FAQs

Q?What is a General Skilled Migration (GSM) Worker Visa to Australia?

A.

A General Skilled Migration (GSM) Worker Visa to Australia is a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Australia. It is granted by the Australian government to qualified skilled foreign workers and their eligible family members who meet the various requirements for this Australian immigration visa. Since this is a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Australia, qualified foreign nationals and their eligible family members who are issued an Australian GSM Worker Visa are authorized to live, work and study long-term (i.e., permanently) in Australia as long as they comply with the conditions of the visa. Additional benefits of the GSM Visa to Australia include access to healthcare through Australia’s Medicare program; being able to receive certain social security payments (after a waiting period); sponsoring eligible family members for Australian permanent residency; travel inside and outside of Australia (after the first five years of permanent residency, either a Resident Return Visa or Australian citizenship and passport will be required for travel to and from Australia); and the option to apply for Australian citizenship in as little as four years (after meeting specific residency criteria).

Q?How can I know if I am eligible for a GSM Worker Visa to Australia?

A.

If you are a client of AustraliaGSM, our experienced immigration experts can evaluate your eligibility to apply for a GSM Worker Visa to Australia. We have created a user-friendly, secure, online application form where you can enter the relevant details, upload your resume/CV, and submit your information to our immigration experts who will review your details and then provide you with your professional Assessment Results. If you are evaluated as being eligible to apply for Australian immigration, our immigration agent that we collaborate with can help you submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) to immigrate to Australia with confidence!

Q?Are you registered with MARA?

A.

AustraliaGSM works with a registered member of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) in Australia. Our MARA-certified Australian immigration agent that we collaborate with is authorized to evaluate your options for immigration to Australia; recommend the Australian immigration option that best matches your personal profile; properly prepare and submit your forms and documents to the Australian government; and answer questions you have about your particular case should they arise.

Q?What is an Expression of Interest (EOI)?

A.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) is your official notification to the Australian government of your desire to immigrate to Australia. Before you can submit your completed EOI to the Australian government, there are other steps you must take, such as having your English language abilities evaluated (by taking the IELTS, PTE Academic or TOEFL iBT exams) and receiving your official Skills Assessment from the appropriate authorized assessing authority in Australia for your nominated occupation. If the Australian government decides that your skills are needed in Australia and that you seem to meet other criteria (based on the information you provided in your EOI), it may issue you an official Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia. You must then submit your GSM Visa Application and all required documents and pay the appropriate fees within 60 days of receiving your Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia. If you qualify, our MARA-registered immigration agent that we work with can assist you through each stage of the Australian immigration process and make sure everything is done correctly and in a timely manner.

Q?How many points are needed to be eligible to apply for a GSM Worker Visa to Australia?

A.

The Australian government uses a points-based system for evaluating eligibility to apply for the GSM Worker Visa to Australia. Points are given for various factors, such as: your age; English language abilities; skilled employment inside or outside of Australia; educational qualifications; education completed in Australia; professional year in Australia; spouse/partner skills; etc. A minimum of 65 points on a scale of 0-100 are required to be eligible to apply for a GSM Worker Visa to Australia. Our immigration experts can evaluate how many points you are likely to receive on Australia’s points-based immigration system and if you qualify to submit an EOI for Australian immigration. Please note that there are additional eligibility requirements for immigration to Australia (e.g., meeting health and character criteria, etc.).

Q?What is the IELTS exam?

A.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is used around the globe to evaluate English language abilities in four key assessment categories: (1) listening, (2) speaking, (3) reading and (4) writing. Scores are given in each of these four assessment categories. The minimum score you must receive in each of the four assessment categories is 6 to pass the English language requirement for the GSM Visa to Australia, but a score of 7 or 8 in each of the four assessment categories is preferred in order to receive points on this points-based Australian immigration system. In most cases, applicants for the GSM Visa to Australia will need to take the IELTS General Test, unless instructed by the assessing authority to take the IELTS Academic Test. The IELTS exam is given at various locations around the world on different dates throughout the year and a fee is charged for taking the IELTS exam. Other standardized English language assessment exams that may be used to evaluate English levels for the Australia GSM program include the PTE Academic and TOEFL iBT exams, plus the Occupational English Test (OET) is sometimes requested for certain health practitioners (a fee is normally charged for taking one of these other English evaluation exams).

Q?I am a native-speaker of the English language. Do I still need to have my English language skills evaluated?

A.

Probably – it depend on various factors. The Australian government requires everyone who submits an Expression of Interest (EOI) to immigrate to Australia to have their English language abilities evaluated by taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam; the Pearson Test of English – Academic (PTE Academic); the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT); or (for certain health professionals) the Occupational English Test (OET). The exception to this rule applies to citizens from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Republic of Ireland or New Zealand who also possess a valid passport from one of these countries. All other applicants must obtain a minimum score on the authorized English evaluation exam. For example, a minimum score of at least 6 in each of the four assessment categories (i.e., listening, speaking, reading and writing) on the IELTS exam is required to pass the minimum English language threshold (although this score would result in no points being awarded for English language level on Australia’s point-based immigration system). The other authorized English evaluation exams also have a minimum score that must be obtained, although scoring higher than the minimum is desirable so as to receive points toward Australian immigration for one’s English language skills. It is important to note that passport-holding citizens of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Republic of Ireland, or New Zealand who do not have their English language skills evaluated by taking one of the authorized English assessment exams will receive by default a minimum English level score and will not, therefore, obtain any points for their English language abilities (even though they will pass the English language requirement for the GSM Worker Visa). Consequently, we recommend that all applicants for the GSM Worker Visa to Australia prepare for and take one of the authorized English language evaluation exams to maximize their potential points for this point-based Australian immigration system.

Q?What is a Skills Assessment?

A.

Before you may file your completed Expression of Interest (EOI), you must receive your official Skills Assessment by the appropriate authorized assessing authority in Australia for your nominated occupation in order to evaluate to what extent your job skills are similar to the job skills of Australians working in the same occupation. There are approximately 36 authorized assessing authorities in Australia. A fee is charged by the assessing authority for the Skills Assessment.

Q?I want to apply for the GSM Worker Visa to Australia, but I am not sure if I have an eligible occupation or the necessary job skills and experience. Can you help me?

A.

Yes! If you are a client of AustraliaGSM, our immigration experts can evaluate your eligibility to apply for the GSM Worker Visa to Australia. If you qualify, our MARA-registered Australian immigration lawyer that we work with can use his expertise in this field to help you through each stage of the Australian immigration procedure to both simplify the process for you and to make sure that everything is done properly and in a timely fashion.

Q?What is a nominated occupation?

A.

One of the requirements for submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to immigrate to Australia is to have the necessary job skills and other criteria for a high-demand occupation that appears on a relevant Skilled Occupation List (SOL) that is published and periodically updated by the Australian government. Your occupation must appear on the relevant SOL and you must also receive a favorable Skills Assessment from the appropriate authorized assessing authority in Australia for your nominated occupation (i.e., the occupation that you listed in your EOI). Our immigration experts can analyze your information, including your resume/CV, and recommend which occupation listed in the relevant SOL you may be best-suited to nominate in your EOI.

Q?What is a Skilled Occupation List (SOL)?

A.

Australia is looking for skilled foreign workers in a variety of high-demand occupations and it lists these occupations in its Skilled Occupation Lists (SOLs). One key requirement for submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to immigrate to Australia through the GSM Worker Visa Program is to have the necessary skills and experience in one of the eligible occupations listed in a relevant SOL and to also receive a favorable Skills Assessment from the appropriate authorized assessing authority in Australia for your nominated occupation (i.e., the occupation that you listed in your EOI).

Q?What is the difference between an EOI and an Application to Immigrate to Australia?

A.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) is your formal notification to the Australian government that you want to apply for immigration to Australia. If the Australian government reviews the information you submitted in your EOI and assesses that you seem to meet its criteria for skilled foreign workers, it may then extend to you an official Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia (i.e., to file the actual Application for a Permanent Resident Visa to Australia).

Q?How do I receive an Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia?

A.

Immigration to Australia through the GSM Worker Visa Program is “by invitation only.” This means that you must first notify Australia’s government that you are interested in applying for the Australian GSM Worker Visa by filing an Expression of Interest (EOI) to immigrate to Australia. If the Australian government reviews the information you provide in your EOI and thinks you seem to meet the criteria it has established for skilled foreign workers, it may then extend to you an official Invitation to Apply for a GSM Worker Visa to Australia. After the Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia is issued, you must submit your completed GSM Visa Application and all the required documents plus pay the relevant fees within 60 days after the Invitation to Apply was issued.

Q?Is there a maximum age limit to apply for the GSM Worker Visa to Australia?

A.

Yes – you must be under 45 years of age at the time that the Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia is issued. Thus, if you are less than 45-years-old when you submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) to immigrate to Australia, you would need to receive your Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia from the Australian government before your 45th birthday in order to meet the age requirement for the GSM Worker Visa to Australia.

Q?What are the major steps involved in applying for a GSM Worker Visa to Australia?

A.

If you are eligible to apply for the GSM Worker Visa to Australia (our Australian immigration experts can assess your eligibility), the basic steps involved in applying for immigration to Australia generally include the following:

  1. having your English language abilities evaluated through the IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT, or OET  exams;
  2. receiving your official Skills Assessment from the appropriate authorized assessing authority;
  3. filing your Expression of Interest (EOI) to immigrate to Australia;
  4. receiving from the Australian government an Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia;
  5. having a medical exam and obtaining the related documents to verify good health;
  6. getting any required police certificate(s) to confirm good character;
  7. filing your GSM Visa Application and all documents within 60 days of receiving the Invitation to Apply;
  8. paying the appropriate Australian Visa Application fee when the GSM Visa Application is submitted;
  9. receiving a letter from the Australian government with its decision regarding the GSM Visa Application;
  10. if approved for the visa, paying fees for dependents over age 18 lacking functional English skills;
  11. making various arrangements for moving to Australia; and
  12. actually moving to Australia!
Please note that this is a general overview of the basic steps involved in applying for the GSM Worker Visa to Australia and that our immigration experts can provide further details to our eligible clients as appropriate. Furthermore, the Australian government may change its immigration procedure at any time, however, our immigration agent that we work with stays updated on any revisions made to Australia’s immigration law (another advantage of using our services).
Q?If I am approved for a GSM Worker Visa to Australia, can I bring my spouse/partner and children with me to Australia?

A.

Yes – if they meet the eligibility criteria! If you list your spouse/partner and/or dependent child/children (normally children under 18 years of age) in your application for the Australian GSM Worker Visa, and you and they meet the eligibility requirements, you may all be able to live, work and study long-term in Australia (contingent on the dependent child/children also being able to legally travel to Australia). Please note that if you and your spouse/partner have a baby after filing your GSM Visa Application, you must inform the Australian government. Furthermore, it is possible for an eligible dependent adult relative to be included in the Australian GSM Visa Application in certain situations. You will be required to verify the legitimate family relationship(s) of your spouse/partner and any dependent child/children or eligible dependent adult relative(s) with acceptable documentation.

Q?Can I include my same-sex spouse/partner in my Australian immigration application?

A.

Yes! The Australian government allows eligible same-sex spouses/partners to be included in the application for a Permanent Resident Visa to Australia. The same basic rules that pertain to including a spouse/partner of the opposite sex applies to including a spouse/partner of the same sex on the Expression of Interest (EOI) and Australia Visa Application (e.g., providing acceptable documentation that verifies the legitimate relationship). The same-sex spouse/partner must also meet all other appropriate eligibility requirements for Australian immigration (e.g., health and character criteria, etc.).

Q?How long does the Australian immigration process take?

A.

There are various factors unique to each applicant that can affect how long the Australian immigration procedure takes. Immigration to another country is a process that usually takes time and involves completing different stages that require actions by both the applicant and others (such as the Australian government, assessing authorities, etc.). In general, immigration to Australia through the GSM Worker Visa Program can take approximately 18-24 months from the time the process is first started until the Permanent Resident Visa to Australia is issued. This is one reason why it is important to start the Australian immigration procedure as soon as possible and to receive the expert assistance of experienced immigration experts who can help simplify the procedure for you and make sure everything is done correctly and in a timely manner.

Q?How long does it take for a Permanent Resident of Australia to become an Australian citizen?

A.

One of the many benefits of being issued a GSM Worker Visa to Australia, which is an Australian Permanent Resident (PR) Visa, is the opportunity to apply for Australian citizenship in as little as four years, once certain residency criteria are met! After becoming an Australian citizen, one can then apply for an Australian passport!

Q?Can AustraliaGSM help me apply for a GSM Worker Visa to Australia?

A.

Yes! Many of our clients choose to receive the expert assistance of our experienced MARA-registered immigration agent that we work with through each stage of the Australian immigration process in order to simply the procedure and to make sure that everything is done correctly and in a timely manner.

Q?Does AustraliaGSM charge a fee for its immigration-related services and products?

A.

Yes – AustraliaGSM is a private company (not connected to the Australian government) which charges its clients a fee to pay for its professional immigration-related services and products that it provides to them.

Q?Will the Australian Government charge any immigration-related fees?

A.

Yes – the Australian government will charge various immigration-related fees, with the costs affected by different factors unique to each family. There is, for example, a GSM Visa Base Application Charge. A fee is also charged for dependent family members listed in the GSM Visa Application who are over the age of 18 and lack functional English language abilities, which covers the cost of English language courses for them in Australia. Additional Australian government fees may be requested and the amounts of the Australian government fees are subject to change at any time.

Q?Are there other immigration-related fees that must be paid?

A.

Yes – you must pay a fee for the exam to have your English language abilities officially evaluated and also pay a fee for the official Skills Assessment before you file your Expression of Interest (EOI) to immigrate to Australia. If you receive an Invitation to Apply for immigration to Australia, in addition to paying the GSM Visa Application fee to the Australian government, you will need to pay for the medical exam(s) to verify good health and the police certificate(s) to confirm good character, among other immigration-related fees.

Q?Are there other expenses related to Australian immigration?

A.

Yes – besides the fees mentioned above, there are other expenses related to immigration to Australia. These include: paying for travel to Australia; accommodations in Australia upon arrival (for example, if the individual or family stays in a hotel until they find a more permanent place to live); shipment of possessions to Australia; having enough money to support oneself and all accompanying family members until one starts earning income from employment in Australia; and so forth. Often, foreign nationals who immigrate to Australia have sold their house, cars and perhaps other assets in their home country and then use this money to help them with the various expenses related to moving to Australia and establishing themselves in their new country.

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