Australia immigration update: States reopen skilled visa nomination programs for 2020-21 | INS The Immigration Specialists Inc.


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  • Australia immigration update: States reopen skilled visa nomination programs for 2020-21

    The Department of Home Affairs has allocated limited interim nomination places to states and territories paving way for the opening of the skilled visa programs ahead of the complete allocations to be delivered as part of the Federal Budget announcement on October 6.


    The latest to join the list of states announcing “shorter and targeted” nomination programs is Victoria.

    The state on Wednesday announced that it will be opening its nomination program for Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 and the Skilled Regional Sponsored Subclass 491 visa categories on 8 September 2020.

    The state also advised that it will be changing the way they select applicants for these programs, a process which will be more aligned to respond to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “For this interim period, we will only select applicants to apply for Victorian visa nomination if their Registration of Interest demonstrates they are working in health or medical research and contributing to Victoria’s economic recovery and/or health response.”

    The state will run this version of the program until 5 October 2020.

    New South Wales:

    A similar announcement has been made by NSW, indicating that they will also be using their limited allocations for select occupations that are critical to the state’s recovery, including health, information and communication technology, and engineering.

    The state also advised that it will be reviewing these adjustments in the selection criteria if and when they receive more nomination places next month.

    Australian Capital Territory:

    In line with the Home Affairs’ advisory, ACT has announced it will be holding the next invitation round on or before 14 September.

    Here are key points of the temporary changes to the program:

    2020-21 ranking and selection will be focussed on territory residents who possess skills essential to supporting ACT’s economic response to the pandemic.
    The number of ACT nomination places on its Critical Skills list may be capped and invitations may not be issued when the monthly cap for an occupation is reached.

    Canberra Matrix is closed for overseas applicants.   

    South Australia:

    Immigration SA has also received a limited number of places for its general skilled and business programs to assist the state’s economic and public health recovery amid the ongoing health crisis.

    On its website, the state has outlined that the Home Affairs has identified critical sectors to support the country’s public health response and recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and applicants who are nominating occupations in these critical sectors will be prioritised.

    “The list of priority critical sectors may change over time.”


    Tasmania has also received an interim application for its skilled nomination and business visa programs. These allocations will be updated after the Budget is handed down next month.

    Key points:

    Priority will be given applicants in critical roles.
    Priority will be given to high-quality nominations for business visas.
    Applicants currently in Australia and in critical roles will have higher chances of being nominated.

    General Skilled Migration Program (GSM)

    The General Skilled Migration Program (GSM) is aimed at skilled workers in particular occupations willing to migrate to Australia to improve the country’s workforce, and also to meet the changing needs of businesses within the states and territories.

    Every year all jurisdictions receive quotas from the government, based on which the states and territories nominate skilled and business migrants for Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 and the Skilled Regional Sponsored Subclass 491 visa categories.

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