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Emigrating to Australia - Skilled Migration Process

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The majority of migrants to Australia go through the Australian General Skilled Migration Programme (GSM).

If you are interested in Emigrating to Australia you can find an outline of a successful General Skilled Migration Programme process below.  It is important to note that the GSM is a two-stage process.  The first stage involves completing a skills assessment with the assessing body responsible for your occupation.  Once you have successfully completed this stage, you can then move on to the visa application process.

This page is a high level overview of the emigration process. If you need assistance with any aspect of the process, please complete an online assessment for the Australian Skilled Migration Programme.

Step 1. Assemble Documentation

Having thorough, clear and correct documentation is key to successfully applying through the Australian GSM.  Your documentation must not only prove who you are, but also demonstrate your work history and your skills.

The documentation you will need to assemble depends on your occupation and your employment status.  Each skills assessing body has a different set of requirements. You may need different documents if you are self-employed rather than an employee.

Some common documents that are needed are:

Step 2. Lodge Skills Assessment Application with Assessing Body

Your next step will be to lodge your skills assessment with the skills assessing body responsible for your profession.  The processing time will vary depending on the assessing body and on how complex your application is.

One of the most commonly-used assessing bodies is VETASSESS for skilled tradespeople.  Applications through VETASSESS take around eight weeks to process, plus more time to complete a practical test.

Step 3. Lodge Visa Application

Once you have received a positive skills assessment, you are ready to move onto the visa application with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). (Note that state or family sponsorship will have a different procedure than independent skilled migrants.)

Some of the documentation you will need at this point will have already been assembled for your Skills Assessment, so you may already have it on hand and ready to submit. Completing this stage requires thoroughness, clarity, and great care, especially if you are submitting documents for your family.

Step 4. Visa Processing Period

This is sometimes the most difficult period for people who are emigrating to Australia, as there is little to do other than wait.  You may receive periodic updates from DIBP, or your caseworker.

However, this time does not have to be wasted.  Many visa applicants use this time to start researching removals companies, and laying the groundwork for their move to Australia.

Step 5. Requests for Police and Medical checks

This is the last step in the visa application process - and usually a very positive sign.  Once DIBP has assessed and processed your application, they will ask for police clearance and medical checks for you and your family.

Step 6. Visa Granted - Ready to Emigrate

Congratulations!  Once you receive your visa grant from DIBP, you're almost ready to emigrate to Australia.

Your visa grant letter will have also a validity date printed on it - one year from the date of your police and medical checks.  As long as  you enter Australia before this date your Skilled Visa will be activated and you will be an Australian permanent resident.

Find out if you qualify to emigrate to Australia Find out if you qualify to emigrate to Australia