In July 2012, modifications were made to the Skilled Migration program to help regulate the inflow of skilled migrants in order to avoid market saturation in certain fields. Each year the Minister for Immigration sets a limit on the number of skilled migrants allowed per year, called an occupation ceiling. Occupation ceilings are adjusted on a monthly basis and the annual migration calendar runs from the 1st of July to the 30th of June.


The Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa is for highly skilled workers who meet the points test, and have their occupation listed on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).

This is a permanent residence visa which gives the visa holder the freedom to live in any state or territory of their choice.


You may be eligible to apply for a Skilled Nominated visa if you have lodged an Expression of Interest and have been invited to apply by a state or territory government agency.

This visa lets you and any additional applicants live and work in Australia permanently.


The Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa is a temporary four year residence visa for skilled workers who do not meet the requirements for a Skilled Independent or Skilled Nominated visa.

The main applicant and any additional applicants are permitted to live in a designated regional area of Australia. If you have met all the eligibility criteria for you may be able to apply the permanent Skilled Regional visa.


The Skilled Regional (Permanent) visa lets you and any additional applicants live in Australia permanently.

To be eligible for this permanent residence visa, you must be the holder of any of the following:

Skilled Regional visa (subclass 489)

Skilled Independent Regional visa (subclass 495)

Skilled Designated Area Sponsored visa (subclass 496)

Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (subclass 475 or 487), or

Bridging visa A or Bridging visa B after applying for a subclass 495, 487 or 489 visa