Your Chances of Qualifying for an Australian Visa

Would I Qualify?

It’s the question I am asked the most on this website, “Would I Qualify?”

It may not be that exact question worded in that way, but questions like which visa is best for me, what are my chances of getting a visa or is my occupation on one of the skills lists? How do I apply for a visa, how much does it cost, am I too old?

The list is actually quite extensive, but there are so many questions that I am simply not able to answer.

Here is the reason:

mara_notice_2The Department of Immigration and Border Patrol (DIBP) list the kind of things that non-MARA agents like me can and cannot do. There is a lot that I can’t do and that’s why I often have do remain silent in the comments for some of your questions.

What can I do?

I can pass on information received from another source and sometimes that’s what I do. I also refer to some of the comprehensive information available on the government website…

… and when I do that, I do try and include a link to the relevant page so you can read the full information for yourself. The only other information I can give you, assuming you are not an Australian citizen or exempt in some other way is:

You will need a visa to come to Australia.

Whilst I may not be able to help you directly, I do know someone who can…

vas_noticeSo, having got that all behind us, let’s see if we can in some way look at the question…

Would I Qualify?

Why is this question so difficult to answer?

The application form.

There are many different application forms depending on the visa you are applying for. The form I filled in had 32 pages and requested over 128 pieces of information.

I was asked about dependent children, other family members, my health and character, all addresses from all countries where I’d lived for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, my skills, qualifications, previous employments, English language ability and if I’ve ever been convicted of any crimes.

On top of that, l needed to supply certified copies of births, marriages, divorces and proof of current employers and Army discharge papers if applicable. Finally, I was asked to provide a clean Police Record Check and pass a thorough medical including chest x-ray.

It’s a long and tough process, and I don’t say all this to put you off, believe me, it is worth it in the end assuming you get through. I mention it only to underline why it is impossible for anyone to assess anybody’s chances with just a few pieces of information like age, occupation and qualifications.

That said, if you:

  • Are within the age limits that apply
  • Can speak English to the level required
  • Are healthy and without a criminal record
  • Score at least the minimum number of points if applying for a points based visa

That would be a very good start. Additionally, if you are applying for any one of the visas based on your skilled occupation and you:

  • Have a recognised skill that is in shortage here in Australia
  • Have qualifications for that skill that are recognised in Australia or can successfully have that skill assessed by the relevant Australian body
  • Are able to demonstrate your work experience using that skill

That’s also good news. These are only pointers though, there are no guarantees, that’s why it is always best to seek the advice of a MARA registered migration agent to get a more accurate assessment of your situation.

Get help from The Wizard

But, of course, there are many other kinds of visas you can apply for, there were over 100 different types last time I looked. Whichever one you apply for, you can assess your own chances by first going through the Australian Visa Wizard. Well, it used to be called The Wizard, it is now called The Visa Finder.

You can read more about that and see my video about the The Visa Finder on my page called…

A Professional Visa Assessment Service

vas_noticeYes, as already mentioned, simply click anywhere on the above notice if you are looking to enlist the help of a professional MARA registered migration. Or you can click the link below…

I do fully recommend both my agent and this service to you, trying to work it all out for yourself can be quite a daunting task. Whatever you decide to do, remember, if you do seek professional assistance only use a MARA registered migration agent; if they are not MARA registered, then I strongly advise against you using their services.

More useful links:

To find out more about:

  • The General Skilled Migration Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL)
  • The Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List (ENSOL)


Also, check out my series How to Move to Australia

Important: Please read before commenting…


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Open a bank account in Australia
{ 1189 comments… add one }
  • Terrance March 18, 2017, 6:59 am | Link

    Hi There

    My family and and I are looking into how we can emigrate to Australia is it possible to start a business out there we have our hearts set on opening a boarding kennel and cattery. We don’t have any past business ventures but wondered if this was a possibility on a temp business visa for 4years?

    we would be looking at WA as we have numerous relatives over there, we wouldnt get in via the skills route as we are both classed as un skilled workers, so why not start a business that we love.

    any help/advice would be great

    TIA Terry

  • Buye John Paul March 18, 2017, 3:25 am | Link

    I love it there I completed my college I have no job but I would like to work hard in that I help my young brothers and sisters so I will be happy if my request land into your consideration

  • Happy March 6, 2017, 10:19 pm | Link

    I will like to know the process

  • Temitope February 27, 2017, 9:16 pm | Link

    Dear Team,

    Please am 36 years old with a wife and wants to relocate to Australia with my family. I have over 10 years working experience in the financial sector I.e Pension industry as well as Asset Management . Am currently a Nigerian I reside in Lagos. I will like to know the process and how to kick start as soon as possible.

  • Loza February 18, 2017, 7:07 pm | Link

    Hi my daughter is 25 yrs old, single and is a Medical Imaging Technician in an Xray Dept. who has spent 3 years in a major hospital in Fiji and this year has been posted to a rural hospital. She has done a Sills Test and scored 60. What are her chances and what visa can she apply for?

  • Beth February 15, 2017, 4:05 am | Link

    My family is seriously considering moving to Western Australia (Perth-area)

    Here is our basic background:
    My husband is a union carpenter with 20+ years experience in a variety of construction-based areas.
    He has 3 uncles and numerous cousins who have lived in Australia for 40+ years (the cousins all their lives).
    We are 38 and 39, respectively.
    I am a high school English teacher – 16 years experience and 2 Masters’ degrees in Education.
    We have a 13 year old daughter (and 3 tiny dogs: I heard their quarantine policy for pets is very extensive/intense)
    Also, there is a good possibility we would bring my parents (67 and 69) with us – if not immediately when we would move – then some time in the future. They are both retired, have pensions, and are in good health.
    With all this in mind, does moving and securing careers seem likely? I have done some research recently, but I just came across your page and am interested in your perspective.

    Thank you –

    • Mark February 18, 2017, 8:04 pm | Link

      I imagine moving and securing jobs you will be fine though Perth can be at the quieter end of the spectrum in Australia… I am assuming your in the USA with the term ‘union carpenter’ Not sure how that figures on the skills wanted visa list and if it translates skills wise to AU well…
      You may be better applying in your name Beth as the skills you have and degrees might count higher points in my personal opinion..
      Bringing the animals may be painful cost wise, you could buy a family car for what I imagine it will cost..
      As I have said to someone recently better to regret what you have done than regret not doing it.

      • BobinOz February 19, 2017, 9:05 pm | Link

        If I were you Beth I would definitely be speaking to a MARA registered migration agent about your options, and particularly about your parents to find out whether or not there might be options for them as well.

        See my page about Migration agents to find one.

  • anisha February 6, 2017, 8:00 pm | Link

    Hi, my mum who is 46 years old has 23 years of experience in nursing. She is in singapore working as senior staff nurse. We are planning to migrate to Australia . Will she still be able to continue working as staff nurse ? what is the age limit for nurses to get a job there?

    • BobinOz February 7, 2017, 7:32 pm | Link

      I have a page that might help you, see Nurses, doctors and dentists in Australia.. It is complicated though.

      I couldn’t tell you whether or not your mum would be able to work here in Australia, but what I can strongly suggest is that she gets in touch with a MARA registered migration agent as quickly as possible as your mum’s age means she doesn’t have any time to waste.

      My MARA agent could assess her chances if she wishes, see my Visa Assessment Service page for details.

      Good luck, Bob

  • SACHIN February 2, 2017, 10:47 pm | Link


  • Andriatahina Ralaimaro Laurent Bien-aimé January 28, 2017, 8:47 pm | Link

    I am a man 57 years old from Madagascar and I Want to work in your country as human Resources Assistant

  • Neil Campbell January 26, 2017, 9:43 am | Link

    Hi, as regards the police statement that needs to be supplied. Could I ask if the following count? I’ve never been convicted of a crime or spent time in jail but I have had a drink driving conviction from 20 years ago, it’s obviously spent but wondered if this affected anything? Also over the years I’ve had 3 on the spot fines from the Police, not things that go through the courts, do these get counted? They’re fairly insignificant but embarrassing nevertheless. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Mark January 26, 2017, 10:44 am | Link

      Hi Neil
      A conviction becomes what is termed as ‘spent’ after a set period of time, depends on the penalty imposed. Once ‘spent’ as you say and yours would well and truly be spent it is treated as though it is forgotten for most purposes such as visa applications, job applications, applying for insurance etc. Eg you have no legal requirement to declare it and as such. neither have the Police…I am’ assuming your in the UK but then you say on the spot fines so I am assuming not driving related but guessing perhaps a Drunk Disorderly or even micturating in public ….You dont say how long ago and for what and that’s wise, save airing your laundry here.,id say you should get the check done and submit it. Short and tall of this is you ‘should be OK’, ..You’d need an agent or migration to tell you what is OK and what not. You could have say been fined £60 for swearing in Hull town Centre, (Id probably swear if there, its worth £60, Sorry trying to add some levity 😉 ) I do know from experience (not mine I hasten to add) that it does not have to be a clean sheet so to speak. You are perhaps concerned or worrying over nothing much… .

      • Neil Campbell January 26, 2017, 9:11 pm | Link

        Thanks for the answer Mark, and yes one of the fixed penalties was urinating in public (drunken xmas night out that involved a 5 mile walk home from the wrong train station and was caught short!). Its just daft minor stuff but doesnt look great when written down so, aye, a wee bit worried that it would affect anything but thanks anyway. ill just have to take my chances, its the wife thats pushing this and it’d be through her profession that we would get entry and id hate to be the reason we couldnt go!

        • Mark January 27, 2017, 10:01 am | Link

          Yes many a person has faced that charge..A friend once had to defend a guy who had jumped so much on turning to his ‘surpriser’ proceeded to fling it all over his police issued shoes and trousers.. It git dismissed Anyway Its hardly Id imagine what they are looking for and I have better news, there is a wee hint of Scotland coming in after yar Christmas dram or three …They have a different system for records, The good news, its not as well linked and organised as the ones running it believe it is…Id get pushing with your wife, Im glad mine did and I joined in.

  • Fazal Hadi Muhammad Anwar khan January 17, 2017, 3:32 pm | Link

    Hi , Good morning i ,am M Nurse from Pakistan now I,am in ksa MOH license working in Al Bashri Poly clinic Rabigh management send me to Dodsal company as a first adder in site camp Abwa I wanna apply for nursing job in Australia ?

  • Jim January 5, 2017, 6:53 am | Link

    I am a qualified secondary teacher with 15 years experience (History is my subject) and now work in a promoted post as a pupil support/guidance teacher as head of a house within a state school. I manage a caseload of 200+ pupils and 6 staff as well. My wife is a nurse with 15 years experience in high dependency / trauma support. I spent a year in Melbourne in 2001 and loved it. I was wondering what the likely wages would be for both my wife and I. And the likelihood we would get a visa.

    • Mark January 5, 2017, 7:44 am | Link

      Its very difficult to answer the last question A because of so many unknowns and B its supposed to be a Mara agent that answers your questions like that. If they dont think you have a chance they are obliged to not take you on as a client. From your email Id personally get in touch with one. . You may find as was our case it was easier for my wife to be lead applicant you may also find this There are many about and one recommended by this site, They can easily tell you and usually free what your chances are, You dont say your ages which is a somewhat critical factor eg under 50 would be good under 45 even better for the points tally. As regards salaries you can google both they are scaled but to give you an idea a teacher (experienced) is on more than a starting scale for a head In UK . With the drop in the GBP £ recently, far more

      • BobinOz January 5, 2017, 9:17 pm | Link

        There is also a link on my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship which goes to a website which lists average salaries by profession.

        Qualifying is mostly about points when it comes to skilled migration, you can read about that on my Points Calculator page.

        • Kalyani January 7, 2017, 11:25 pm | Link

          Hi my brother in law is 42 years,he did bachelor of science in agriculture. He had more than 15 years experience in a multi national fertilizers company in India . When he joined as a sales officer after that he promoted senior regional sales manager. In 2014 he resigned his job. He is much interested in agriculture&dairy farm. He is planning to apply for australia skilled occupation perminent visa.Is he eligible for skilled perminent visa?could you please assess how many points he can get?

          Sciencerely ,

      • Jim January 6, 2017, 4:39 pm | Link

        Thanks for the reply. I should have said that I am 42 and my wife is 38.

        • Mark January 6, 2017, 6:00 pm | Link

          In that case your id say just at a perfect time Hopefully with enough experience and money behind you and nicely scoring in the points sector I imagine…No time like the present JIm I cant say categorically as who could but you will likely be far better off here Not just financially but you will have a life back Teaching is far far better out here than UK I’ve actually got my wife back instead of her spending hours on hours evening after evening planning lessons… Speak to an agent and good luck to you both and if you have children, them as well, they will love it.

  • MUHAMMAD MUDESSIR January 2, 2017, 2:41 pm | Link

    i am from pakistan.I m thinking to move to australia .i m qualified and working in eduxation department..what visa or process i ahould folllow .I m 28year old and married.

  • Mohammed Khan December 28, 2016, 4:48 am | Link


    I am planning to apply for Australian Immigration for visa category 189

    I am Mohammed Khan, from India. i have got post bachelor’s experience from 2007 till 2008 as a Network Engineer and in 2009 i went to UK to Pursue my Msc(international business and Management) i worked in UK in same profession as a network engineer for 27 months.

    i came back to India in September 2013 and i started working from October 2013 till date , that will count up to 3 years and 2 months.

    My query is that, my Post bachelor’s experience of 14 months and my post Masters experience of 6 years and 7 months of both post bachelor as well as post masters experience will be considered

    could you please answer my query.

    Thanks in Advance!!

    • Mark January 5, 2017, 7:54 am | Link

      Like many others on this page you need to speak to MARA agent to see and interpret what you have and evaluate your chances, not some lay folk on here second guessing the rules

  • Chasila December 16, 2016, 4:03 am | Link

    I am 57 years old and possess Advance Diploma in Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology (City & Guilds Institute of London) obtained in 2007, together with some other engineering qualifications. Experience is more than 20 years in Building Engineering Services in Dubai, UAE. Am I eligible to migrate to Canada, NewZealand or Australia sponsoring with family ?

  • John December 2, 2016, 10:02 pm | Link

    Hi, I’m 31 and currently in Aus on a 457 visa. I’ve got my first born due in January with my partner who is an Australian national. We’re not married, but I’ve been told that having a child with her will allow me to apply for a visa not tied to my company?

  • christian medina November 27, 2016, 3:27 pm | Link

    Hi im christian im from Philippines ,im planning to get a temporary work visa 400 sublcass .i saw a job posted on the group in facebook and they need 5 person to work there probably a backpacker (seasonal work) but when i look the req. So they invited me to applynthere but they dont give sponsorship .in the list of requirements They need statement bank acc to prove i can take care myself there .i only have ATM hows that ? .

    • BobinOz November 27, 2016, 11:30 pm | Link

      I would be very careful about submitting your personal information to somebody through Facebook, it could be a scam. Getting a job in Australia at the moment isn’t easy, so if someone is offering you work whilst you are still abroad and all you have to do is provide them with lots of personal information, I would be very suspicious if I were you.

      I would most definitely not be sending a bank statement, that’s for sure.

  • Karen November 24, 2016, 10:30 pm | Link

    Hey Bob, thanks for compiling this information about migration to Australia. I’m currently searching out ways to do just that. However at the moment I am feeling a bit unsure. I am 54, very healthy, and I have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with plans to add a Special Education (General Curriculum) certification to my already valid teaching certificate. It is with these certifications that I hope I may be eligible to migrate. If you can offer any advice, I would be grateful for it. Thanks again for such a great website.

    • Mark November 25, 2016, 12:53 pm | Link

      Hi Karen. You really need a MARA agent for visa advice as you can see in the orange framed section just above. I would not want to get your hopes up either by saying apply, apply etc. What I can say is we where told we needed to be under 50 four our visas and we where, still are…

  • HariPrasaadh Kumar November 14, 2016, 2:40 am | Link

    Hi Bob!!!
    I am Hari from India. I have 4 years of experience in Market Research. My skill is listed under CSOL lost and I understood that I will have to go for the Visa 190. I am planning to move with my wife.
    This 190 requires a state sponsorship and currently only on or two states have listed this as skill shortage or can sponsor. Getting nervous!!! Worth applying for P not?
    You recommendation would mean a lot.

    • Mark November 25, 2016, 12:57 pm | Link

      What have you got to loose in applying just some time its when it starts getting serious it will cost more… There is I believe an assessment service on this website give that a go

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