How to become a skill-based permanent resident in Australia without employer sponsorship


Aug, 2018

Justin Browne

Justin Browne

Justin Browne is the CEO of Four Points Immigration.

How to become a skill-based permanent resident in Australia without employer sponsorship

If you are a skilled worker considering immigrating to Australia, there are several visa options available to you that can put you on the path for permanent residency.

One of the challenges with skill-based visas is that some require sponsorship from an employer. However, some visa subclasses don’t, and we’ve provided a summary below of some of the options available to a skilled worker who meet the eligibility criteria.

Visa Options for Work-Based Permanent Residency

There are several pathways to permanent residency available for workers who have skills that are in demand in Australia. Many of these pathways do not require you to be sponsored by an Australian business but may require you to reside in either a regional or designated metropolitan area. Some of the visa options available to potential migrants are:

189 Visa – Skilled Independent Visa (Points Tested Stream)

189 Visa Fact Sheet

This visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, family member or nominated by a state or territory government. You must be invited by the Australian government to apply for this visa with the first step being to submit an expression of interest.

This visa is suitable for individuals under the age of 45 who have an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations, can pass the points test pass mark of 65 and have competent English.

For more details about eligibility criteria and the application process click on the fact sheet image to download.

190 Visa Fact Sheet

190 Visa – Skilled Nominated Visa

The 190 visa allows skilled workers that are nominated by a state or territory government to live permanently in Australia.

The criteria for this visa are the same as for the 189 Visa other than requiring the nomination by the state or territory government.

For more details click on the image to download our 190 Visa Fact Sheet.

489 Visa – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa

489 Visa Fact Sheet

This visa allows skilled workers to live and work in regional or low population metropolitan areas for an initial period of four years and is a pathway to permanent residency.

There are three pathway options for the 489 Visa. These are:

• The Invited Pathway
• The Extended Pathway
• The Subsequent Entry Pathway

The Invited Pathway does not require you to have a current Australian Visa, but you will have to meet specific criteria to be eligible.

You can download our 489 Visa Fact Sheet by clicking on the image.

What is the process?

Skilled visa requests begin with a submission preliminary paperwork, also known as an Expression of Intent, or EOI. This document provides the Australian Government with information about who you are and your skills so that officials can decide whether to invite you to fill out a visa application.

The government keeps EOIs on file for two years. Submitting the EOI is an essential first step and is the document the Australian government uses to determine if you are eligible for this visa. It’s crucial that you work with a migration agent like us to ensure your EOI is complete and gives you the best chance of receiving an invitation to apply.

What is Points Testing?

Skilled visas depend on verifiable skills, not just what’s written on your resume or CV. As part of your EOI, you’ll need to contact the relevant Australian assessing authority to request a formal skills assessment in your claimed area of expertise.

Even if you pass a skills assessment with flying colours, they’re only valid until their expiry date or three years after you complete them. Since each assessing authority maintains separate guidelines regarding testing procedures, delay times and fees, it’s advisable to schedule your assessment before submitting your EOI.

Is Your Occupation Eligible?

As an economy-focused initiative, the skilled migration program incorporates changing standards. For instance, the government routinely revaluates what counts as a skilled occupation, so it’s vital you ensure that your occupation is eligible by reviewing the most up to date list of eligible skilled occupations.

Where too from here?

The requirements for skilled visas in Australia is continually changing, and it’s essential that applicants seek specialist advice from a migration agent to determine their suitability. If you are interested in speaking with one of our migration agents, call us on 1300 474 664 or email

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