Subclass 189 - Skilled Independent Visa
This is the most popular skilled migration visa which allows the visa applicant and his or her family to live and work anywhere in Australia on a permanent basis. Although applicants of the subclass 189 visa do not require an Australian family or employer to sponsor them, there are still a number of requirements which must be met, including obtaining a suitable skills assessment, meeting the English language requirement, and being under 50 years of age.
Subclass 190 - Skilled Nominated Visa
The subclass 190 visa is similar to the subclass 189 visa, with the exception of the addditional requirement of an Australian state or territory nomination. Each year, the states and territories designate certain occupations which are in demand for that region, and offer visa applicants state or territory nomination to encourage regional growth and to fulfill skill shortages. Although upon grant, the visa applicant and his or her family may live and work in Australian indefinitely, states or territories may require visa applicants to live and/or work in the nominating state or territory for a specified minimum time.
Subclass 485 - Temporary Graduate Visa
The subclass 485 visa is a popular visa option for many international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution and who are looking remain in Australian on a temporary basis. As this subclass allows full time employment, the aim of many subclass 485 visa holders is to gain sufficient work experience to accumulate further points to apply for a permanent visa in the future.
There are two streams under which to apply:
The Graduate Work stream is for eligible international students with skills and qualifications which relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List, and enables them to live, work and study in Australia for a further 18 months from the date of grant.
The Post-Study Work stream is for international students, who applied for, and were granted, their first Australian student visa on or after 5 November 2011, and who recently graduated with a higher education degree from an Australian education provider. This stream does not require a nomination of an occupation on the Skilled Occupation list, and depending on the qualifications held, may be granted for up to 4 years from the date of grant.
Subclass 489 - Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa
The subclass 489 is a visa option for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory or are sponsored by an eligible relative who are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or and eligible New Zealand citizen, and who live in a designated area of Australia.
Although this visa enables an extended family member, as for example niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, grandparent or first cousin to be a sponsor, the Australian Government have placed a very restrictive quota to the number of subclass 489 visa to be granted in any fiscal year.
This subclass may be a viable option, however, for those who wish to extend their stay in Australia and who are current holders or family members of current holders of a subclass 496, 495, 487 or 475 visa.