The nomination program across Australian states and territories has been temporarily suspended while they await the federal government’s allocation of state nomination places for the program year 2020-21.
Usually, the government issues quotas to all jurisdictions depending on the states and territories that nominate skilled and business migrants for Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 and the Skilled Regional Sponsored Subclass 491 visa categories. And this takes place every year.
Nevertheless, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has advised states and territories to postpone their programs as different countries try to control the pandemic. At the moment, the Australian government is closely monitoring migration and visa settings to make sure they’re in line with Covid-19 health measures.
With the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 on the economic, social, and medical sectors across the globe, visa applicants should expect significant changes in Australia’s Migration Program.
It’s worth noting that the skilled nomination program hasn’t stopped, but rather temporarily suspended. Nominations are set to reopen soon based on current public health measures, and that’s good news to those wishing to work and live in Australia under a Skilled Migrant visa.
Meanwhile, if invited by a relevant state, those who meet the current visa application criteria can apply for an Expression Of Interest (EOI) and nomination.
So, what can you do as you wait for the nomination program to reopen?
Let’s have a look!
Get Ready for Your English Test
Competency in the English language is a requirement for all General Skilled Migrant visas. To earn points for your language skills and increase your chances of getting state nomination, you need to score more. An applicant could score 10 or 20 points in the points test for skilled migration if they achieve a score of 10 for Proficient English and 20 for Superior English.
It’s important to note that you may need to provide your English test results when applying for your skills assessment.
Here’s a breakdown of the English tests:
20 points are equivalent to:
- IELTS: at least 8 in each component; or
- OET: at least ‘A’ in each component; or
- TOEFL iBT: 28 in Listening, 29 Reading, 30 Writing, 26 Speaking; or
- PTE Academic: At least 79 in each component; or
- Cambridge (CAE): At least 200 in each component
10 points are equivalent to:
- IELTS: at least 7 in each component; or
- OET: at least ‘B’ in each component; or
- TOEFL iBT: 24 in Listening, 24 Reading, 27 Writing, 23 Speaking; or
- PTE Academic: At least 65 in each component; or
- Cambridge (CAE): At least 185 in each component
Apply for Your Skills Assessment
Taking a skills assessment is part of the eligibility criteria for Skilled Migrant visa categories.
You must provide a positive assessment from the specified body at the time of application, depending on your nominated occupation. This shows that you’re the right candidate for employment in your nominated occupation.
Each assessment body has its procedures and timeline. Depending on your qualifications and work experience, there are minimum requirements you should meet to qualify for the assessment. You also need to demonstrate your skillset.
It takes some time for an applicant to put the relevant documents together. Since you’ll need these documents in the following stages of your visa application, it’s essential to have them all.
Keep in mind that a skills assessment is only valid until the specified expiry date or after three years from the date of issue, whichever comes first. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the length of time the entire process would take before lodging your application.
As you wait for the states and territories to reopen their skilled nomination programs, you should try and complete your skills assessment and English language test. It should come before you lodge your Expression Of Interest.
As soon as the new program rolls out, you may receive an invitation to lodge a visa application once you submit your EOI. To support the claims made in the EOI, an applicant must provide relevant documentation during the application.
Visa Categories Under Skilled Nomination
We have two visa categories under Australian State Nomination. You can either apply for Skilled Work Regional (provisional) subclass 491, and Skilled Nominated permanent subclass 190.
Let’s briefly look at them below:
Skilled Nominated permanent subclass 190
With this visa, applicants get permission to live and work in an Australian state permanently. With this visa, one can:
- Work and study anywhere in Australia
- Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
- Become a permanent citizen of Australia if they meet the eligibility requirement.
Skilled Work Regional (provisional) subclass 491
This is a temporary visa that allows an applicant to live and work in Australia for 5 years. Those who live and work in Australia on this visa for three years and meet the minimum taxable income within this period may qualify for permanent residency through the Skilled Nominated permanent subclass 190.
Some of the eligibility requirement for the two visa categories include:
- An applicant must be invited to apply.
- One must be nominated by an Australian State or territory government agency.
- Provide a relevant skills assessment when lodging your visa application.
- You must be below 45 years old at the time of invitation, but you can still apply if you turn 45 years after you’re invited to apply. Nevertheless, if you turn 45 after submitting your EOI, but before the invitation, you’ll not be invited to apply.
- Meet the given medical and character requirement.
This is just a glimpse of the eligibility criteria for Australia’s State nomination program. If you’re planning to apply for either of the two visas, find out more about the eligibility criteria from the migration department’s website. Meanwhile, for applicants who meet the current requirements, it’s time to apply for skills assessment and take the English language test.