If you are applying for an Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) or a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187), you must meet the age, skills and English language requirements specified for the stream of visa that you are applying for, unless you are exempt from these requirements. These requirements and available exemptions are summarised below.
Age requirements and exemptions
You must generally be less than 45 years of age. Exemptions are, however, available to applicants who meet any of the below:
- you are nominated as a senior academic by a university in Australia (Temporary Residence Transition and Direct Entry streams)
- you are nominated as a scientist, researcher, or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level one or two by an Australian government scientific agency (Temporary Residence Transition and Direct Entry streams)
- you are applying through the Temporary Residence Transition stream and have been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a TSS or subclass 457 visa for the last three years and your earnings were at least equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold for each year over that period
- you are a medical practitioner (ANZSCO Minor Group 253) (Temporary Residence Transition stream)and you meet all of the below:
- you have been working in your nominated occupation as the holder of a TSS or subclass 457 visa for at least three years immediately before applying
- for two of those years, you were employed in regional Australia
- the nominated position is located in regional Australia
- you hold a Special Category visa (subclass 444) or New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461) and you have been working for the employer who nominated you for at least two years (excluding any periods of unpaid leave) in the last three years immediately before applying (Direct Entry stream only)
- you are applying through the Labour Agreement stream and the relevant labour agreement allows for a person who has turned 45 to be employed.
Important: you may also be able to apply for a visa under the Temporary Residence Transition stream if you are over 45 years of age but under 50, if transitional arrangements apply because you either held, or were an applicant for, a subclass 457 visa (which was subsequently granted) on 18 April 2017.
Skill requirements and exemptions
At the time of application lodgement, you must provide with your online application:
- evidence that you have at least three years of relevant work experience
- a positive, valid skills assessment in your nominated occupation if you are applying for a:
- subclass 186 visa under the Direct Entry stream in any occupation (the skill assessment must be conducted by the relevant assessing authority)
- subclass 187 visa under the Direct Entry stream in an occupation specified in a legislative instrument and you hold overseas qualifications.
Important: a skills assessment will be required for all nominated occupations for all applications lodged on or after 1 July 2018.
- a skills assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, or for a period of three years from the assessment’s date of issue, whichever occurs first
- skills assessments obtained for a subclass 485 visa will not be accepted as these are not considered full skills assessments for permanent skilled migration purposes
- visa applicants applying through the Temporary Residence Transition or Labour Agreement streams will generally not need to have their skills assessed. A skills assessment may, however, still be requested where this is considered to be necessary.
Direct Entry stream applicants are exempt from the requirement to apply for a positive skills assessment as outlined above, where they have applied for:
- a subclass 186 visa and are nominated as:
- an academic by a university in Australia or
- a scientist, researcher, or technical specialist by an Australian government scientific agency, including State and Territory government scientific agencies
- a subclass 186 or 187 visa and are in Australia as the holder of a subclass 444 or 461 visa and have worked with their nominating employer in their nominated occupation for the last two years (not including any period of unpaid leave) in the period of three years before the visa application is made.
English language requirement and exemption
You must demonstrate that you have the required English language proficiency for the visa and stream that you are applying for unless you are exempt.
For the Temporary Residence Transition or Direct Entry streams, applicants are required to have at least competent English.
As a result, you must provide evidence of having achieved the required minimum test scores in a specified English language test that has been conducted within three years immediately prior to the date of your application unless you hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland as evidence that you are a citizen of that country.
Applicants for the Temporary Residence Transition stream are also exempt from demonstrating their English language proficiency if they have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where all of the tuition was delivered in English. You cannot include short courses studied for this purpose.
Applicants for the Labour Agreement Stream must demonstrate that they have English language skills that are suitable to perform the occupation to which the position relates. This will be the same level of English as for the other visa streams outlined above, unless otherwise specified in the labour agreement.