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What are the different subclasses under the skilled visa?

There are five (5) main visa subclasses under the Skilled Migration Program:

1. Skilled Independent Visa
Applicants currently based overseas who do not have a family sponsor, or choose not to be sponsored, can apply under the Skilled - Independent visa subclass.
2. Family Sponsored Visa
Overseas applicants who have a sponsor, in the form of a close relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, can apply under one of two Family Sponsored visa subclasses:

1. Skilled - Australian Sponsored Visa - The Skilled - Australian Sponsored subclass – you can apply under this subclass if you have a parent, non-dependent child, brother, sister, aunt or uncle who is willing to sponsor you. Your sponsor can be living anywhere in Australia and you will gain extra points in the Points Test.

2. The Skilled - Designated Area Sponsored Visa – you can apply under this subclass if you have a parent, non-dependent child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, first cousin or grandparent who is willing to sponsor you. Your sponsor must be living in a regional, rural or low population growth area of Australia. You must satisfy the basic requirements of all skilled visas but this category is not points tested.

3.Skilled Overseas Student Visa
There are specific visa subclasses for overseas students currently studying in Australia, which allow them to remain in Australia and apply for Onshore Skilled Migration. Skilled Overseas Students can either apply independently or with family sponsorship (as outlined above).
Important note for Graduate Students - If you have recently completed a course of study in Australia and are seeking Australian permanent residency, you must apply for a visa within six months of the completion of your course to qualify for bonus points.

4.Onshore New Zealand Citizen Visa
New Zealand citizens who currently live in Australia can also apply in Australia under one of the Onshore New Zealand Citizen subclasses, either independently or with family sponsorship (as outlined above).
5.Skilled Independent Regional (SIR) Visa
On 1 July 2004, the Skilled-Independent Regional (SIR) (Provisional) visa was introduced to address skill shortages that may exist in regional areas and encourage a more balanced dispersal of Australia's skilled migrant intake.

Successful applicants (and their families) will be allowed to work and live in Australia for up to three (3) years on this temporary visa, however you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency after two (2) years if you have remained in the designated regional area.

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