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Australian Visa Requirements

Understanding Australian Visa Requirements

With its strong economy and shortage of skilled workers Australia is a very popular destination for migration for skilled people looking to start a new life in another country. For this reason it is critical to understand the Australia visa requirements before making any application to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection – and this is were Embark Migration are experts.

There are plenty of pathways to immigration and choosing the right one is crucial to the success of your application.  The Sydney Migration Specialists team at Embark Migration provide expert advice regarding study, business, work, travel, partner and family visa options to our clients.

Your Embark Migration consultant can assess your current circumstances  and with our expertise we can help and advise you on choosing the right pathway for migrating to Australia.

There are four main visa streams under which Australia grants Permanent Residency:

  • Skilled Migration Stream.
  • Business Migration Stream.
  • Family Migration Stream.
  • Humanitarian Migration Stream.

Each of these pathways has several options or visa sub classes.

General Skilled Migration Stream

One of the best opportunities for skilled workers to live and work in Australia is immigration through the General Skilled Migration or SkillSelect program. Under this program, skilled worker applicants can use their qualifications, work experience and language ability gained overseas to obtain a permanent visa by meeting the Australian Immigration Requirements.

Immigrating to Australia through the General Skilled Migration program can be achieved through several visa subclasses. Types of visas can be:

  • Sponsored or Unsponsored;
  • National or Local (Regional);
  • Permanent or Temporary.


SkillSelect is a new skilled workers program, introduced by the Australian Government in 2012, designed to help address regional skill shortages in certain fields. In order to apply through this program, applicants first need to submit an online expression of interest (EOI). On basis of the EOI, qualifying applicants may be invited to submit an Australian Visa Application.

The EOI includes information on personal details, English language skills, occupation and skills assessment, work or business experience and investment experience, depending on the visa for which the candidate is interested in applying for.

Applications are ranked based on their EOI point scores. Those who fall below the relevant pass mark will be ineligible to receive an invitation. The highest ranking EOI are issued an invitation from SkillSelect to proceed with the visa application process.

Australian employer and the State and Territory governments are able to access the SkillSelect database to identify suitable applicants with skills in demand and contact them to discuss employment options.

The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) determines which occupations are eligible for independent and family sponsored skilled migration.

Business Migration Stream

There are three main options for immigration for business people who wish to move to Australia:

  • by establishing a new business
  • managing a new or existing business
  • Investing in Australia.

Normally all business migrants must first obtain a temporary visa before applying for a permanent visa.

Business Owners

To qualify for this visa, applicants must show a genuine and realistic commitment to be involved as an owner of a new or existing business in Australia. Applicants must be under the age of 45, prepare a viable business plan and have relevant management experience in their career.

They must possess net business assets of AUD $200,000 in a qualifying business with a turnover of at least AUD $500,000 in at least two of the four financial years before the application.

The business owner must also hold a substantial or controlling interest in an existing business, specifically 51% where the business turnover is less than AUD $400,000; 30% where the business turnover is AUD $400,000 or more; or 10 % where the business is a publicly-listed company.

You must have total assets of a net value of at least AUD $800,000, which were legally acquired and are capable of being transferred to Australia within two years of being granted this visa.

You have sufficient assets (additional to those above) of at least AUD $100,000 to settle in Australia.


The investor visa class is for business people willing to invest funds in Australia for 4 years. To qualify they must be less than 45 years of age, have personal assets with net value of at least AUD $2,250,000 for the 2 financial years immediately before applying and a dedicated investment in Australia of AUD $1,500,000.

These are sufficient conditions for  granting a 4-year provisional visa followed by a permanent visa once the investments have been made.

All applicants are required to satisfy the general health & character requirements, police and credibility checks, and a range of other criteria.

Family Migration Stream

The Family Stream is designed to reunite Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens with their close family members.

Migration to Australia under the Family Migration Stream is for people that can be sponsored if they are a same sex defacto partner, spouse, fiancée, child or adopted child, parent, orphan relative, special needs relative, aged dependent relative or last remaining relative of a qualifying sponsor who is resident in Australia.

Humanitarian Migration Stream

Australia’s Humanitarian Program is an important part of Australia’s contribution to the international protection of refugees. The humanitarian stream provides permanent protection for eligible applicants.