Australia skilled migration program – latest development


South Australia opens its Skilled Migration program for both onshore and offshore applicants

South Australia has announced that skilled migrants who are currently living in the region and meet state and federal requirements, can apply for a state nomination. Occupations such as physiotherapist, audiologist, occupational therapist and speech pathologist were opened by the state in its 2020-21 migration program.

From July 20,

  • offshore applicants can submit their Registration of Interest (RoI) for state nominations for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa Subclass 491, and
  • onshore applicants can apply for the visa Subclass 491 and the Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass190.

Skilled migrants who are currently living in South Australia (including long term residents), and those who meet the eligibility conditions decided by the state government and the Department of Home Affairs, can apply for state nominations under three categories:

  • International Graduate of South Australia
  • Talent and Innovators Program
  • Currently working in South Australia (including long-term residents in SA)


Exemptions offered to applicants living and working in outer and regional South Australia. Once the applicants receive a state nomination, they can apply for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa Subclass 491 (five-year visa) and the Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190 (permanent visa). However, offshore applicants will have to submit an ROI which demonstrates their skills in specific trades and health-related occupations and their proficiency in English language. An RoI is required for onshore applicants who wish to apply under the Talent and Innovators program.

State and Territory nominated visa categories –2021-22 nomination allocations:

The Department of Home Affairs just announced the numbers of nomination allocated to Skilled – Nominated (190), Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491), and Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) for all states and territories in Australia. Generally, the total number of nomination allocations slightly increases compared to the financial year 2020 – 2021.

State Skilled nominated (SC 190) Visa Skilled Work Regional (SC 491) Visa Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)
ACT 600 1,400 30
NSW 4,000 3,640 2,200
QLD 1,000 1,250 1,400
VIC 3,500 500 1,750
NT 500 500 75
WA 1,100 340 360
SA 2,600 2,600 1,000
TAS 1,100 2,200 45
Total 14,400 12,430 6,860

NSW continues to have the greatest number of allocations in both subclass 190 and 491, followed by Victoria. Noticeably, although they have more allocations than other states/ territories, the competitions are relatively high, and the requirements are more difficult to meet. Furthermore, Victoria will give it priority to those who apply for 190 nomination, and 491 nominations will be more difficult to get.

South Australia has an impressive number of allocations, with 600 more places in 190 and 491 compared the financial year 2020 – 2021 (which was 2,000 for each subclass). This would mean that there are more chances to get a nomination from South Australia Government. Tasmania, on the other hand, will have more places for those who apply for 491 nominations.

The allocations for WA and QLD remain the same as last year, and they are quite small compared to the size of these states. NT remains to be the state with the lowest number of places, standing at 500 places for both 190 and 491.




New energy, emissions reduction and circular economy

This sector includes industries such as clean energy, renewables, bioenergy, carbon capture and energy storage. Applicants could be using their STEMM skills to support efforts to reduce waste, cut pollution and protect the environment.


Western Australia Skilled Migration Updates: –

There are several positive changes in the skilled migration program in Western Australia. Below are some key changes:

  • The General Stream of Skilled Migration in Western Australia is divided into 2 categories based on the occupations. There are 2 occupation lists in this stream, namely schedule 1 and schedule 2. If your occupation is in schedule 2, you will not need to prove 1 year work experience in your nominated occupation.
  • There are many occupations that are added to the lists.
  • Accountant (General), Chef, Cook, Early Childhood teacher are now added to schedule 2 of the General Stream. These occupations were taken out of the Graduate stream last year.

Noticeably, if you are applying in General Stream, you will not need to currently study, work or live in Western Australia to receive a nomination. You will, however, need to have a job offer in Western Australia to be eligible for this stream.



Canberra Skilled Migration Updates:

Canberra is another state that just announced their changes in the skilled migration program. One of the most significant change is their program is that they added one more stream, which is for Small Business Owner. According to their changes, there are 4 streams under which you can apply for a nomination:

  • Your occupation is in the ACT Critical Skill List
  • You are the primary holder of a subclass 457/482 by an ACT sponsor
  • Small Business Owner
  • PhD Streamlined nomination pathway.

ACT Skilled Migration program remains closed to overseas applicants, until further notice.


South Australia Skilled Migration Updates:

South Australia has opened its skilled migration program on 20 July 2021 for this financial year. With a total of 5,200 places allocated for both 190 and 491 nominations, South Australia has announced its changes to the migration program with the following key points:

  • Applicants residing in Australia but not in South Australia now are eligible for the South Australia under Talent and Innovator Employment Stream
  • Offshore applicants are eligible for South Australia state nomination, depending on their nominated occupations.
  • There are 3 main streams: Talent and Innovators Program, currently living and working in South Australia, and International Graduates stream.
  • For some instances, applicants do not need to work in their nominated occupation to apply for the state nomination.


Australia announces migration program for 2021-22:

Australia announced its migration targets for the next financial year. The Migration Program announced the overall planning level of 160,000 places of which 79,600 places were given for the Skill stream while 77,300 places were given to the family stream.13,500 places are reserved for the Business Innovation and Investment Program while 15,000 places are reserved for the Global Talent Visa Program while it is 22,000 for the Employer Sponsored visa program.

The government wants to focus on visa programs which will help the economy to recover after the Covid-19 crisis.

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