Australian Immigration | Skilled Migration Visas with State Nominations

October 11, 2018

Holders of 457 and TSS visas often assume that they will apply for permanent residency through the Temporary Residence Transitional pathway of an ENS or RSMS visa. But with changes to employer sponsored visas, including the introduction of the Skilling Australians Fund levy, and for those with occupations on the short-term occupation list (STSOL) it might be time to consider a Skilled migration visa with state nomination.

A number of Australian States/Territories offer a special pathway or exemptions for applicants who already live and work in the state as holders of temporary visas. 


Applicants are required to:

  • have an occupation on the Queensland Skilled Occupation Lists (QSOL) for applicants currently ‘Working in Queensland’ (onshore)
  • satisfy other requirements for certain occupations (higher points, more work experience, registration/licencing)
  • provide evidence of full-time employment in their nominated occupation for the past six months
  • if employed through a labour hire company, provide evidence that they are registered in Queensland (incl. overseas companies)
  • provide evidence of ongoing employment with a Queensland employer registered in Australia for a further 12 months
  • commit to living and working in Queensland for two years from visa grant

* Please note Business and Skilled Migration Queensland is currently only issuing invitations to 489 applicants already living and working in regional Queensland.


To be considered for the ‘Working in Tasmania’ category, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • have nominated an occupation from Immigration’s list of eligible occupations for a 190 or 489 S/T visa
  • have been working in Tasmania for six months immediately prior to application for state nomination
  • the applicant’s employer must have been actively operating their business in Tasmania for the past 12 months and there needs to be a genuine need for the applicant’s position within the business
  • the applicant’s employment needs to be in their nominated occupation
  • the applicant’s employment needs to be at least 35 hours per week in one full-time job or in two or more part-time jobs and they must be able to provide evidence of employment claims
  • the applicant and any dependents must currently be living in Tasmania and can provide evidence of genuine commitment to continue to live in Tasmania

South Australia

Applicants currently working in South Australia have access to a larger list of occupations for state nomination, including:

  • State Nominated Occupation List (including Special Conditions apply occupations)
  • Supplementary Skilled List occupations
  • State nomination for the Permanent 190 visa for occupations listed as ‘Offshore applicants Provisional 489 visa only’

Applicants are required to show:

  • They have been currently working for the last 6 months in a country region of South Australia or the last 12 months in Greater Adelaide in their nominated or closely related occupation (for a minimum 20 hours per week)
  • Minimum requirement of Competent English (unless the occupation requires registration in South Australia)
  • They meet Immigration SA’s work experience requirement

Northern Territory

There are various requirements for applicants currently living and working in the Northern Territory (NT), and some applicants may be exempt from the specialisation requirements if they can demonstrate positive future employment prospects.

457 and 482 visa holders must provide evidence that they have:

  • lived in the NT for at least six months before applying for nomination
  • worked for a Subclass 457 or Subclass 482 sponsoring business in the NT for at least six months before applying (exceptions may apply)
  • support from their current Subclass 457 or Subclass 482 sponsoring business through a letter stating that they:
    • support the visa application
    • understand that the applicant will not be tied to their business once the Subclass 489/Subclass 190 visa is granted

Working holidaymakers need to:

  • have held their visa for at least six months
  • have lived and worked full time in the NT for at least 6 months in the nominated or closely related skilled occupation immediately before applying for NT nomination
  • have been paid at the NT market rate for the work in the occupation in which they are employed
  • show ongoing employment prospects in the NT
  • show a genuine intention to live and work in the NT for at least two years after the visa is granted

Western Australia

Applicants who have at least 12 months of work experience in Western Australia (WA) and a contract for full-time work of at least 35 hours per week in the nominated or closely related occupation, are able to explore sponsorship through WA. Please note the WA occupation list is currently limited to medical occupations. 


When assessing a State Nomination application, the Victoria government will focus on an applicant’s ability to address a number of assessment criteria beyond the minimum requirements, including:

  • the demand for the particular skills and expertise and their ability to find work in Victoria
  • the suitability and transferability of qualifications, skills and experience – including any specialist capabilities – to the needs of Victoria’s labour market
  • the ability and commitment to establishing the applicant and their family in Victoria with a view to long-term settlement in Victoria

Applicants who best meet the assessment criteria will be offered nomination; having already established oneself in Victoria with employment will greatly support an application.

New South Wales

There is no specific pathway for applicants currently living and working in New South Wales, however, applicants are ranked in order of:

  1. Occupation
  2. Australian Department of Home Affairs points score
  3. English language ability
  4. Skilled employment

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory currently only nominates applicants already living in the state, who have an occupation on their state occupation list.

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Anyone considering the above routes is advised to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist for the latest information and case-specific guidance.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Australia, please contact us.