Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia


Forgotten Password
Free Registration for Assistance | About Us | Contact us | Sitemap | Secure Client Log in
More info about Immigration Australia, Visa Australia

A Migration Lawyer is available

to assist you - Register now

Registered to Provide Migration Advice

The Basics of a GSM visa

Understanding the basics of a General Skilled Migration Visa Application


The basic criteria to apply for a GSM (general skills migration) visa:


  • You should ideally be under age 45 at time of application for a skills based visa (employer sponsored visas can be applied for when you are over 50 but conditions apply ).
  • You can claim points for age up to age 44.
  • The only realistic option for applicants over 45 would be the employer sponsored or regional employer sponsored pathways unless you obtain a high IELTS outcome, have partner points and possibly other bonus points.

Nominated occupation

  • You must be able to nominate an occupation on the STSOL or MLTSSL (skills occupation lists)
    • CSOL occupations requires state sponsorship in order to apply for a visa (the state governments support occupations on the SOL or CSOL based on specific skills shortages in that state). 
    • BUT do note, the states each have their own list of occupations they sponsor and NOT all occupations on the CSOL are sponsored. Furthermore, the states have specific requirements in order to sponsor.
    • Eligible Family in Australia can also sponsor you if you have an occupation on the SOL or CSOL
      • Eligible family means close family eg siblings / uncles / aunts / 1st cousins (in select cases only) and then step versions of these.
      • Eligible family must be settled permanent residents or citizens of Australia, and live in a specific designated part of Australia (e.g not Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth etc)
  • to nominate an occupation (for visa purposes), you have to have the right set of qualifications PLUS work experience for that occupation. Post graduate work experience is very important, and you need the points claimed for post grad work experiece in most instances
  • In the majority of cases, to qualify for a visa (based on your nominated occupation), you need either a bachelors degree OR a formal regulated apprenticeship to meet the base criteria or points test criteria

Work experience

  • Work experience must be relevant to your qualifications.
    • Work is defined as a min 20 hrs per week (paid work) in your nominated or closely related occupation
  • In most cases, you need at least 3 years work experience in your nominated or closely related occupation (and those over 40 need at least 8 years work experience)
  • work experience is critical as the minimum requirement is to have some post graduate work experience  to claim work experience points (this means, after you met the academic or training requirements, or trade qualification for the occupation you will nominate), and in many cases, this extends to 3 years post grad work experience (to enable you to claim any points for work experience, 3 years post grad is the min requirement).
  • To claim points for work experience you need either 3, 5 or 8 years post grad work experience.

Qualification skills assessment

  • The first step in a GSM application is called a skills assessment. (always step one in any skills application) This is basically where a specific authority determine whether your qualifications and work experience meet the base criteria for migration.
  • This is determined by the specific authority tasked with setting the standards for the occupation nominated (there are 20+ of these authorities for all the different occupations). 
  • They base this on a combination of qualifications AND work experience.
  • In most instances, the minimum academic requirement is either a bachelors degree OR a formal apprenticeship (trade training) .
    • The only exceptions to this applies to for instance
      • IT professionals where they consider 7 to 8 years IT work experience as meeting the requirement OR
      • senior managers (top 3 levels of management in substantial companies  and you need at least 1 or 2 layers of managers reporting to you etc ec) where a minimum of 5 years work experience is considered as meeting the criteria OR
      • In select cases, certain trade occupations (for people from certain countries) can opt for a trade test / technica interview to meet the skills assessment criteria
  • Note however, unless you have a formal diploma (2 or 3 year diploma) or degree or completed formal trade training, you can not claim any points for qualifications. Therefore, managers and IT applicants, without formal qualifications, would most likely only meet the pass mark if they achieve an IELTS score of 8 for each part, and have 8 years work experience etc

Other considerations

  • English language abilities
    • IELTS tests or similar 
    • The majority of people need to score at least 7 (from 9) for all 4 categories of the IELTS test, and those over 40, generally need to score 8/9 for all 4 categories of the IELTS test
  • specific work experience in e.g. Australia
  • Spouse / partner points can be claimed if your spouse meets ALL criteria in terms of IELTS, occupation, qualifications & work experience
  • Family sponsorship:  Family can only sponsor if they reside in a designated area (generally in a rural area)


  • You cannot apply for a work visa as such. When you apply for a visa, the visa will either allow you to work (e.g. a skilled visa) OR not (e.g. a visitors visa)
  • You can apply for an employer sponsored visa (you get a temporary residence visa (called a TSS), or in select cases, an employer can sponsor you for a permanent residence visa. BUT you can only apply for these visas if you have a job offer in hand (which must meet minimum salary levels, and in many cases also minimum qualification / work experience levels) from an eligible employer (generally the employer must show that they have been in business a while, can afford to sponsor you etc)

Briefly therefore, what you need to show:

  1. The points test pass mark = 65
  2. Have an occupation on the STSOL or MLTSSL (and if on the STSOL have options for a state to sponsor you)
  3. Have the correct qualifications AND work experience (tasks & duties similar to that of the occupation you nominate) for the occupation you nominate
  4. Meet the skills assessment criteria for the occupation you nominate
  5. Meet the age, and English criteria (e.g IELTS)
  6. Meet health and character criteria

Regarding the occupation you nominate (use) for a visa application

The occupation we nominate is based on:

  • your qualifications
  • your work experience

This has to match the requirements of the occupation we nominate.

Of importance: The occupation nominated for a visa does NOT mean that is the occupation you must work in, in Australia. It has no bearing whatsoever on the work you do / can not do / occupation you follow in Australia. It is based on the historical data at time of application for the visa only.

In this regard, we have to consider both your qualifications and work experience, and ideally, match your tasks & duties (for the at least - where possible - last 3 years) with that of the occupation we nominate for the visa application.

We also have to consider for instance whether the occupation is on the STSOL or MLTSSL, whether there are state sponsorship options available, and a few other aspects (we will explain all of this as we progress and in the final report we do)

Ideally, what we try to show is that your work experience (tasks & duties) matches those of the occupation we nominate for the visa by at least 75%

Our consultants can assist with with each of these aspects and advise on your position when you register with us.




Forgotten Password