State requirements for the new 491 visa

Below is a summary of the state opening dates for the 491 visa and further detailed information (updated on 4 September 2020)

The Department has provided the MIA with the specific number of interim allocated places for each State and Territory for subclasses 190, 491 and the Business Innovation and Investment program, please see below

State & Territory sc 190 sc 491 & 489 BIIP
ACT 250 45 4
NSW 550 150 200
VIC 600 200 400
QLD 200 200 160
NT 80 80 5
WA 200 40 70
SA 300 600 180
TAS 250 400 5
Total 2430 1715 1024

Victoria 491 visa criteria

To support Victoria’s economic recovery and health response, there have been new changes to the nomination program. This program will open on the 8 September 2020. From 8 September 2020 until 5 October 2020, Victoria will only select applicants who are working in health or medical research and are contributing to Victoria’s economic recovery and/or health response.


  • You must first register your interest for Victorian State Nomination by 21 September 2020.
  • You must be living in Victoria.
  • You must already be working in Victoria for at least 6 months.
  • You must be working in health or medical research which supports Victoria’s economic recovery.

ACT 491 nomination criteria:

The Australian government has directed ACT to nominate those who can support the economic recovery post-COVID. As such, you must meet the following criteria before you apply for the nomination:

  • Resided in Canberra for at least 3 months
  • One of the following:
    • Nominated occupation is on the ACT Critical Skills List, OR
    • A primary holder of a subclass 457/482 visa sponsored by an ACT employer:
      • You have worked in Canberra for the sponsor for at least 3 months
      • The visa must have a minimum of 12 months validity at time of nomination application.
    • Must be working for an ACT employer in Canberra for at least 3 months (must be paid employment, and for a minimum of 20 hours per week).

You can find the ACT Critical Skills List here.

Please see the ACT nomination criteria in more detail here.

WA State nomination under the new 491 visa

WA state nomination program is currently suspended. WA will not be issuing invitations during this period.

NT 491 nomination criteria

The Australian government has not yet allocated NT with nomination quota. As such, no invitation will be issued during this period.

QLD 491 nomination criteria

The BSMQ business and skilled program is NOW OPEN. BSMQ are open from 29 September 2020 until 5 October 2020. Please note, only decision-ready applications in a COVID-19 priority area will be considered.

NSW 491 nomination criteria

Whilst the Australian government has allocated NSW with nomination quota. There are only limited number available. For this reason, NSW will not be accepting new applications at this time.

TAS 491 nomination criteria

Tasmania has been allocated nomination quota by the Australian government. However, from now until October, to be eligible, your occupation must be critical in supporting Tasmania’s response to COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:

  • individual providing critical or specialist medical services, or
  • individual with critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services, or
  • individual who are involved in delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery.

International graduates who do not work in the critical area would be unlikely to receive a nomination at this stage.

SA 491 nomination criteria

South Australian (SA) Government has recently announced new changes to their nomination process. As you would know, COVID-19 has drastically changed the migration policy for the 2020-21 year. As such, applicants who are in the critical sectors will be prioritised. This year, SA has introduced concessions and waivers for eligible applicants.

Talent and Innovators Program

This is a new program which will allow SA to nominate applicants under three streams. There will be an employment stream, independent talent stream and small business and start up stream. More information will be published in October 2020.

Currently working in SA

This program is also divided into three categories.

Currently working in SA

If you are presently working in SA, you may be eligible for this priority program. More information will be available in October 2020.

Currently living and working in outer regional SA

You must be working in your nominated occupation in outer regional SA for at least 15 hours per week. Eligible postcodes can be found here.


Long term residents – Graduate

This is available to former graduate of SA who is currently residing in SA, who has either:

  • Resided in SA for the last 5 years, and is currently working for the last 12 months in  in any skilled occupation, including all Skill Level 1, 2, 3 occupations and Skill Level 4 Carers and Aides occupations (the occupation you are working in does not have to be related to your nominated occupation).
  • Resided in SA for the last 7 years and is currently working for the last 12 months in South Australia in any of the occupations within  the ANZSCO 2 digit sub-major group listed below (does not have to be a skilled occupation or related to your nominated occupation).
  • 82 Construction and Mining Labourers
    83 Factory Process Workers
    iii.84 Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers

International graduate must work at least 20 hours per week for Greater Adelaide and at least 15 hours per week for outer regional SA.

Long term residents – Non- Graduate

This is also available to other temporary visa holders:

You must have resided in SA for at least 5 years and must currently be working for at least 12 months in SA in any occupation. The work must be at least 20 hours per week for Greater Adelaide and at least 15 hours per week for outer regional SA.

International Graduate of SA

As an international graduate of SA, you may be eligible for priority stream as well. Below are the requirements:

  • Your SA qualification must be in the same field as your skills assessment and nominated occupation.
  • The course must be CRICOS registered and a minimum of 46 weeks,
  • At least 50% of the degree is completed in SA.
  • Must have resided at least 1 year during your study.
  • Must have continued to reside in SA after graduating.
  • Must be currently working in your nominated occupation for the last 3 months in SA. However, if you are a high performing graduate and/or has high English proficiency, you may be eligible for a work experience waiver.

Above are the new priority program available to visa applicant.