State migration programs closing in response to Coronavirus

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), many states and territories have closed off their borders and implemented travel restrictions. States and territories have made temporary changes to their immigration policy. As a result, some states and territories are not accepting new Subclass 190 and/or Subclass 491 applications. Below we summarised the status of each state and territory.

Subclass 190 Subclass 491
Australian Capital Territory Victoria Open Open
New South Wales Open Closed to offshore applicants
Northern Territory Closed to offshore general skilled migration Closed to offshore general skilled migration
Queensland Closed Closed to offshore applicants
South Australia Closed to overseas applicants* Open
Tasmania Closed to overseas applicants Closed to overseas applicants in Category 3A unless the occupation is listed in ‘High Demand’ section.
Western Australia Open Open

South Australia

To support the State Government’s response to COVID-19, Immigration SA is implementing changes which prioritise the processing and nomination of health and medical professionals.

Reduced work experience requirements for medical and health professionals working in South Australia 

International graduates of South Australia – medical and health professionals

Medical and health professionals who have graduated from a South Australian higher education provider and currently reside and work in South Australia in their nominated or closely related occupation (minimum 40 hours per fortnight), are exempt from the three-month work experience requirement. Applicants accessing the work experience exemption will only be eligible for nomination for a provisional 491 visa. New requirements apply to 190 nomination eligibility – see below.

Applicants currently working as a medical or health professional in South Australia 

Medical and health professionals listed here who currently reside and work in South Australia in their nominated or closely related occupation (minimum 20 hours per week) are exempt from Immigration SA’s current work experience requirements. Applicants accessing the work experience exemption are only eligible for a provisional 491 visa nomination.

Please note the 5 year work experience requirement has been removed for Registered Nurses working in their occupation or closely related occupation in South Australia.

For medical and health professionals who are currently working in their nominated or closely related occupation in South Australia, a minimum of 65 points is required, including state-nomination points, and competent English.

190 nomination eligibility – medical and health professionals 

Medical and health professionals listed here who are currently working for the last 12 months in their nominated or closely related occupation (minimum 20 hours per week) in South Australia (or the last 6 months in their nominated or closely related occupation (minimum 20 hours per week) in a country region of South Australia) remain eligible for a permanent 190 visa.

Priority processing for medical and health professionals working in South Australia

Processing times for state nomination vary depending on the volume of applications received and applications from medical and health professionals will be prioritised in the first instance.

South Australia- Changes to requirements for 190 visa subclass nomination 

Immigration SA is closing 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). Only applicants currently working for the last 12 months in their nominated or closely related occupation (minimum 20 hours per week) in South Australia or the last 6 months in their nominated or closely related occupation (minimum 20 hours per week) in a country region (of South Australia) will be eligible to apply for permanent 190 visa nomination. If you do not meet these requirements, you are only eligible to apply for 491 visa nomination. This applies to all occupations except for the following:

  • 132211 Finance Manager
  • 149914 Financial Institution Branch Manager
  • 221111 Accountant (General)
  • 221112 Management Accountant
  • 221113 Taxation Accountant
  • 221211 Company Secretary
  • 221213 External Auditor
  • 221214 Internal Auditor
  • 222112 Finance Broker
  • 222311 Financial Investment Adviser
  • 222312 Financial Investment Manager
  • 224711 Management Consultant

These occupations are no longer eligible for a subclass 190 nomination as they have reached their quota. Applicants for these occupations can still apply for nomination for the provisional 491 visa subclass.

South Australia- Occupations closed to offshore applicants 

The following hospitality occupations are now closed for offshore applicants.

  • 141111 Cafe or Restaurant Manager
  • 351311 Chef
  • 351411 Cook

The changes listed in this news item are effective immediately for state nomination applications submitted to Immigration SA on or after 12pm on 27 March 2020. If you currently have a saved state nomination application that has not yet been submitted to Immigration SA, you will need to meet the requirements above relevant to your nominated occupation or visa subclass.

Tasmania

Tasmania Subclass 491: Category 3A – Overseas Applicant Restrictions

The rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19 has necessitated 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 lodgment).

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

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Immigration closure of offshore GSM applications

In response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak the Australian Government announced closure of its borders effective from Friday 20 March 2020 at 9pm EST (Eastern Standard Time).

In light of this MigrationNT will stop accepting offshore General Skilled Migration applications for the Northern Territory nomination effective from 12 midnight on Tuesday 24 March 2020 until further notice.

Existing applications received and paid will still be processed in accordance with current service standards.

Seekvisa’s Coronavirus action plan

The Seekvisa team have plans in place to ensure ongoing operation for our current and prospective clients. We are able to work entirely remotely in the event that self-isolation is required or the offices are closed, including accessing client files, emails and phones, lodging applications, and accessing documents.

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