the visa points test.