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Who could get this visa

To apply you must:

  • be nominated to work in an approved occupation on the Skilled Occupation Lists (Formerly Known as Form 1121i)
  • meet the skill requirements for the nominated occupation
  • meet registration and licensing obligations
  • speak vocational English
  • have been nominated by an approved business

Approved occupations

You must work in a skilled occupation that has been approved by the Australian Government.

The list of eligible occupations is available on the Skilled Occupation Lists (Formerly Known as Form 1121i). This list includes a number (an ANZSCO Code) next to each occupation title.

You can use this code to find a more detailed description of the qualifications and experience required for each of the eligible occupations from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Skill requirements

You need to show that you have the skills and experience necessary to work in the nominated occupation. The evidence that you can provide is listed in the Document checklist for visa applicants.​

You are responsible for all your health costs while you are in Australia. You will not be covered by Australia’s national health scheme (Medicare) unless your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

If your nominated occupation is a trade occupation, you might need to do a skills assessment. TheTrades Recognition Australia website has more information on which occupations require an assessment.If your nominated occupation is ‘Project and Program Administrator or Specialist Manager not elsewhere classified’, you will need to a skills assessment for migration purposes. The VETASSESSwebsite has more information. You cannot use a VETASSESS skills assessment that you have had for a Skilled General (Temporary) visa (subclass 485) in your application for this visa.

Registration and licensing

If requested by your visa processing case officer, you must provide evidence from the relevant Australian registration or licensing authority that you hold, or will be able to meet, the registration or licensing requirements to work in your nominated occupation.

Your approved sponsor should be able to provide you with the necessary licensing and registration information.

English language proficiency

It is important that you can speak, write and understand a sufficient level of English while you are in Australia. We use the following tests to determine your level of English language proficiency:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test (which was conducted on or after 1 January 2015)

If you are sponsored by a party to a labour agreement, you must meet the English language ability specified in the agreement.

Required test scores

Most primary applicants who are sponsored by a standard business sponsor must demonstrate that their level of English proficiency is equivalent to one of the following scores:

  • an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall test score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the four test components
  • an Occupational English Test (OET) score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four components
  • a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) total score of at least 36 with a score of at least 3 for each of the test components of listening and reading, and a score of at least 12 for each of the test components of writing and speaking
  • a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic overall test score of at least 36 with a score of at least 30 in each of the four test components
  • a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) overall test score of at least 154 with a score of at least 147 in each of the four test components.

IELTS – Academic or General

IELTS is a test designed to assess an applicant’s English language ability.  It has an academic tests and a general training test.  You only need to take the general training test unless advised otherwise by a registration or general licensing body.

English for registration, licensing or membership

A higher level of English might be required for certain occupations where it is a requirement for registration, licensing or membership in Australia.  You can find out if your occupation requires a higher level of English by contacting the registration authority for your nominated occupation.
If you are required to hold a licence, registration or membership to perform your nominated occupation then you must have English language proficiency of at least the standard required to be granted that licence, registration or membership.
This can result in the English language requirement being higher than the test scores detailed above, depending on the requirements of the licence, registration or membership.

Exemptions from English language proficiency

If your prospective employer is a standard business sponsor, you must meet the English language requirement for visa grant unless you fall into one of the following categories of exempted persons:

  • your nominated occupation does not need a level of English language proficiency for grant of registration, licence or membership, and:
    • you are a passport holder from Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America; or
    • you have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where instruction was conducted in English.
  • you are to be paid a salary that is more than the English language requirement exempt amount. This salary is the minimum required to be paid for the duration of the visa. You can check the current salary level that is English language exempt on the legislative instruments page.

If you are seeking an exemption from the English language requirement on the basis of completion of five years of study at a secondary and/or higher institution where the instruction was in English, you should also provide the following information with your visa application:

  • the name and location of the institution/s
  • the level of qualification/s
  • your official transcript from the secondary and/or tertiary institution
  • the number of contact hours of instruction per week delivered in English
  • the number of years of study.

Health requirements​

You must meet certain health requirements. The health examinations you need will depend on your personal circumstances, including your period of stay, country of citizenship, time spent in another country during the last five years and your intended activities in Australia. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

This applies to you and any dependent family members included in your application.

You are able to organise your health examinations upfront before lodging a visa application.

Health insurance​You must have adequate health insurance unless you are covered by Medicare. You should ensure that your insurance will provide at least the level of coverage required for the purpose of your stay. Your health insurer could be in either Australia or your home country.

Attachment A in the health insurance standard template letter (138 kB RTF) is a guide to the level of health insurance we will accept as adequate.

Your insurance must cover you and any members of your family who come with you to Australia.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

This also applies to all dependent family members in the application who are older than 18 years of age.