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We have seen many news and updates in the Australian immigration front between August and October 2021, and most of them were very positive. In this post, you will find a recap of the most important news for the period:

Australian Immigration News – August and September 2021

Starting with the state of New South Wales, they reopened their Skilled Visa Nomination Program in August with many good news for both Skilled Migration visa subclasses 190 and 491.

Changes to the NSW 491 Occupation list and requirements

Many popular occupations have been added to the NSW occupation list, opening up new pathways for many professionals in the state. Candidates now also have to Register their Interest with NSW during one of the Submission Windows, and in case NSW selects them, only then apply for State Nomination. There will be Submission Windows in October, January and March.

They have also created 3 new streams under which you could fit:

  • Stream 1 – for candidates who have been living and working in Regional NSW (excluding Sydney Metropolitan area) for at least the 12 months before registration of interest;
  • Stream 2 – for International Students who complete 2 years of studies in Regional NSW that are assessed as closely related to their nominated occupation;
  • Stream 3 – for those who have an occupation in the relevant NSW list and live anywhere in Australia, not necessarily in regional NSW. (So if you are in Sydney or even in another state, you may qualify)

If you want to know more about the NSW 491 updates, we have another blog post with more details in this link.

Changes to the NSW 190 Occupation list and requirements

NSW also added back several popular occupations for candidates applying via the 190 subclass such as Restaurant Manager and Interior Designer. The nomination will work by invitation only, which means you can’t apply for State Nomination unless NSW chooses you.

Some of the most important requirements announced are that you will only be considered if you are currently living in NSW and either:

  • Are employed in your occupation in the state for at least 1 year at a “skilled” level
  • or have been living in NSW continuously for the past 3 months.

You can check the full occupation list and other details for the NSW 190 on this special blog post.


SA occupation list updated with 70 new occupations for offshore applicants

On 28th September, South Australia’s occupation list for the Regional 491 visa has been updated with 70 new occupations for offshore applicants, which means you can apply even if you are not currently in Australia.

Besides the basic requirements (which are 65 points on the points test, have an occupation on the relevant Skilled Occupation Lists, have a valid skills assessment and be under 45), candidates also must prove:

  • at least 8 years work experience in the occupation or closely related occupation;
  • proficient plus English level, which means 7.5 on each part of IELTS.

We have also posted an article with more info and the full list on this blog post.


NSW announced a Pilot Program to bring back international students

International students will soon be back in NSW under a pilot program announced in September to start by the end of the year!

They expect to bring in, every fortnight, 250 students from the main NSW Universities, including Australian Catholic University, Macquarie University, The University of Newcastle, The University of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University, plus independent providers the International College of Management Sydney, Kaplan, Navitas, RedHill and Study Group.

The returning students will be required to be fully vaccinated with one of the TGA-recognised COVID-19 vaccines – including Moderna, Janssen, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Coronavac, Sinovac and Covishield – and self-isolate for a 14-days quarantine in a designated building in Redfern, paid by the university.

We have no confirmation that other states will bring students back yet or the exact dates for the Pilot Program to start, but this is a very good sign that things will get back on track soon!


Gradual re-open of the borders

Another good sign of Australia’s gradual re-opening to the world is the Government announcement that Australian citizens and permanent residents will be finally free to travel in and out of the country by November.

They will be requested to be fully vaccinated and complete a 7-day home quarantine upon returning, or a 14‐day managed quarantine for anyone not vaccinated. The reopening will vary from state to state, depending on the vaccination rates.

We still have no dates confirmed, either information on how or when the borders will open for migrants and tourists, but we are closer than ever and hopeful this will happen very soon!