Western Australia Set to be the Most Desirable State for Skilled Migrants

As the skilled worker shortage continues to hurt the Australian economy, the Government of Western Australia has announced they are shaking up their migration program to support industry demand and attract more skilled workers. These changes will make Western Australia a highly attractive state for skilled migrants.

Although the Federal Government sets minimum migration requirements, each State can apply for additional criteria. The McGowan Government will temporarily relax their visa requirements. These include:

  • waiving the $200 application fee;
  • halving the requirement to have an employment contract from 12 months to six months;
  • reducing requirements for applicants to demonstrate sufficient funds; 
  • removing additional English requirements for professional and manager occupations, and; 
  • reducing work experience requirements for the 2022-23 program year to attract more skilled workers to WA.

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said, “These latest changes are about making it easier for people to migrate to WA on skilled migration visas. They are targeted changes that are focused on attracting more skilled migrants to the State in the short-term and will be reviewed as the State’s skills challenges ease.”

In addition to these changes, more than 100 occupations will be added to Western Australia’s skilled occupation list, of which 46 will be health occupations. Other occupations include hairdressers, taxation accountants, ICT support engineers, supply and distribution managers, safety inspectors, and driving instructors.

In an official statement, Premier Mark McGowan said, “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. The changes to the State Nominated Migration Program will build on our work to boost skilled migration in areas of high demand by making migration to WA easier.”

These changes come as Western Australia’s ‘Build a Life in WA’ campaign is being extended to attract skilled workers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Mr McGowan said he looked forward to welcoming more UK and Irish nationals to “our great state.” He also talked about what made WA such a great place to live. “What makes Western Australia so attractive compared to other states is that we have the highest annual salary and the lowest average mortgage – so if you want to earn a good wage while paying less on your home then you should look at WA.”

These changes come on top of the new free Skilled Migrant Employment Register, a tool introduced by the McGowan Government to help skilled migrants settle in WA and make employers aware of new talent. Sue Ellery said, “We have been working closely with industry and have invested in an extensive range of initiatives to address the skills needs of our State.” Mr McGowan also said he is looking to the upcoming Australian Jobs and Skills Summit as another opportunity to address issues managed by the Commonwealth Government.

State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook said, “I highly encourage anyone wanting a sea change to make the move to WA and help to contribute to the future of our state.” 


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