Australia has a federal system of government, with its national Commonwealth government (which is responsible for immigration) and six state and two territory governments. Each state and territory government can sponsor applicants for a skilled visa with the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). State and territory governments have their own individual criteria that determines whom is eligible to receive their nomination. In return for nomination, applicants must agree to reside within the sponsoring state/territory for at least their first two years in Australia.
Obtaining state/territory nomination confers many benefits and for many applicants a skilled visa is only available with such a nomination. Each Australian state and territory has their own State Migration Plan in place which lists the occupations it offers nomination to. Many of the occupations listed on these State Migration Plans are not listed on the national Skilled Occupation List (SOL). For people in occupations not on the SOL, a skilled visa is therefore only available through state nomination with the various State Migration Plans containing a vast number of non-SOL occupations.
These State Migration Plans also determine which occupations are eligible for nomination for a permanent visa or instead a provisional visa. If nomination for a provisional visa is only available, this may also require you to live in a regional area of the sponsoring state/territory. Provisional visas convert to permanent residency after at least two years living in the relevant area of the sponsoring state/territory and working for at least one year.
State/territory nomination also provides additional points on the visa points test which will in many cases be needed to meet the minimum pass mark. Nomination also results in priority visa application processing by the DIBP.
When submitting their Expression of Interest, applicants will select which (if any) states and/or territories they are interested in being sponsored by. Applicants can select as many states/territories that offer nomination to their occupation or can indicate they do not wish to be considered for nomination at all. The state and territory governments then search SkillSelect and choose the applicants they are interested in sponsoring from those that have indicated in their state/territory. The states/territories may request further information and evidence before agreeing to provide nomination. Once a state or territory offers nomination an invitation to apply for the skilled visa is issued by DIBP and the skilled visa application must be lodged. Electing to be considered for nomination by one or more states/territories therefore increases your chance of being invited to apply.
As the majority of occupations eligible for a skilled visa appear on State Migration Plans and not on the SOL, state/territory nomination will be necessary for many applicants. By completing our free visa eligibility questionnaire we can advise which states/territories offer nomination to your own occupation, your points score and your eligibility overall.Free Visa Evaluation