The Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa allows skilled workers live and work in specified regional areas of Australia for up to four years. If you wish to apply for this visa under the First Provisional stream (also known as the ‘Invited Pathway’), you must first obtain a positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation, and then lodge an Expression of Interest. If this is successful, you will be invited to lodge a visa application.
The minimum requirements of the First Provisional Visa stream of this visa are set out below:
|FIRST PROVISIONAL VISA STREAM
At the time that you are invited to apply for this visa, you must:
· be under 45 years of age
· nominate an eligible occupation that is included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) OR (if you are nominated by a State or Territory government agency) on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
· have your skills assessed by the appropriate Australian skills assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation
· have competent English i.e.
o hold a valid passport issued by the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland (and you are a citizen of that country) OR
o an IELTS test score of at least 6 in EACH test component OR
o an OET test score of at least B in EACH test component OR
o a TOEFL iBT test score of at least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking OR
o a PTE test score of at least 50 in EACH test component OR
o a CAE test score of at least 169 in EACH test component
NOTE: In each case, the test must have been undertaken within the last three years (with the exception of the CAE test, which must be dated on or after 1 January 2015)
· score at least 60 on the relevant points test (which takes into account your age, English competency, qualifications and work experience, amongst other factors)
· be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency OR be sponsored by an eligible relative who resides in a designated area of Australia
NOTE: In order to be ‘eligible’, your relative must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen; at least 18 years old; and a close family member (i.e. a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or first cousin)
Anyone who wishes to apply for this visa under the First Provisional Visa stream must first be invited to lodge an application by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
In order to qualify for an invitation to apply for this visa, you must lodge an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI), which sets out how you meet the relevant requirements.
Stage 1: Initial Eligibility Assessment
The first step that we will take is to conduct an initial assessment of your eligibility for this visa. This involves reviewing your qualifications, work experience, English language and other circumstances, to establish whether or not you are likely to meet the relevant requirements.
As part of this initial eligibility assessment, we will consider which occupation(s) you are likely to be able to nominate, and whether or not you are potentially eligible for a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for that occupation.
We will then provide you with informed and comprehensive advice about your ability to meet the minimum standards (including State/Territory nomination or family member sponsorship) that the DIBP requires migrants to fulfil in order to qualify for an invitation to apply for this visa.
Note: Our initial assessment of your eligibility does not guarantee that you will (or will not) in fact obtain a positive skills assessment or nomination, or be issued an invitation to apply for this visa. In particular, whether or not you are successful in obtaining a State/Territory nomination (if applicable) will depend upon the exact requirements of the relevant State or Territory at the time that your EOI is assessed. Each State and Territory government agency regularly reviews and updates its criteria (including its list of acceptable skilled occupations) to reflect labour market conditions in its region.
Stage 2: Skills Assessment
Should our initial assessment indicate that you are eligible for a positive skills assessment and EOI, we will prepare your skills assessment application.
For each skilled occupation listed on the MLTSSL and STSOL, the DIBP has specified an assessing authority that may carry out skills assessments for that occupation. Only a skills assessment conducted by the relevant assessing authority will be accepted by the DIBP in support of an EOI.
We will provide you with a full list of the information and documents required to support your application. When you have provided the necessary details and documents, along with the required assessment fee, we will lodge your application with the applicable skills assessing authority.
Stage 3: Expression of Interest
Once you have received a positive skills assessment from the skills assessing authority, we will prepare and lodge your EOI. If you are seeking State/Territory nomination, you will need to specify which Australian state or territory you wish to nominate your visa application. Alternatively, you can choose to be available for nomination by any State or Territory.
Although you do not need to provide supporting documents at this stage, you MUST be able to provide evidence that the information supplied in the EOI is correct at the time that you are invited to apply for the visa.
Provided you meet all relevant requirements, including State/Territory nomination or family member sponsorship, you will then be invited to lodge a visa application.
Note: The DIBP retains an EOI for 2 years from the date that it is lodged. During this time, your EOI can be updated if any of your circumstances change (e.g. you obtain a new qualification or skills assessment). If your ranking changes during this 2-year period, based on either your changing circumstances or Australia’s changing skill needs, you may be issued with an invitation to apply for the visa at that point in time.
Stage 4: State/Territory Nomination (IF APPLICABLE)
If you are seeking State/Territory nomination, the government agency of the State or Territory that you have chosen will review your EOI to determine whether or not you meet their particular criteria for nomination (this includes the requirement that your nominated occupation be included on the skilled occupation list for that State/Territory).
We will supply the State or Territory government agency concerned with the evidence required to show that you meet their criteria. The nature and extent of the supporting evidence required varies depending upon the State or Territory in question. If your supporting evidence is deemed acceptable, the State or Territory government agency will then nominate you for the visa.
Stage 5: Visa Application
Once the DIBP has invited you to apply for this visa, we will prepare and lodge your visa application within the specified time frame, together with all of the documents that support the information that you provided in your EOI. This includes your skills assessment, English language test results, qualifications, work references and all other required documents.
Should your visa application be approved, you will be granted a provisional visa, which is valid for four years. You may be either in Australia or overseas when your visa is granted.
If you were nominated by a State or Territory, you must live, study and work in a regional or low population-growth metropolitan area, and comply with any other residential conditions specified by the relevant State/Territory government agency.
If you were sponsored by a family member, you must live, study and work in a designated area of Australia (any area of Australia with the exception of Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Brisbane metropolitan area).
Once you have held this visa at least two years, you will be eligible to apply for the permanent subclass 887 Skilled – Regional visa, provided you meet all of the relevant criteria. This includes the requirement to have resided in a specified regional or designated area of Australia (in accordance with your nomination or sponsorship, as referred to above) for at least two years, and to have worked in that area on a full-time basis for at least one year.
PLEASE NOTE: We estimate that it may take several weeks to prepare and lodge your application, with the time taken largely dependent on how promptly you (and your sponsor, if applicable) provide us with the necessary supporting information and documents.
The time that it takes the DIBP to process your application is dependent upon its processing time service standards, and may also vary due to a number of other factors, including the complexity of your case, perceived risk factors and processing priorities. Please contact us for current information regarding likely processing timeframes for this type of application.
Please book an immigration consultation if you would like assistance with your Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa application.