3 Different Visa Pathways For Migration To Australia

3 Different Visa Pathways For Migration To Australia

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Australia is a country that has long depended on talents from outside its borders to boost its workforce and bolster its economy to what it is now today. But with the advent of the pandemic last year and their swift response of establishing self-isolation measures, such influx of skilled immigrants consequently dropped sharply.

However, in preparation for its eventual reopening, it continued to accept visa applications from those interested in working or living in the country permanently.

If you are one of such people and are keen on migrating to Australia from Singapore, here are three of the different visa pathways that you can apply for today to make it happen.

Family-stream permanent residence visas

The main prerequisite of this visa stream is that the applicant must have a direct relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident of Australia, or ENZ (Eligible New Zealand) citizen. The following visas will solely focus on migration pathways that do not require sponsorships from an established familial relationship (i.e. parents) with any of the above personnel.

  • Partner Visas

Partners of Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia, and ENZ citizens can apply for a partner visa and immigrate into the country so long as they fall under one of the partner classifications observed by the Australian immigration law:

  1. Fiancé(e)s
    2.Married partners
    3. De facto partners, which includes same-sex marriages

Applicants must first hold the Temporary Partner visa (Subclass 820) prior to progressing to the Permanent Partner visa (Subclass 801). To apply, applicants must first prepare their prerequisite documents found on the Subclass 820/801 Document Checklist and lodge their application either online, via post, or in person and pay the corresponding fee.

The Department of Home Affairs will then process the request and, once approved, applicants can then proceed to live and work in Australia.

  • Prospective Marriage Partner Visa

Applicants engaged to Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia, and ENZ citizens can be sponsored by their partner living in Australia with a Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 130). Upon entry into the country, applicants who hold this visa must complete their marriage within nine months.

It is important to note that this visa classifies as a nonimmigrant, temporary visa and holders do not immediately receive permanent Australian resident status. To become a permanent resident, they must first marry their Australian citizen, permanent resident, or ENZ citizen partner and then apply for the Partner Visa above.

Work-stream permanent residence visas

Individuals who possess the skills or talent that the Australian government is looking for can apply for permanent visas to live and work within the country. These visas include:

  • Skilled Independent Work Visa (Subclass 189)

Foreign-nationals who hold occupations listed on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List are eligible to apply for this visa that lets them work and live in the country as a permanent resident. Applicants interested in this visa must first complete the following steps:

Step 1: Verify if their profession can fill a role in the occupations list

Step 2: Qualify for the required eligibility requirements

These requirements include being:

  • Under 50 years of age
  • Basic English communication skills
  • Passing health requirements
  • Passing character requirements
  • No outstanding debts to the Australian government
  • Willing to sign the Australian Values Statement

Step 3: Complete a Skills Assessment

Completion of the Skills Assessment and a passing score is necessary to progress in the application.

Step 4: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect

The SkillSelect program will ask applicants a series of questions regarding their skills, background, and relevant work history. The submitted EOI will become available for viewing by Australian authorities and employers looking to hire people they need.

After obtaining a nomination or sponsor and the applicant’s EOI meets the visa requirements, they will be invited to apply for the Subclass 189 visa.

Step 5: Await an employer sponsor or government nomination

The Subclass 189 visa requires applicants to be sponsored by employers or nominated by state or territory governments within Australia.

If there no employers are looking to sponsor an applicant, the latter party may be able to find one themselves via the SkillSelect program – a system that matches them to potential employers looking for their specific skill set.

Step 6: Have the sponsor complete the paperwork

After accepting an invitation, applicants must let their sponsor nominate them for their visa.

Step 7: Apply for the Skilled Independent Work Visa and await the decision

Once applicants secure an employer and a nomination, they can then proceed to apply for the visa online via the DHA. Once filed, applicants just need to wait for a decision.

Step 8: Acquire the visa and begin working in Australia

Upon receiving their visa, applicants can now proceed to migrate and work in the country.

  • Skilled Nominated Work Visa (Subclass 190)

The subclass 190 visa enjoys the same benefits as the subclass 189 visa, albeit with slight differences regarding sponsorships. In this type of visa, applicants can only be accepted and nominated by state or territory governments in Australia and not by private employers.

The steps to apply are also similar save for step 5, wherein applicants must wait for government authorities to nominate and send them a letter of invitation to apply for the visa.

  • Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (Subclass 187)

Foreign-national workers have the opportunity to work and live as  permanent residents in Australia with the Subclass 186 and Subclass 187 visas. The only difference between these visas is their geographical scope, wherein latter applicants can only be nominated by approved employers for a job within regional Australia.

These visas require applicants to pass certain skills test put forth by said employers and secure their nominations. The steps to apply for Employer Nomination Scheme and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas are:

Step 1: Meet all the prerequisite requirements to work in Australia

Applicants must meet both subclass 186/187 requirements and the specific requirements under the stream they are applying for, namely:

  • The Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • The Agreement stream
  • The Direct Entry stream

Step 2: Have the employer lodge the nomination

Before applicants can submit their application for the subclass 186/187 stream, they must first wait for their employer to lodge a nomination with them with the DHA. Upon approval of the nomination, applicants must submit their application in less than six months.

Step 3: Prepare the necessary documentation and submit the application online

Applicants must have all the documents listed in the Subclass 186/187 Document Checklist prior to submitting their application for proof of the claims made.

Step 4: Wait for the decision and receive your visa upon approval

It generally takes several months for the DHA to process and make a decision on a visa application. However, once approved, applicants can then receive their visas and continue working in the country.

  • Provisional Residency Visa (Subclass 491)

Currently, this visa is given a high level of priority now for Skilled Migration. Approved applicants under this visa will get to stay in Australia for a duration of 5 years, and be able to live, study, and work within a designated regional area of Australia. The visa allows successful applicants travel to and from Australia whenever they desire as long as the visa is still valid.

Similarly, one may also choose to apply for permanent residence once the 3-year mark has been after the visa has been granted.

Step 1: Via SkillSelect, submit an expression of interest (EOI)

After which, you must strive to score sufficient points for a state or territory government to be nominated for the visa and receive an invite for the visa application.

Step 2: Prepare the relevant documents to support the claims you have made in your EOI, as well as other visa requirements

The various documents include identity documents, relationship documents, character documents, competent English documents, partner documents, skills assessment documents, dependants over 18 documents, EOI documents, sponsor documents, and nomination documents.

Be mindful of the documents’ accuracy in information, and ensure they’re completely translated to English and are ready in colour.

Step 3: Prior to receiving the invitation, proceed to apply for the visa

Through SkillSelect, you can make apply for the visa by logging or creating an ImmiAccount. This must be done within 60 days from the date of invitation. After doing so, proceed to attach the necessary documents and make payment for the first visa application charge.

Step 4: Await the visa application results

During this period, the visa application will be processed and be pending approval. If required, additional information like biometrics or health examinations may be requested – if so, proceed to prepare the relevant documents.

A successful visa will mean that you will receive your official visa grant number, the date when the visa begins, and visa conditions – if applicable.

Business or investment-stream permanent residence visas

Professionals possessing the business acumen to bolster the Australian economy can apply for either of the following business visas:

  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (Subclass 188)

Applicants who wish to work and live in Australia with a permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa (Subclass 888) must first secure its provisional version by getting nominated by either state or territory governments or Australian agencies.

Those who qualify for this visa can then establish and manage new or existing business ventures within the country. The following are the steps to apply for the Subclass 188 visa:

Step 1: Meet the requirements

Applicants must pass both the general visa and specific requirements of the stream they are applying for. The 188 visa allows for the following streams:

  • Business Innovation Stream
  • Investor Stream
  • Significant Investor Stream

Step 2: Submit an EOI and get invited via SkillSelect to apply

Applicants must first submit their EOI and let state or territory governments review their business claims before being granted a nomination. After getting nominated, they can then submit their application for the 188 visa through SkillSelect within 60 days.

Nomination requirements and business and employment details will vary for each state, so it is recommended to check their websites ahead of time.

Step 3: Prepare the necessary documentation and submit the application online

Applicants must have all the documents listed in the Subclass 188 Document Checklist prior to submitting their application for proof of the claims made.

Step 4: Wait for the decision and receive your visa upon approval

It generally takes several months for the DHA to process and make a decision on a visa application. However, once approved, applicants can then receive their visa and continue working in the country.

  • Business Talent (Permanent) visa (Subclass 132)

The subclass 132 permanent visa allows certain foreign-national businessmen to live and establish a new business venture or expand an existing one within Australia. This visa type shares many similarities, such as the application steps and process, with the previous one, but has two distinct differences, the first of which is the additional requirements.

Applicants must have minimum personal assets, net business, and annual business turnover, or a minimum in venture capital funding. The second is the streams under which one can apply for, either the Significant Business Stream or Venture capital Entrepreneur Stream.


For those interested in migrating to Australia on their own, it is good to know that there are plenty of ways to secure permanent residency, whether by qualifying for jobs in demand in Australia, marital relationships, or a keen eye for business.

At NTRUST, immigrating to Australia from Singapore is made easier and more hassle-free as the logistics and details, such as your visa application, are taken care of for you. Get started with your Australia PR application today and discuss your eligibility criteria by reaching out to us at +65 6299 0245 for more information.