State-by-State: Updates and Changes to Skilled Visas

State-by-State: Updates and Changes to Skilled Visas

Covid-19 is having a huge impact on just about everything in life, including visas. Here are the latest updates and changes regarding Skilled Visas in each state and territory:


New South Wales

There is currently a delay in the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491). Applications will be open soon with some experts tipping July.

The NSW government will announce when applications are open shortly. It should be noted that Live and Work in NSW is not taking any enquiries at this time. Please contact us for further migration assistance.



Victoria has announced that nominations for subclass visas 190 and 491 have been filled for program year 2019-2020. Applications received prior to 28 May 2020 will continue to be assessed with applicants being advised of the outcome in due course. Priority will be given to occupations in sectors deemed critical to the CV-19 pandemic response.

See here for skilled nomination applications Victoria is still accepting.



  • Business & Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) has opened OFFSHORE processing for subclass 491 for selected medical professionals.
  • Queensland Skilled Occupation List for Offshore Applicants 
  • Applicants who receive an offshore grant for a subclass 491 are not guaranteed entry to Australia as our borders are currently closed to temporary visa holders.
  • Applicants would need to apply for an exemption to enter Australia
  • It is at the discretion of the Department of Home Affairs to determine a travel exemption and BSMQ is not able to be involved in this process.
  • BSMQ remains open to nominations for ONSHORE subclass 491 applicants who continue to meet Queensland state nomination criteria.
  • Subclass 190 and all business visas (subclass 188 and 132) have met nomination allocation for FY 2019-20.
  • New quota is likely to be received in July 2020 and applicants will be required to submit a new EOI for Queensland State Nominated visas (subclass 190, 188, 132) at this time.

For the latest news, click here.


South Australia

South Australia has implemented a number of changes for its 190 and 491 Skilled visa nominations. They include:

  • Reduced work experience requirements for medical and health professionals working in South Australia;
  • Priority processing for medical and health professionals working in South Australia;
  • The closing of visa subclass 190 eligibility for applicants who are not currently working in South Australia for the last 12 months (or 6 months in a region) (except for some occupations- see here);
  • Offshore applications for 141111 Cafe or Restaurant Manager, 351311 Chef and 351411 Cook are closed.

For more information, click here.



Tasmania has made temporary changes to eligibility for the Subclass 491: 3A Overseas Applicant (TSOL) nomination category.

As of 20 March 2020, applications for this category are temporarily restricted until further notice to occupations listed in the ‘High Demand’ section of the Tasmanian Skilled Occupation List (TSOL).

Applications under Category 3A lodged prior to this date which specify other occupations will still be considered. Applicants with ‘High Demand’ occupations will, however, be given priority. This means processing times for other Category 3A applications with occupations not listed in the High Demand section will become extended (approximately 6 months from lodgement).

The updated Tasmanian Skilled Occupation List (TSOL) can be accessed here.


Western Australia

Western Australia has limited invitations for some nominated occupations. For more details, click here.



All applicants for a Subclass 491/190 nomination must meet the eligibility criteria at date of Matrix submission. However, applicants impacted by COVID-19 can request a waiver of the ‘continuous employment’ eligibility criteria in the following circumstances:

  • TRAVEL BAN FROM 1 February 2020
    • Applicants whose return to Canberra is delayed due to the COVID-19 travel ban can request a waiver of the continuous employment criteria.
    • Applicants who are required to self- isolate for 14 days due to COVID -19 can request a waiver of the continuous employment criteria.
    • Applicants whose work hours are reduced, are required to take unpaid leave, or have lost their job due to the COVID -19 impact on an ACT business can request a waiver of the continuous employment criteria.

If you are invited to apply for a Subclass 491/190 nomination, any request for a COVID -19 waiver must be in writing, attached to the application and evidenced by supporting documentation. Further information can be found here.


Northern Territory

Changes to eligibility criteria for Northern Territory (NT) nomination under General Skilled Migration Program will take effect from 1 July 2020.

Key changes include extra residency and employability requirements for:

  • NT international student graduates who wish to apply for a subclass 190 nomination
  • other NT residents who wish to apply for an NT nomination.

Important notes:

  • if you or any of your migrating dependants are currently living interstate, you will not be eligible for the Northern Territory (NT) nomination
  • if you or any of your migrating dependants are currently on a student visa and are currently studying in an NT institution, you will not be eligible for NT nomination
  • if you have already been nominated for a subclass 489 or 491 visa by the NT, you will not be eligible for a subclass 190 nomination.

For more information, read here.

Get in touch to find out more information about how This Is Australia can help you with your Skilled Nominated visa.

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