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In a bid to tackle issues related to the shortage of skilled migrants, Australia's states and territories have announced to ease certain terms for visa applications. Generally, migrants are sponsored by employers for a visa to stay in the country, but there are times when state and territory authorities can also nominate skilled workers for visas. In recent times, they have been relaxing some terms and conditions that are required to obtain state-sponsored visas. Here's all you need to know:  

What are state-sponsored Australian visas?

  • State and territory authorities can nominate skilled individuals for visas under the State Nominated Migration Program
  • Individuals holding state-sponsored visas don't have to be tied to a particular employer but there is an age criteria. The individual has to be aged under 45 years old. 
  • At the same time, there is no job guarantee, so they have to find their own position.
  • Successful applicants are given a permanent visa allowing them to live in the country indefinitely in the case of the Skilled Nominated subclass 190 visa, or provided with a pathway to become a permanent resident after working in regional areas as part of the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) visa. 
  • A small number of visas are also available for those who own their own business.
  • There are almost 50,000 state-nominated visas available this year. New South Wales allocated the highest amount.

Why states are pushing for more spots? 

Some states have pushed hard to get more spots this year owing to the high demand for skilled workers. In fact, Western Australia doubling its number of visas after the government lobbied the federal government for an extra allocation. It will now offer 8,140 places this financial year.

Noting that the changes would help boost skilled migration in areas of high demand, WA Premier Mark McGowan said, as quoted by SBS news "WA's strong economic growth, very low unemployment rate and high demand for skilled workers mean there is a need to attract in-demand workers through a variety of channels to help sustain our economy."

In fact, the occupation lists have been loosened for almost every industry in WA, along with other states. Candidates with the right type of qualifications are then invited to apply for state nomination.

Visa opportunities in each state:

Western Australia now has the third largest allocation of state-nominated spots in the country with 5,350 subclass 190 visas and 2790 regional visas available. More than 100 extra jobs were added to its skilled occupation list this year

Victoria second highest number of state nominated visas available with a quota of 11,570 places for 2022/23. It has the highest number of subclass 190 visas (9,000), as well as 2,400 regional visas and 170 business visas.

Queensland's list of eligible occupations has been expanded to include 114 occupations in 2022/23. This year it will have 3,000 subclass 190 visas, as well as 1,200 regional visas and 235 business visas.

South Australia has already opened applications for its sponsorship program, with more than 500 occupations eligible. The region has been allocated 2,700 subclass 190 visas, as well as 3,180 regional, and 70 business visas.

Northern Territory is one of the few jurisdictions that won't accept applications from those living overseas. It also asks that successful applicants agree to live and work in the NT for at least three years.

New South Wales has the largest allocation of state-nominated positions, with more than 12,000 places.

 

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