Australia’s General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program is for overseas skilled workers who want to live in Australia but do not have an Australian business willing and able to sponsor them. It is intended to attract highly skilled people who are less than 50 years of age.

Most of the available visas under this program offer permanent residency. They include:

  1. Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) Visa
  2. Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) Visa
  3. Skilled Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 489) Visa
  4. Skilled Regional (Residence) (Subclass 887) Visa

Unlike employer-sponsored visas, GSM visas are points-tested and you need to be invited to apply by the Department of Immigration.

Skilled migration is an extremely drawn-out and complex process. There are numerous components for each visa and many requirements that must be met before applying in order to be successful.

For more information about the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program, please contact Laymens on 1800 529 636.

General Information About Moving To Australia

Getting into Australia


Be aware that your baggage might be X-rayed, you must declare dangerous items, and you need all the appropriate documentation.

You will need a valid passport, and you must have a valid visa. First, you will need a work visa if you intend on living in Australia and working. If you’re moving a successful business overseas, you need to be nominated by a state government to manage a business or invest in Australia.

There are several types of visas but for longer term stays it’s best to look at:

-The 457 visa: This visa is for skilled workers looking to obtain sponsorship and employment in Australia. If granted you can work in Australia up to four years. It’s important to note that getting a visa doesn’t guarantee residence.

First, you need to be offered and accept an offer of employment from an employer in Australia and then apply for the visa. The employer needs to be a sponsor to recruit overseas workers.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189): If you can’t get a sponsor from either an employer or family member, you can apply for this points-tested skilled visa. If successful, you can live and work as a permanent resident in Australia.

You must be under the age of 50, nominate your field of work, get a skills assessment, pass the factors in the points test, and be competent in English.

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457): This visa allows an experienced and skilled worker to work in their chosen field in Australia, once approved by a sponsor, this visa lasts for up to four years.

Partner visa (subclasses 820 and 801): To obtain this visa you must be married to or in a defacto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. You must be in Australia when you apply.

It’s best to start with getting your visa sorted as it can take from a day to a few months.

The government has some stipulations like showing that you can sustain a certain period financially until you can get a job. If you can, it’s best to start looking for a job as soon as you know when you’ll be in Australia. You can even find a recruiter via LinkedIn who can find you potential jobs in your chosen field.

You must also have an official doctor’s document with your prescribed medications as well as a medical history in case you must prove you have the right to those medications and can bring them into the country. It’s best to sort out your medications and stock up on supplies for long enough until you can find a doctor in Australia.

Permanent Residency

You can apply for permanent residency if you’ve lived in Australia for two years and worked for one year in a specific regional area or if you’ve got sponsorship under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme. The scheme has reduced eligibility requirements for holders of a Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa or a Skilled – Independent visa.

A permanent resident can live, work and study without restriction. They have the same rights as citizens however if they choose to travel internationally, they need to make sure they have a permanent visa with a valid travel authority to maintain their permanent residency.

You can apply for a permanent residency visa in Australia; however the Skilled- Regional visa (subclass 887) is specifically for those with a provisional skilled visa who want permanent residency.

Australian Customs

To get into Australia, you must pass customs. This includes any items you bring with you, including furniture or household items that are shipped over.

The main one is that it’s illegal to carry drugs or bring them in Australia, as it is in most countries, and you must declare a variety of items if you’re bringing them in, if you don’t you can face serious penalties.

You must declare all firearms, weapons and ammunition; performance and image enhancing drugs; currency (any amounts of AUD 10,000 or more in either Australian currency or a foreign equivalent); medications (except aspirin, paracetamol); food, plants, animals and biological goods; protected wildlife; heritage-listed goods; and veterinary drugs and medicines.

Migration to Australia

Whether you’re moving from the US to Australia or Canada to Australia or anywhere in the world, you need to appropriately organise and prepare to move your life.


You will need to budget and prepare for moving expenses, visa expenses, shipping expenses and a period of unemployment.

You will also need to convert your money which is usually cheaper once you arrive; however, you might want to change some currency before you leave.

It’s best to open an Australian bank account before you travel over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep an account in the country you’re leaving.


You need to find real estate that is right for you. Whether it’s an apartment or a house, or you’re renting or buying, it’s best to have a real estate agent to help you find and secure the ideal spot for you. If you don’t have housing before you move over, you can find a temporary place to live and keep your belongings in storage. Of course, this is only a temporary option until you secure a place to settle into.

Shipping Household Items To Australia

You can contact international removers to ship your items to Australia, usually via sea freight. You need to provide a copy of your passport and a copy of an Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement.

Items that are shipped will be subject to biosecurity control as the country needs to confirm no pets or diseases.


The best way to find a job in Australia is to ensure your CV/resume is up-to-date, changed to UK English and has detailed information. Australian resumes usually expand on accomplishments and aren’t as concise as most other countries CV’s.


You must make sure you have a valid international licence and/or a foreign licence. Most states require both. Most people have to adjust to driving on the other side of the road.
Once you have everything sorted, you will be ready to move down under!