If you’ve got skills that are in demand in Australia, you may be able to apply for permanent residence in the form of a Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189). You can apply for this without a job offer (in fact, that’s precisely what it’s designed for), but you will need to have the skills necessary to do one of the jobs on the list of skilled occupations.
The trick with this is that before you apply, you have to submit an expression of interest (EOI). You do this through the government immigration portal, called Skillselect. Your EOI profiles your character, health, language abilities, and skill level. You also nominate your intended occupation from the list of eligible S189/190 occupations.
Your EOI does not need extensive documentation or evidentiary proof. But it does need to be very accurate. People who submit inaccurate EOIs usually get found out and end up unsuccessful applicants. We can’t over-state what a disastrous outcome that is.
If Skillselect assigns your EOI enough points, you’ll then be invited to make a formal application. Once you get your invitation, you’ll have 60 days to make your formal application. This will require:
- Evidence of all the claims you’ve made in your EOI
- Proof of an approved skills assessment for the nominated occupation
- Proof that you’re not yet 45 years old
- English language ability
- Various evidences of health and good character
If you’ve got all the documentation and evidence correct, and your application is approved, you should find out in a few weeks. If not, don’t worry. It’s not uncommon for people to have to supply additional evidence or clarification. However, the need for additional information is greatly reduced when you work with a registered migration agent.
If it’s approved, you’ll have permanent residence, which is great! It means you can:
- Stay here indefinitely
- Work and study here
- Get Medicare (i.e. government-subsidised health services)
- Apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
- Sponsor eligible family members for permanent residence
Travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after which, it is renewable on application)