Many international students dream of staying in Australia after they have completed their studies. While most international students are permitted to come to Australia to study, General Skilled Migration (GSM) is a completely different (and more complicated) process. It is run by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and is driven by the labour market needs of Australia.
GSM approval is dependent on your score in the Points Test, which grants points according to your skills and experience. The fact that you have studied in Australia does not guarantee approval for GSM, but there are a few other ways that you can increase your chances and boost your score in the Points Test. This article contains information for those applying for the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189).
Minimum requirements for international students applying for GSM
- You need to have met the Australian Study Requirement. This means you must obtain an Australian qualification in Australia (excluding online or distance study) as a result of at least two years of study (this can be made up by studying multiple courses).
- You need to be aged between 18 and 49.
- You need to have a minimum IELTS score of 6 (or equivalent in another specified test of English language ability).
- You need to nominate and hold a skilled assessment for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List. Migration is dependent on Australia’s employment needs, so completing study in an area that leads to a high-demand field of employment listed on DIBP’s Skilled Occupation List (SOL) — such as health, education, trades or built environment — is essential. Applicants who have been nominated by a state or territory government must nominate an occupation from the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL). Review the list to see if your area of study appears and to check the details of approved skill assessors. More information can be found on the Skilled Occupation Lists page of the DIBP website.
Improving your chances of being approved for the GSM program
Stay in Australia after completing your degree
You can gain more time to develop your English language skills and employment experience in Australia after completing your studies by applying for an 18-month Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485). This will give you an opportunity to boost your score in the Points Test.