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Each year thousands of migrants flock to Australia to begin a new and exciting life. If you’re hoping to live and work in Australia there are a few visa options available to you, even if you don’t have a job offer!

"English language proficiency is a crucial factor for successful migration to Australia on a skilled visa and lays the foundation for success in your future career. Start your test preparation early and kickstart the migration process promptly." Jihang (Michael) Li (MARN 1802068) , IDP Perth

Am I eligible to apply for a permanent visa?

You may be eligible to apply for a permanent visa if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • You are a skilled worker with an occupation on the skilled occupation list 

  • You have an eligible family member willing to sponsor your visa

Book IELTS for migration

Applying for a skilled migration visa

The Australian Government has several programs in place to encourage skilled workers to choose Australia to be their new home. To obtain a permanent skilled migration visa there are a few important steps you’ll need to take.

1. Check the basic eligibility criteria

If you want to apply for a permanent visa as a skilled worker without a job offer, you'll need to satisfy some basic eligibility criteria. You must:

  • be under 45 years of age

  • meet the health and character requirements

  • have an occupation on the skilled occupation list 

  • get a suitable skills assessment

  • satisfy the points test with a minimum score of 65 points

  • achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.0

2. Use SkillSelect to submit an EOI

You must be invited to apply for a skilled migration visa. To receive an invitation, you must submit an EOI in SkillSelect, the online application system used by the Australian Government. 

3. Receive an invitation and apply for your visa

Once you have received an invitation, you can apply for your visa by clicking on the ‘Apply for visa’ button in SkillSelect. You must apply for your visa within 60 days of receiving your invitation.

Top Australian cities for study and work

Applying for a family sponsorship visa

The Australian Government offers a range of family and partner visas designed to help migrant families enjoy life in Australia together. The eligibility criteria for each visa is different, so it’s important to choose the right visa for your situation. You may be able to apply for a family sponsorship visa if you have a family member who is also an eligible sponsor.

What is an eligible sponsor?

To be an eligible sponsor, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent residence visa holder 

  • Be a relative or partner of the main visa applicant

You may also need to assist the applicant with accommodation, financial aid and any other relevant support for an agreed upon period of time.

Official guide to IELTS preparation materials

Top permanent migration visas

Subclass 189 - Skilled Independent visa (points tested stream)

The points tested stream of the Subclass 189 - Skilled Independent visa allows you to:

  • Permanently live, work and study anywhere in Australia

  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency

  • Become an Australian Citizen (if eligible)

Eligibility requirements 

To apply for this visa you must:

  • Satisfy the basic eligibility requirements 

  • Have an occupation on the Medium- and Long-Term Strategic Skill List (MLTSSL)

  • Submit an EOI in SkillSelect and be invited to apply

IELTS Requirement

To apply for this visa, you must achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 in each of the four IELTS components. The Department of Home Affairs accepts IELTS One Skill Retake for this visa.

Subclass 190 - Skilled Nominated visa

The Subclass 190 - Skilled Nominated visa allows you to:

  • Permanently live, work and study anywhere in Australia

  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency

  • Become an Australian Citizen (if eligible)

Eligibility requirements 

To apply for this visa you must:

  • Satisfy the basic eligibility requirements 

  • Have an occupation on  the combined skilled occupation list

  • Submit an EOI in SkillSelect 

  • Be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency

IELTS Requirement

To apply for this visa, you must achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 in each of the four IELTS components. The Department of Home Affairs accepts IELTS One Skill Retake for this visa.

Additional visa obligations

If you receive a Subclass 190 - Skilled Nominated visa, there are some additional obligations you will need to abide by. These obligations may vary depending on which state or territory you received a nomination from. Visa obligations may include:

  • Moving to the relevant state or territory within six months of moving to Australia

  • Living and working exclusively in your nominated state or territory for two years

While each state and territory can see your EOI in SkillSelect, they all have their own nomination processes. You should contact the state or territory agencies directly to find out what is involved in their nomination process.

Family Sponsorship visa options

There are a number of family sponsorship visa options available which do not have a job offer requirement. Types of family visas include:

The application process and eligibility criteria for each visa may vary. Please carefully consider which visa may be right for your situation. 

Temporary Skilled Sponsored (TSS) visa updates

How to find a job in Australia

IELTS Speaking Job

Australia has a flourishing job market with skilled migrant workers in high demand across a range of industries. Consider these handy tips for finding a job in Australia:

1. Sign up for job alerts

There are many online job search sites in Australia which allow you to filter available positions by location, industry, role and salary. Create a profile on a few different sites and sign up for job alerts. Job alerts will filter through available positions and deliver only the most relevant postings right to your inbox.

2. Contact an employment agency

Connect with a local employment agency and receive tailored support during your job search. Employment agencies can provide support such as:

  • CV assistance

  • Interview preparation

  • Matching you with suitable positions

3. Reach out to potential employers

Don’t be afraid to reach out to different companies that you might like to work for. Many company websites have a ‘careers’ link, or an email address you can use to express your interest in future opportunities. Be sure to tell them about yourself and what skills you can bring to the table.

How to write a job application letter

Why choose IELTS?

BODY IMAGE 5 - When to apply - IDP - 686x369 - counsellor - Canada

IELTS is the world's most popular English test for a reason. Why choose IELTS?

  • IELTS is accepted by more universities, colleges and academic institutions than any other English test. The test is accepted globally by more than 12,000 organisations.

  • Are you more comfortable with paper or computers? IELTS lets you choose how you want to take your test. 

  • Feel confident on test day with official IELTS preparation materials. They are free and you'll get access to premium materials including webinars, videos and practice tests. 

  • IELTS is the only major test to offer One Skill Retake. You can now retake any component of the test; Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking. It's perfect if you want to improve on one area instead of redoing a full test. With other tests, you need to book, pay, and sit a full test again. 

Ready to get started? Book your IELTS today and take the first step on your journey to living, working or studying in Australia!

Hear from a migration agent

We sat down with Jihang (Michael) Li (MARN: 1802068), IDP's in-house migration agent in Perth to hear his thoughts about migrating to Australia:

”English language proficiency is a crucial factor for successful migration to Australia on a skilled visa and lays the foundation for success in your future career," he said.

"Start your test preparation early and kickstart the migration process promptly. If you find yourself unsure about the intricacies of the migration process and would like to speak with a registered migration agent, know that we are here to provide personalised assistance tailored to your needs," he added.

If you’re an international student interested in migrating to Australia, get some personalised visa advice from one of IDPs friendly and experienced Migration Services agents.

Get migration help

Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent.