New rules for skilled nominated migration to NSW

Publish Date: Mar 19, 2015

One of the unique aspects of Australia's migration program is the ability of individual states to play a role in determining which skills are prioritised in the country's visa system.

In recent weeks, NSW has revised the lists used as the basis for this program, expanding the number of skills and revising the application process.

The changes relate to two different subclasses of the Skilled Nominated Visa program. These two are:

  • The 190 Subclass. This application process is open to those who have skills which fall into those areas the state is currently short on. This is a points-based visa, meaning that individuals who have these skills will receive additional points to support their application.
  • The 489 Subclass. Unlike the 190 subclass, the 489 relates solely to skills that are in high demand in regional parts of NSW. This option is therefore open to individuals who can demonstrate they have skills that are in high demand in regional areas and can commit to living in these areas once they migrate. There are seven areas of the state covered by this program.

From February 2015, the process of applying for the above visas has been revised - for individuals who seek one of these visas between February and June of this year. Under the new process, individuals will need to lodge an expression of interest with the Department of Immigration, indicating the state they wish to apply for.

Then, applicants will be processed based on their skills, English language proficiency and the points they have accumulated to support their expression of interest application. Applicants will also need to be sure they are eligible to apply for a 190 or 489 subclass visa.

After the grant of the visa, visa holders will have two years to move to NSW - or to the specific regional area of the state in the event of receiving a visa through the 489 subclass.

As well as making changes to the application process for these skilled visa categories, the new rules have also revised the skill sets that are eligible to receive points. Now, enrolled nurses, along with some accounting and IT roles, have been added to the list of skills that can qualify for these visa categories.

These skill sets are either completely new or being reopened following a period of absence from the list.

If you want to apply for a skilled Nominated Visa, or simply want to learn more about the specific considerations that come with this option, make sure to consult with an immigration lawyer.

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