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[NEWS] State Nomination Updates: VIC, QLD, TAS, SA & ACT

State Nomination Updates: VIC, QLD, TAS, SA & ACT

1st July has brought about a huge wave of changes to state nomination programs. Following on from last week's tough news, almost every state have announced some new changes. Fear not! We are pleased to report that there's plenty of good news! Today's blog is dedicated to summarising all the changes that have happened by state and, more importantly, helping you work out 'now what??'.



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WHEN: 2 July 2018

WHAT: After recent closures, Victoria has reopened their state nomination program! Along with this reopening, Victoria introduced the following change:

  • - New application process for certain occupations: Victoria introduced a new application process for those in the engineering and building, and nursing occupations. Now, applicants will need to submit an EOI and wait for Victoria to issue an email invitation before applying for Victoria state nomination. Previously, applicants could apply for EOI and lodge their state nomination application straight after. This 'new process' previously was in place but only for ICT applicants; it has now been extended to these other 'high demand' occupations.

  • - Exemption from this new process: You are exempt from this new application process if you have an offer of employment in your nominated occupation in Victoria, or meet the streamlined 457 or PhD/recent graduate pathways

  • - There were no occupation list changes

  • - EOI submitted prior to 1 July are still valid


The great news is you can start submitting EOIs and applying for state nomination again!

For those in Engineering and Building and Nursing occupations, you will need to prepare to face some uncertainty. According to the Victorian government: "There is no set timeframe to expect an invitation after submitting an EOI. Invitations are not guaranteed. If selected, an email invitation to apply for Victorian visa nomination will be sent to your email address used for the EOI".

Previously, as long as you met the requirements, the state nomination is generally a fairly quick process and had a high chance of success. Now, for the high-demand occupations, VIC state nomination invitations are more competitive and less certain. It may not be enough to simply meet the minimum nomination requirements, other factors influence if or how quickly you receive your nomination, such as your immigration points score, your occupation etc.


To be on the safe side, if you are in Victoria with a nominated occupation in high demand, try to aim for at least the current 189 visa points cut-off for your nominated occupation as published on SkillSelect. The more immigration points you have, the more likely you will receive your invitation.


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​​WHEN: 3 July 2018

WHAT: After recent closures, Queensland has also reopened their state nomination program. Along with this reopening, Queensland introduced the following changes:

  1. 1. New occupation list: Queensland has also released a new occupation list, which can be found here. Note: For some occupations, there are changes to their additional requirements.

  2. 2. EOI expiry: If you submitted an EOI to Queensland prior to the program reopening on 3 July, your EOI is now invalid and you will need to submit a new EOI.


The great news is you can start submitting EOIs and applying for state nomination again!

You should take a close look at the new occupation list and see if any new changes apply to your nominated occupation. You may also need to submit a new EOI.


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​​WHEN: 1 July 2018

WHAT: Following Department of Home Affairs changes, Tasmania also introduced the following new requirements:

  • 1. Subclass 489 & 190 (Category 2): Working in Tasmania stream now requires six months’ ongoing work in nominated occupation (instead of 3 months)

  • 2. Subclass 489 (Category 4): Family in Tasmania stream no longer includes first cousins as eligible relatives

  • 4. Subclass 489 (Category 5): Small Business Owner stream now requires applicants to already be living in Australia


These changes may mean that you need to work in Tasmania for longer for Category 2 nominations. You may also need to revisit your plans if you were relying on a relative or opening a business in Tasmania.


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​WHEN: Later this week when the application system reopens

WHAT: South Australia will be reopening its state nomination program later this week after a 1 week closure. They will also introduce the following changes, which will be effective once nominations recommence.

A. Previous residents of other Australian states: If you have ever studied or worked interstate in the last 10 years (and not in South Australia), you will only be eligible for SA state nomination for the 489 visa only. If you have ever studied or worked interstate (and also in South Australia), you will need to prove that your ties to South Australia are stronger than to other states.

B. Chain Migration Pathway: 3 changes were introduced:

  1. 1) This pathway will now only be offered to 489 visa applicants. Previously, this pathway was also offered to 190 visa applicants.

  2. 2) The immediate family member will need to be living in South Australia for a minimum of 24 months, instead of 12 months as previously required.

  3. 3) The immediate family member can now also be a South Australian state-nominated 489 visa holder. Previously, they needed to be an Australian citizen or PR.

C. International Graduates of SA Pathway: 4 changes were introduced:

  1. 1) If you are a VET or Higher Education graduate, you now only need to have 3 months' work experience in South Australia regardless of which occupation you are applying under. Previously, you needed to have 12 months' skilled work experience if your occupation was on the supplementary skilled list.

  2. 2) If you are not a VET or Higher Education graduate, you now need 3 months' skilled work experience in SA, instead of being able to have just started working.

  3. 3) Some occupations require international graduates to have been working for the last 12 months in Australia. Where applicants were previously able to work for 6 months (instead of the 12) by working in a regional area, this is no longer the case.

  4. 4) If you were aiming to get a waiver for your work experience by having Proficient (7.0 all bands IELTS or equivalent) or Proficient Plus (7.5 all IELTS bands or equivalent) English ability, you may now only apply for 489 nomination. This waiver can no longer be used for 190 nomination applications.


If you have lived in another state in the last 10 years, you would only be eligible for 489 nomination, and not the 190 nomination. This would make your pathway to PR much longer, so you should be aware of the process for transition to PR from the 489 visa. This consideration also extends to those relying on family members living in SA.

If you were planning on obtaining work experience in SA to meet your nomination requirements, working in regional SA no longer carries an advantage.


- If you can only get 489 nomination now, you need to be prepared to live in SA for another 2 years and work full-time for 1 of those years, in order to meet the requirements for the permanent 887 visa.

- If you're currently studying a degree in SA, you need to prepare to look for work after you graduate

- Luckily, "skilled" occupations in the context of SA nomination doesn't have to be in your nominated occupation. It can be any occupation that's on either SA occupation list.

ACT (this is a repost from last Friday's blog post)

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​​WHEN: 4pm, 29 June 2018

WHAT: As discussed in last Friday's blog post, given the significant demand and relatively limited spaces, ACT has suspended the 190 nomination program for all Canberra residents whose nominated occupation is marked as 'closed' on the ACT occupation list. Previously, Canberra residents could still be nominated if their occupation was 'closed' as long as they met the other nomination requirements.


Unfortunately, those living in Canberra will no longer be able to apply for ACT state nomination if your occupation is marked as 'closed'. If your occupation is categorised as 'open', you are not affected by this change and can apply as usual. You can read more about the changes here.

This is likely a temporary suspension until ACT introduces a new set of requirements for the nomination program. They have indicated that it may be in the form of a points-based matrix and may be released by end of this quarter (by 30 Sep).


If you're already living in Canberra, particularly if you're studying, it may be wise to remain put for now until ACT provides more information regarding the new structure of their nomination program. If you move prematurely, you may forego the opportunity to become eligible for ACT nomination if it turns out you'd be eligible for it anyway under the new system.


There have been no changes announced for the NSW, WA and NT state nomination programs. We will monitor the NSW state nomination program and advise once it has reopened.


As much as we don't like saying this, everyone's situation is different. For some people, it may even be beneficial to consider other states where competition for state nomination in these occupations isn't as high. However, before you start packing your bags and moving to another state, we'd recommend you doing your research, or book in a consultation with our professionals to see whether your planned strategy is actually good one. Please feel free to book your free consultation here.



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