Australian visa types

Australian visa types woman rising hand

Australian visa types

Dependant on the point of view Australian visa types could be divided into few different categories.

If the reason for a visit would be the criterium we can divide Australian visa types into 6 categories.

  1. Skilled visas – these are based on the qualifications and work experience of the prospective applicant. Dependant on the occupation visa applicant might be eligible for one visa but not the other. Quite often an employer or state or local government must endorse, sponsor or nominate position for a visa.
  2. Family visas – these are based on the fact that a visa applicant is a family member of an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Eligible New Zealand Citizen.
  3. Visitor visas – these are for the people who want to visit Australia as a tourist or spend time with their Australian family members. Surprisingly Working Holiday and Work and Holiday are considered visitor visas despite giving the holder full work rights.
  4. Student visas – these are for the people who want to study in Australia.
  5. Protection visas – these are for asylum seekers
  6. Special category / special eligibility visas

Dependant on the residency status

  1. Permanent visas – allowing a person to live in Australia indefinitely
  2. Temporary visas – granted for a specified period
  3. Provisional visas – these are also granted for a specified period of time, but unlike the temporary ones, provisional visas may lead to permanent residency if a visa holder will fulfill additional conditions.

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Skilled Visas

A skilled occupation must usually be specified in the visa application in this category. Dependant of the eligibility of the occupation a prospective visa applicant might be eligible for one visa but not the other. Have a look at the skilled visa occupation list on our website to check for which visa your occupation might be eligible. As I have already mentioned some visas need an employer’s support or government’s endorsement, additionally, you may need to obtain a positive outcome of a skills assessment. Skills assessments are being done by independent organizations

List of skilled visas:

  • ENS Subclass 186 visa (Permanent – employer needed)
  • RSMS Subclass 187 visa (Permanent – employer needed) (will be discontinued from 16 Nov 2019 and replaced by the other visa)
  • Subclass 189 visa (Permanent – skilled independent visa)
  • Subclass 190 (Permanent – skilled nominated – state nomination needed)
  • Subclass 489 (Provisional – skilled regional – state nomination needed) (will be discontinued from 16 Nov 2019 and replaced by the other visa)
  • Subclass 887 (Permanent – granted after fulfilling additional criteria of 489)
  • Subclass 188 Business innovation and investment visas (Provisional)
  • Subclass 888 (Permanent – granted after fulfilling additional criteria of 188)
  • Subclass 482 TSS visa (Temporary – employer needed)
  • Subclass 485 student graduate visa (Temporary – might be granted to those who have studied in Australia)
  • Subclass 476 Skilled Recognised Graduate visa (Temporary – might be granted to those who have studied engineering course in an eligible education institution)
  • Others

Family visas

These are predominately made up of Australian partner visas, apart from partner stream there are parent visas and some other family visas (for ex: carer, remaining relative). Child and adoption visas should also be considered as family visas.

Migration program planning levels

The Migration program is designed to achieve Australian economic and social outcomes. Program is set annually, for 2019-20 total places available are capped at a ceiling of 160,000.

2019-20 Migration program planning levels
Stream and Category 2019-20
Skill stream
Employer Sponsored 30,000
Skilled Independent 18,652
Regional 23,000
Skilled Employer Sponsored 9,000
Skilled Work Regional 14,000
State/Territory Nominated 24,968
Business Innovation & Investment program 6,862
Global Talent 5,000
Distinguished Talent 200
Skill Total 108,682
Family Stream
Partner 39,799
Parent 7,371
Other Family 562
Family Total 47,732
Special Eligibility 236
Child (estimate; not subject to a ceiling) 3,350
Total 160,000


How Nowak Migration can help

As you can see the Australian visa system is quite complex. You can apply for a visa by yourself – no issues with that as long as you are confident the via you are applying for is the best for your circumstances and you are eligible for it at all. We have many years of experience and hundreds of successful visa grants. Book a consultation with our migration agent to discuss your situation, no matter if you don’t know where to start or just need to ensure you are on the right path. We’ll start from there, and then it is up to you if you’d be willing to engage us in the whole visa process.