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The 190 visa lets you work and live in Australia as a permanent resident if your occupation is on the skills list and you are nominated. Costs begin at $4,045 and you can also sponsor your partner or relative for permanent residence. If your visa is accepted, you can apply for your citizenship. As part of the visa criteria, you'll need to meet certain requirements, including having proper health cover.
Is my job on the list?
There are currently 427 skilled occupations eligible for the 190 visa program. You can find out if your occupation is on the skills list and eligible for the 190 skilled nominated visa on the Department of Home Affairs website.
The Department of Jobs and Small Business reviews the list regularly and makes changes accordingly, depending on which occupations are needed in Australia. The most recent update came on 11 March 2019, so if you do qualify, it's worth getting your application in sooner rather than later.
190 visa application process
The application process for the 190 visa can be broken down into these steps:
- Check your job is on the skills list for the 190 visa. You will need to make sure you have at least 65 points to be eligible for the visa. Points criteria take into account factors such as your age, experience and English language skills.
- Submit an expression of interest (EOI). You will need to create a SkillSelect account, log in and submit your EOI online. Applicants will need to provide evidence of their employment, the number of hours worked each week and what duties they performed. This is usually backed up with payslips, contracts and bank statements.
- Receive an invitation and apply. Waiting times for an invitation can vary from 1 to 12 months. If you are invited to apply, you will have 60 days from the invitation date to submit your application. It's usually best to use a lawyer when you do this to make sure everything you need is properly submitted.
190 visa eligibility
In order to successfully apply for this visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be invited to apply or nominated. Once you submit an EOI, the relevant state must nominate you for the visa, inviting you to apply.
- Complete a skills assessment. This is so that you meet the standards set by the government to work in the relevant occupation.
- Meet health requirements. This includes any family you intend to bring with you and could also include family members not accompanying you to Australia.
- Meet English language requirements. Native English speakers still have to sit an English language test.
- Be under the age of 45. You must be aged under 45 when you are invited to apply for the visa.
- Score 65 points or more. The 190 visa is a points-tested visa which means you won't be invited to apply if you don't score 65 points or more.
Restrictions to keep in mind
If you are married or in a de facto relationship, you need to let the Department of Home Affairs know. Add any family member or partner you plan to live with in Australia to your application as your visa might be cancelled if you don't tell them.
How to meet the health requirements
Because the 190 visa gives you permanent residency, you will likely have to undergo a medical examination. You might be asked to do further tests if you have a pre-existing health condition or something comes up in your initial test. Generally, no diseases or health conditions automatically result in a failure to meet the health requirement, though it might be rejected if the specific community services for that condition are in short supply.
You will need to make sure you have adequate health cover in place or you risk having your visa cancelled. Because the 190 visa gives you permanent residency, you are entitled to receive Medicare benefits and are eligible for private health insurance.
Healthcare for permanent residents
If your visa is accepted, your permanent residency will give you access to more healthcare entitlements, including Medicare and private health insurance. Private health insurance is generally more affordable than overseas visitors health cover (OVHC), which you may have previously held.
Permanent residents are generally eligible for benefits under the public healthcare system including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare. Keep in mind though that Medicare doesn't cover everything and you may need more comprehensive protection to meet your needs.
As well as being cheaper than OVHC, private health insurance comes with a range of perks and benefits you wouldn't have had access to before your permanent residency. Some of the benefits include:
- Youth discount. If you're aged between 18 and 29, you might be eligible for a discount of up to 10% on your hospital cover.
- Waiting periods. You usually won't have to wait anywhere near as long for treatment with private health insurance compared to the public health care system.
- Private health insurance rebate. This gives you a discount on your premiums based on your salary and can be taken as a discount on your premiums or used as a refundable tax offset.
- Extras cover. You'll be able to access out of hospital services that Medicare doesn't cover, including dental, optical and physiotherapy.
If you want to access these benefits, make sure to compare health providers to find the best deal.
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