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Skilled Independent Visa

Skilled Independent (subclass 175)

The Skilled - Independent (subclass 175) visa is often the best option for those who wish to immigrate to Australia but do not have a family member or Australian state or territory government to sponsor them.

This visa replaced the Skilled - Independent (subclass 136) visa and the Skilled - Independent New Zealand Citizen (subclass 861) visa on 01 September 2007. New Zealand citizens can apply and wait for a decision about this visa category whether they are outside or within Australia.

The offshore Skilled - Independent visa is assessed on a points-based system, with 120 points required to pass and 100 points required to be placed within a reserve pool. Those who are granted a Skilled - Independent visa can live and work in any part of Australia and take up any employment they wish.

To be eligible to apply for a Skilled - Independent (subclass 175) visa, applicants must meet certain requirements.

Age - Applicants must be at least 18 years old and younger than 45 at the time of application.

English language - In most cases, applicants must have "functional" or "vocational" English. This means that they must speak English well enough to communicate in a work environment in Australia.

Nominated occupation - In order to apply for a skilled visa, applicants must nominate an occupation that appears on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Those with professions that are not on the list are not eligible to apply. Once applicants nominate an occupation, they must have their skills assessed by a government appointed Australian Assessing Authority in order to determine if their skills are appropriate for this visa type.

Qualifications - In order to qualify for most kinds of skilled visas, applicants must have either university or trade qualifications. There are some exceptions in a small number of occupations, where substantial work experience might suffice. The relevant Skills Assessment Authority will assess all certificates and work experience skills.

Recent work experience - Applicants are required to have recent work experience in their nominated occupation at the time the visa is lodged. However, this requirement is waived for students with Australian qualifications (generally onshore applicants).

Recent work experience exemption - Applicants who have studied for at least two years in Australia may have the work experience requirement waived if they lodge their skilled visa application within six months of completing their studies.

The applicant must meet the points test threshold of 120 points and pass all health and character requirements.     

Skilled Independent (subclass 885)

The Skilled Independent (subclass 885) visa is a permanent visa for migrants who want to immigrate to Australia based upon skills and experience which Australia considers in need.

This visa replaced the previous Skilled - Independent Overseas Student (subclass 880) visa on 01 September 2007. The visa can only be applied for by individuals who are already in Australia on a valid visa. They must also be in Australia when the visa is granted.

This visa is assessed by a points system, with 120 points required to pass. There is no reserve pool with this visa.

A number of requirements must be met to receive an onshore Skilled Independent (subclass 885) visa.

Required Visas -  Applicants must hold one of the following visas when they apply:

  • A student visa (excluding ELICOS, government sponsored, AusAid and Defence Sector Student visas)
  • Either a Bridging visa A or Bridging visa B granted because a valid application for a visa other than an ineligible student visa has been made or a substantive visa other than an ineligible student visa - and the applicant has held an eligible student visa for the last six months
  • Skilled - Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476)
  • A Skilled - Graduate visa (subclass 485)
  • Trade Skills Training visa (subclass 471)

Age and Language Requirements - Applicants must be under 45 years of age or hold a Skilled Graduate visa. Applicants must meet English language requirements of competent English or vocational English if the applicant's nominated occupation is a trade

Qualifications - Applicants must nominate a 50 point or 60 point occupation listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). The applicant must also have applied for a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for the applicant's nominated occupation.

Applicants must also have a suitable skills assessment in the nominated occupation and meet the points test threshold of 120 points, as well as satisfying health and character requirements.

Want to live and work in Australia? Take the first step by completing our assessment form.

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