Which visas require State or Territory Nomination in Australia?
Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Permanent Visa and Subclass 491 Regional Skilled (Provisional) Sponsored Visa require a State or Territory Nomination.The common requirements for these regional visas are to nominate an occupation in the visa subclass and the state or territory occupation list, obtain a positive Skills Assessment in that occupation with the relevant authority and score at least 65 in a Points Test.
Considerable proficiency in English is also required and minimum English test scores required vary according to each applicant’s situation depending on how far or close they are to scoring the minimum 65 points. States and Territories may also require minimum scores on English tests to nominate for a regional Visa.
But you will not be able to apply for a Regional Visa Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Permanent Visa or a Subclass 491 Regional (Provisional) Sponsored Visa if you don’t secure a State/Territory Nomination.
Every start of the financial year, states and territories are allocated the number of candidates they can nominate for each visa, what we call the “number of places”.
In 2022, there has been an election in May and the Labor Party has been elected, replacing the Liberals from government so the allocation previously announced by the Liberals in March 2022 has only been put into place on 22 August.
States and Territories Allocations for 2022/2023
Which States have already published their criteria and opened to Nominate?
- Western Australia
- ACT – Canberra
- The Northern Territory
- New South Wales
- South Australia
Regional Visa updates 2022/2023 – State by State
For now, we provide you with a summary of the requirements for the States and Territories that are already open to nominate for 190 and 491 visas and have already released their updates for 2022/2023 program:
There has been a significant expansion of their Skilled Visas Nomination program, starting with the Occupation List. For the past couple of financial years Victoria, whose economy suffered a lot with several lockdowns during the height of the pandemic, had a very restricted list of occupations they would consider to nominate, and not only that, but the nominee would have to be living and working in Victoria, in the states targeted sectors, while also utilizing STEMM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths or Medicine).
We now see the list of occupations that Victoria would consider nominate expanded to the whole instrument, which means, the whole list of occupations available for the 190 and 491 visas. That is 504 occupations, so this is great news.
Victoria will also consider candidates who are in or outside Australia. When it comes to the temporary Subclass 491 Visa, priority will be given to Health Occupations.
It is not possible to apply for Nomination directly with Victoria, you will need to be invited to do that via a registration of interest process.
Western Australia has temporarily lifted the requirement to have a job offer in the state
For the first time in a long time WA will consider nominating candidates who are outside Australia, but as per usual, they will only nominate those who have a job offer in their occupation in WA for a minimum period of time.
They have also set priorities to nominate and they will be:
Priority 1) – Candidates who are residing in WA
Priority 2) – Candidates who are residing in Australia, but not in WA
Priority 3) – Candidates who are not residing in Australia
Western Australia has 3 occupations lists from which candidates can nominate an occupation:
- WASMOL Schedule 1: mainly health occupations requiring candidates to, on top of having a job offer in WA for at least 12 months, show evidence of having at least 1 year of work experience in Australia in their nominated occupation, or 3 years overseas.
- WASMOL Schedule 2: a broader list of occupations from all sectors, still requires candidates to have a job offer in WA for at least 12 months.
- GOL – Graduate Occupation List: for international students who can nominate an occupation on this list and have completed 2 years of studies in WA that lead into a Tertiary qualification (periods of English studies can be used to make up the 2 years). Graduates must also have a job offer in WA in their occupation for a minimum of 6 months or show evidence they worked in Australia for at least 6 months in their occupation
Tasmania has been allocated 2000 places for the 190 visa and 1350 places for the 491 visa, for now. As per usual, they are open to nominate any occupation in the Instrument so there are 504 occupations available.
They have switched to an “invitation-only” process too, as most of the other states and territories have before. They set up priorities in relation to whom they will nominate under each one of their Nomination Pathways:
- Working in Tasmania:
People working in Tasmania for a minimum of 6 months, for at least 20 hours a week, in their nominated occupation, which must be in the TSOL (Tasmanian Skilled Occupation List), can express interest to be nominated for the Permanent Skilled State Nominated visa Subclass 190. Candidates also need to show that their jobs are available for another 12 months.
If the candidate is working in Tasmania for a minimum of 6 months, for at least 20 hours a week, but the nominated occupation is in the Instrument, but not on the TSOL, they will only be considered for the Subclass 491 Regional Sponsored Skilled Visa, which is temporary but has a pathway to permanent residence.
International Students completing a tertiary qualification in Tasmania (Trade Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor of higher) for a minimum of 2 years, can express interest for the Permanent Skilled State Nominated visa Subclass 190.
If their courses of study amount to only 1 year, they could express interest to the Subclass 491 Regional Sponsored Skilled Visa
- Established Residence in Australia
This is for people living and working in Tasmania from 6 months to 3 years, depending on which visa they want to apply for, their nominated occupation and other factors. It is also open for candidates who establish or buy a business in Tasmania and operate it for a minimum of 2 years.
The Australian Capital Territory has one of the most structured and successful nomination programs in the country. Candidates must express interest in being nominated via registration with the Canberra Matrix, where they can claim points for attributes such as time spent living in the ACT, investments made there, time spent studying or working in Canberra and more. If selected the ACT can nominate candidates for both the 491 and 190 visa.
The ACT nominates 3 types of candidates:
- Migrants who can nominate an occupation in the ACT Critical Skills List
- Migrants who are working full time in the ACT with a Sponsorship Visa such as the 457 or the 482 visa
- Small Business Owners who hold majority shares in a business registered in the ACT
Candidates sponsored in the ACT and business owners must obviously be living in working in Canberra to be selected. The minimum period of time required is 6 months for a nomination for the Permanent Skilled State Nominated visa Subclass 190 and 3 months for the Subclass 491 Regional Sponsored Skilled Visa. 190 visa hopefuls must be working in the ACT full time in their nominated occupation to be considered while 491 visa hopefuls only need to be working 3 months and part time work is acceptable.
Overseas applicants need to show past work experience and/or a job offer in the ACT.
The Northern Territory
The NT is re-opening for offshore candidates after many years. Applicants living in the NT can nominate any occupation in the instrument while those offshore need to nominate an occupation in the NTMOL (Northern Territory Migration Occupation List).
The NT accepts applications for nomination from candidates who:
- Are living and working in the NT, or
- Have recently graduated from studies in the NT.
Candidates working in the NT must show evidence that they have been working full-time on their nominated occupation for a minimum of 2 years before they can apply to be nominated for the Permanent Skilled State Nominated visa Subclass 190. The candidate and their whole family must have been living in the NT for at least 2 years as well and a job offer for the next 12 months.
If the candidate has been working full-time but only for 6 months, while living in the NT for a minimum of 12 months, they could apply for nomination but for the Subclass 491 Regional Sponsored Skilled Visa only. They should also have a job offer for the next 12 months.
The state reopened on 16 August and has maintained their Graduate and Working in QLD pathways with almost the same requirements as last year, keeping nominations open to all occupations in the instrument (the list that legally applies to these visas).
International Students completing a PhD could be nominated for a permanent 190 Skilled visa whereas those completing a Masters or Bachelor degree can only express interest to the 491 Temporary regional visa and only if they have a job offer in QLD (among other requirements).
Skilled professionals working in QLD on a full time basis (so people holding Graduate Visas or Sponsorship Visas for example) could be nominated for both the 190 or 491, but they would have to be working in QLD in their nominated occupation for 6 or 3 months full time respectively.
QLD has also opened a nomination pathway for skilled professionals who are based outside of Australia, but these candidates have to nominate an occupation in the QSOL (Queensland Skilled Occupation List) and show evidence of having at least 3 years of post-graduation work experience. Minimum scores in the Points Test and English language requirements vary according to the pathway you will be applying under.
And very important: QLD only accepts applications from candidates who they pre-select. It’s an “invitation only” system. Please check QLD occupation lists in this post.
New South Wales
Subclass 491 Visa
The NSW Skilled Work Regional Skills List is being finalised for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491). Applications will only be accepted then.
- Candidates must be currently living in NSW or living offshore for at least 3 continuous months;
- Must nominate an occupation in the NSW Skilled Work Regional Skills List;
- There will be minimum work experience requirements according to the occupation and minimum points score
Must apply under one of these Pathways:
- Pathway 1 – Apply directly to an RDA office where you wish to live and work in for the first three years after the visa is granted
- Pathway 2 – Invitation by Investment NSW – No more Submission Windows or Registration of Interest process (as indicated so far)
- Recent Study in Regional NSW for a minimum of 2 years in a field closely related to the nominated occupation may waive the work experience requirement in this pathway
Subclass 190 Visa
- You can only apply for Nomination with NSW if NSW selects you;
- Candidates must be currently living in NSW or living offshore for at least 3 continuous months;
- Must nominate an occupation in the NSW Skilled Nominated Skills List;
- There will be minimum work experience requirements according to the occupation and minimum points score.
- Meeting the criteria above is not guarantee that NSW will invite you.
Check the NSW Skilled Nominated Skills List here.
On 19 August, South Australia has received their allocation and will be opening the Skilled & Business Migration programs soon. The number of nomination places available is:
- General Skilled Migration Program: 5,880 places
- Business Innovation and Investment Program: 70 places
To help address SA skills shortages, the General Skilled Migration program will be opening to over 500 occupations on Thursday, 25 August 2022. Updated criteria will be released then.
Eligible onshore applicants will be able to apply directly for nomination in the following streams:
- Working in South Australia
- Outer Regional South Australia
- Long Term Residents
- South Australian Graduates
Offshore applicants will not need to lodge a Registration of Interest (RoI) this year, once they will be selected from those who have already submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) using the SkillSelect database.
There are over 470 occupations available for offshore candidates. However, it’s important to note that not all streams are available to all occupations, you need to check what streams are available to your occupation in particular.
So there you have it. At the time of writing this (26 of September 2022), this is the information available for migrants seeking to apply for a “Regional” Skilled Visa under State Nomination in Australia.
If you believe you qualify for nomination with one of the States or Territories above, please contact us to book a consultation with one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents to find out what your real chances are.
Bravo Migration has been helping migrants obtain approvals for Regional Visas since 2008.
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