Australia Immigration Services

Australian Migration Programme

Australian citizenship is acquired in two main ways, either by birth, descent or adoption, or by grant after settlement. Australian citizens have an unlimited right to enter, exit, and re-enter Australia. All other people wishing to enter Australia, i.e. non-citizens need a visa to lawfully enter and be in Australia whether on a temporary or permanent basis.

The migration program includes three main streams, these are:

  • the Skilled Migration Stream, which has a number of categories for people who have particular occupation skills, outstanding talents or business skills;
  • the Family Migration Stream, where people can be sponsored by a relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • the Special Eligibility Migrants Stream, who are former citizens or residents wanting to return to Australia, or certain New Zealanders.

The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) regulates these programs and the migration program for 2003-04 has 100,000 to 110,000 places available for migrants, plus a parent contingency reserve of 6,500 places for a full year.

The Australian Migration Program is designed to help people wanting to relocate to Australia temporarily or permanently. The migration program has prescribed classes of visa that can be grouped accordingly; permanent visas, temporary visas, bridging visas and protection, refugee and humanitarian visas.

Skilled Migration

The skilled stream of Australia’s migration program targets people who are highly skilled, are under 45 and who will quickly make a contribution to the Australian economy.

The general skilled visas are divided into three categories:

  • General skilled – for overseas applicants not currently in Australia.
  • Overseas student – for overseas students currently studying in Australia.
  • Onshore New Zealand citizen – for NZ citizens currently in Australia.

Within these three categories, there are the following types of visas:

  • Independent – for those who do not have a sponsor, or who choose not to be sponsored, or who have been nominated by a State or Territory government;
  • Skill matching – for those wanting to be involved in the skill matching process and who are seeking to be nominated by a State or Territory government or an employer;
  • Designated area sponsored – for those who have a sponsor and an assurer. The sponsor must live in a designated area, and you must be related to your sponsor;
  • Australian sponsored – this is designed for applicants whose sponsor lives outside a designated area. You must have a sponsor and as assurer, and you must be related to your sponsor.

The basic requirements for a Skilled-Independent category visa to migrate to Australia or obtain permanent residency in Australia you, or your spouse, must be able to satisfy basic requirements:

  • be under 45 years of age when you apply;
  • have sufficient English language ability for working in Australia;
  • have post-secondary (such as university or trade) qualifications;
  • have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation before you apply;
  • nominate an occupation which fits your skills and qualifications when you apply. Your nominated occupation must be on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). If your nominated occupation is not on the list, you cannot apply;

If your nominated occupation is worth:

  • 60 points: you must have been in paid employment in any skilled occupation on the SOL for at least 12 of the 18 months before applying;
  • 40 or 50 points: you must have been in paid employment in any skilled occupation on the SOL for at least two of the three years before applying;

Please note you may not need to meet the work experience requirement if you have completed an Australian post-secondary qualification less than 6 months before lodging your visa application. Please contact us for further information.

Business Skills Permanent

The Business Skills visa class encourages successful business people to settle permanently in Australia and develop new or existing businesses.

Australia’s Business Migration Program changed from 1st March 2003. The old system provided for two forms of entry one by way of Permanent Business Entry Visas and the other using Temporary Visas of one of a number of Business categories to convert to permanent residency during the life of the Temporary Visa.

The objectives of the new regime is to provide for a better dispersal of business migrants, increase the number and proportion of business migrants who successfully engage in business in Australia and to a certain degree, make it easier for transmission to Permanent Residency once on a Temporary Visa in Australia. The new system contains no pints tested visas, which is opposite to the previous regime of Business Skills Visas.

There is still a basic entry point for high calibre business people by way of direct permanent residency. There are also other Provisional (Temporary) Visas for four years with provisions for easier transmission, to permanent residency status than previously available under the old points system. Some visas may now be applied for on-shore (if you hold a valid visa) and others are not. You should seek advice about relative suitability from one of our registered agents.

Below are the basic criteria for each of the Provisional Visa categories and the direct Permanent Visa categories.

Permanent Visa Sub Classes

  • Business Talent (Migrant) Visa – Subclass 132

Provisional (Temporary) Visa Sub Classes

There are six Provisional Visa categories, which last for four years and can be converted subject to successful performance in Australia to Permanent Residency Visas. These include:

  • State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) Category – Sub Class 163
  • State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional) Category – Sub Class 164
  • Business Owner (Provisional) Category – Sub Class 160
  • State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Provisional) Category – Sub Class 165

Employer Nomination

There are four categories for employer-sponsored migration to Australia; the Employer Nomination Scheme, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, Labour Agreements and Regional Headquarters Agreements.

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) has been developed for Australian employers to recruit permanent, highly skilled staff from overseas or from people temporarily in Australia, when the employers have been unable to fill a vacancy from within the Australian labour market or through their own training programs.

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is designed to help employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia, who are unable to fill skilled vacancies from the Australian labour market.

Labour Agreements (LA) enable Australian employers to recruit (either permanently or temporarily) a specified number of workers from overseas in response to identified or emerging labour market (or skill) shortages in the Australian labour market.

Regional Headquarters Agreements (RHQ) provide streamlined immigration arrangements to enable the transfer, either permanently or temporarily, key executive and specialist personnel of an organisation that Australia has identified as managing functions that support an international operation.

Family Migration

Family stream migrants must be sponsored by a close family member or fiancé(e) living in Australia, they are assessed on the basis of their family relationship with the sponsor. The sponsor must be either an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, and would usually be 18 years of age or older.

Family Stream applicants are assessed on an individual basis and they MUST be assessed against Australia’s health and character requirements. Family Stream applicants can be sponsored for migration or permanent residence in one of the following visa categories:

Applicants under the family regime of visas are selected on the basis of their family relationship only, more particularly with their Sponsor in Australia. The subclasses available to prospective migrants include:


  • Spouse
  • Prospective Marriage (Fiancé)
  • Interdependency


  • Child
  • Adoption
  • Orphan Relative
  • Dependent Child (Temporary)


  • Parent
  • Designated Parent

Other Family

  • Aged Dependent Relative
  • Remaining Relative
  • Carer

Temporary Visas

There are a number of temporary visas also available for entry into Australia:

  • Tourism – Visas for tourism
  • Sponsored Visitors – Visas for sponsored visitors
  • Working Holiday Makers – Opportunities for people between 18 and 30 to holiday and work in Australia
  • Working in Australia – Options for limited-time work
  • Regional Australian Programs – Help to work in regional Australia
  • Events, conferences – Help for those organising events in Australia
  • Study – Overseas students in Australia
  • Business People – Streamlined entry arrangements for business people
  • Employer Nomination – Nominating new staff from overseas
  • Medical Treatment – Visas for those undertaking medical treatment
  • Retirement Visas – 4 year visas for the over 55’s looking to spend some of their retirement years in Australia

All immigration work for Australia and New Zealand will be undertaken by our affiliate firm, Migration Matters Pty Ltd. In Australia it is the law that people giving Immigration advice are registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) Our Australian Immigration advice is provided by Registered Migration Agents. Migration Agent Registration Numbers 0324641, 0425550 & 0427632