Australian states can nominate skilled international workers for certain types of visas to allow these individuals to work in a particular region or state. As of July 2017, The Northern Territory and Tasmania have expanded their applicant pool for state-nominated visas. They are now giving nominations to international students with one and two years of study in the states respectively as long as they have a Diploma or higher qualification and meet other requirements.
To be nominated by a state, the applicant is required to have an occupation listed in the list of eligible skilled occupations. The occupation must also be relevant to their skill set, and the applicant must assess of such. In addition to meeting the points test pass mark of 60 points, the applicant must show evidence of competent English and be under 45 years of age. Upon nomination by a state, the applicant is invited to apply for one of two types of visas that allow state nomination, in place of employer nomination, of skilled workers for residence.
The first visa is a Subclass 190 Skilled State-Nominated Visa. It comes with some privileges. This visa allows for a permanent stay in Australia. It also allows a holder to work and study in Australia and to enrol in Medicare, Australia’s health care program. Additionally, a holder of a Subclass 190 visa has the freedom to travel to and from Australia for five years before requiring additional documentation. They can also sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence. This visa application takes approximately seven months to be processed.
The second visa that allows state nomination is the Subclass 489 Provisional Skilled Sponsored Regional Visa, which allows a person to live and work in Australia for up to four years. The visa application takes approximately six months to be processed. There are three pathways by which a person can apply for this visa. They are:
- The extended stay pathway- for applicants who currently hold a visa of subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496, but only one type, for at least two years.
- The invited pathway- for applicants who do not hold any of the visas listed in the extended stay pathway but wants to be nominated by a state government agency.
- The following entry pathway- for applicants who are members of the family of someone who already holds the Subclass 489 visa or any of the visas listed in the extended stay pathway.
A person applying for the either the Subclass 190 or Subclass 489 visa must also meet specific health, character and debt minimum requirements to be considered.