There’s no doubt that Australia is one of the most popular immigration destinations in the world. With 200,000, migrants from around the globe making their way into the country annually, the government has to play a delicate balancing act between accepting skilled migrants seeking visas into the country without seriously unsettling the labour sector.
Presently the Immigration department has in place the Skilled Migration Program that allows visa-holders to settle in any part of Australia. This is complemented by different Australian states and territories that operate their immigration programs based on their needs for specific skills in the labour market.
The Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 489)
Among these states is Tasmania, situated off Australia’s south coast. The island state has announced a new visa category for skilled migrants designed to enable them to live and work in the state for four years. The Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 489) targets foreign applicants applying for Australian work visas and also offers a pathway to permanent residency in Australia.
Any skilled visa applicant who gets a state nomination from Tasmania automatically has 10 points added to their overall score during their skills assessment. This assessment is mandatory to qualify for a visa as per Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection rules.
Once a visa holder has lived in the state for a minimum of two years and held a full-time job for (i.e. 35 hours per week) for at least one year during that period, they then qualify to apply for permanent residency in Australia.
When applying for this visa, an applicant must nominate an occupation from Tasmania’s Skilled Occupation List and demonstrate that there are enough employment opportunities in the state. Another way is for the applicants to secure a genuine job offer from employers based in the state.
How to apply
There are two processes involved, namely: an application for state nomination and a skilled visa. The Tasmanian Government handles the application for state nomination while DIBP assesses the visa application.
Applicants are advised to be thorough when submitting documents, providing well prepared and relevant material; this helps in avoiding delays. Application processing times also depend on other factors like “changes in application volumes, seasonal peaks, and complex cases.” Processing time for state nomination takes between two to eight weeks.
Dr Sanoj Ali who works at the Royal Hobart Hospital Paediatric Intensive Care is one of the beneficiaries of the Skilled Regional visa program and has nothing but praise for the Island state. He says on the Tasmanian government’s website:
“I was fortunate to be offered a position as a paediatrician at the Royal Hobart Hospital. The quality of work I get to do is great, and it is such a supportive and fantastic workplace. I have been fortunate to get this job and to come and live in a city like Hobart. I would encourage anyone with the right skills and the right professional qualifications to consider Tasmania as a fantastic option for them.”