Updated: Sep 22
This article discusses updates on the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas for subclass 190 and 491 in the current financial year. We will look at the visa numbers and recent updates from each State and Territory.
Tasmania was allocated 2150 seats for 190 and 2100 seats for 491 last financial year.
In their newsletter, Tasmania has advised that the Australian Government has issued Tasmania's allocation for the State and Territory nominated visa categories for the 2023-2024 program year. The allocations are:
Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa: 600 places
Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) visa: 600 places
This allocation is significantly lower than anticipated. The Department of Home Affairs has advised that reductions have been enacted across the entire State and Territory Nominated Program due to the many visa applications following the high quotas and subsequent nominations issued in 2022-23.
We understand that this will significantly concern many current and prospective applicants. We are continuing to engage with the Australian Government on this matter.
Tasmania will provide further details about how Tasmania will manage Tasmania's Skilled Migration State Nomination Program for 2023-24.
Applications for nomination have been lodged but have yet to be decided.
Applications for nominations that have been lodged but have yet to be decided will continue to be processed—those lodged before 1 July 2023 against the requirements that were in place at the time of application. If approved, they will be nominated in SkillSelect shortly.
Tasmania conducted a Webinar to update applicants regarding their program this year, and the critical points in this webinar were:
TAS will give very few invitations to overseas applicants and primarily to those with a job offer from a TAS employer. It is unlikely to nominate overseas applicants if there is no job offer.
The State wants to focus on retaining people already living and working in Tasmania, but it will be Highly competitive.
The State has been generous with re-nominations in the past, but this will not be the case this year. They do not have enough places, unfortunately. So, suppose there is a mistake in EOI after the applicant has been nominated, Or the SKA or English Language test expires. In that case, they will only do a nomination again with a new application. So, the applicants are required to do a new EOI and a new ROI and wait for a nomination again.
For applicants wondering about their chances? It will come down to priority attributes. The gold attributes would be the best, as they will get automatically invited. And the more green means more chances. Someone with four green attributes will get invited quicker, but someone with one attribute may get invited in 8 weeks, provided how much interest the State has received. Orange, we are still determining if we can invite within six months.
Graduates will have an edge, especially if doing skilled Work connected to their skilled studies.
Otherwise, look for other options for gaining more work experience, taking advantage of visa extensions being given by DHA to upskill yourself, or looking for employer-sponsored visas.
Once invited to apply for nomination, we will process it quicker this year than last year's processing times.
Last year, TAS could invite most ROI within six months; this is different this year. Your ROI may expire in 6 months, and you must do a new ROI.
But if looking for the subclass 491 business owner category, there are priority attributes for these businesses as well, like the level of investment and employment level of income you are drawing from. A graduate running a business with a connection to studies is another key attribute.
Victoria was allocated 12,900 seats for 190 and 2,000 seats for 491 last financial year.
In their newsletter, Victoria has advised that the Australian Government has allocated 3,300 skilled visa nomination places to Victoria for the 2023-2024 program.
Victoria's allocation consists of:
Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) – 2,700 places
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) – 600 places
More information on the 2023-24 program, including eligibility requirements and program dates, will be published on the Live in Melbourne website when available.
NT was allocated 600 seats for 190 and 1400 for 491 last financial year.
In their newsletter, NT has advised that the Australian Government has provided a significantly reduced allocation of GSM nominations for the 2023-24 program year compared to previous years.
To manage the current pipeline of nomination applications against the reduced allocation, MigrationNT will temporarily stop accepting new nomination applications from 5 p.m. Thursday, 24 August 2023.
Existing applications that have already been lodged through the online MigrationNT portal before this time will continue to be assessed under existing eligibility criteria and eligible applicants will be issued nominations. Please note that this eligibility criteria will be strictly applied.
Once the existing applications have been assessed, the program will be reopened for subclass 491 nomination applications only and with tighter criteria. These details will be published on this website.
Those with visas expiring should seek professional advice on their visa options and ensure they remain lawful during their stay in Australia.
The NT Government continues to advocate for increased allocation and migration settings that suit the needs of the Territory.
SA was allocated 3000 seats for 190 and 5800 for 491 last financial year.
In their news update, SA has advised that recently, the Commonwealth Government provided advice on its decision to significantly reduce visa nomination allocations for South Australia's General Skilled Migration (GSM) program in 2023–24.
An allocation of 2,300 nomination places has been provided, contrasting with the 8,800 places allocated to the State in 2022–23.
We will continue to support South Australia's priority industries with the limited places available, including our focus on attracting overseas skilled migrants in critical sectors such as Health and Defence.
Further information about the 2023–24 GSM program will be announced shortly, and GSM applications from the 2022–23 financial year will be finalised in the coming weeks.
New South Wales
NSW was allocated 9108 seats for 190 and 6168 seats for 491 last financial year.
In their news update, NSW has advised that aligned with the Australian Government, our goals are straightforward: we're using our nominations to address skill shortages across various sectors, with a particular focus on priority areas including health, education, and infrastructure. Our Work with the Australian Government helps us find the best ways to fill these gaps in NSW.
Information on how state and territory allocations have been distributed for the 2023-24 year has been published on the Home Affairs website.
Understanding planning levels and allocations
It's essential to distinguish between Home Affairs planning levels and state and territory allocations.
Home Affairs planning levels refer to the number of visas granted in a financial year. This figure includes primary and secondary applicants and encompasses applications from previous financial years, a significant amount in many cases. A state's allocation refers to the number of primary applicants a state may nominate for a particular visa during a financial year.
Unlike planning levels, this number does not include secondary applicants. This distinction is vital for understanding the broader migration landscape and how individual states like NSW fit within it.
Supporting regional skills
We remain dedicated to helping regional NSW prosper. Our regional skilled migration program ensures that businesses in regional NSW can access skilled workers. We are continuing our seminars across NSW to support regional employers in planning their workforce.
Your opportunities in NSW
We're partnering with the Australian Government on the "Dream Big" campaign to encourage migration to NSW. We are committed to making NSW an appealing place for skilled migrants worldwide. Stay tuned for exciting events coming up.
Impact of skilled migration
The skilled migration visa program is crucial for providing skilled workers in priority areas. This helps NSW grow by attracting skilled migrants, encouraging innovation, and making our economy more competitive.
Guidelines and updates
Our nomination guidelines will largely remain consistent with last year's framework. However, adjustments to the skilled occupation list are under consideration, reflecting our ongoing commitment to aligning with the current needs and priorities. While we don't anticipate significant changes, we recognise the importance of staying responsive to emerging trends. Any updates or alterations will be announced as promptly as possible, and for the most up-to-date information, we recommend regularly checking our website.
Skilled invitation rounds
Our skilled invitation rounds will continue throughout the financial year. We expect these rounds to be highly competitive. Because receiving an invitation to apply for our nomination is not guaranteed, we strongly urge all those interested in migrating to NSW to explore all other migration pathways and not rely solely on being invited.
Australian Capital Territory
ACT was allocated 2025 seats for 190 and 2025 seats for 491 last financial year.
In their news update, the Director of the ACT Migration program has advised that the allocations for the ACT in State and territory-nominated visa categories for 2023-24 are as follows:
Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) 600
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) 600
The allocation is smaller than the allocation in 2022-23. It is also significantly smaller than the ACT's allocation requested from the Department of Home Affairs. ACT acknowledges the impacts this may have on business and skilled migrants living in or wishing to migrate to the ACT.
The Australian Federal Government has committed through the National Cabinet to providing a more significant role for states and territories to contribute to Australia's migration settings as part of developing the new National Migration Strategy (the Strategy). Engagement has already commenced with our jurisdiction in the development of the Strategy. We look forward to the release of the Strategy later in the year.
ACT Nomination Guidelines and ACT Critical Skills List
We note the recent review undertaken and announced in April this year. At this stage, there are no further changes to either the ACT Nomination Guidelines or the ACT Critical Skills list. However, we anticipate a review later in the year and will advise any significant changes in due course.
We endeavor to provide migrants and agents with as much notice as possible, but changes may occur quickly. Please make sure you check our website frequently for updates.
ACT aims to continue with regular invitation rounds. This year's frequency may differ based on various factors, noting the lower allocation. We will provide updates on invitation rounds through the ACT Migration website.
The next invitation round will be undertaken before 29 September 2023.
Given the lower allocation this year, you can expect the number of invitations to decrease, likely resulting in higher minimum scores meriting an invitation.
QLD was allocated 3000 seats for 190 and 2000 seats for 491 last financial year. In their news update, QLD has advised that the Department of Home Affairs has provided states and territories with reduced nomination allocations for the 2023 - 24 program year. This year, Queensland's number of allocations is 1550 skilled visa nomination allocations, significantly less than the requested amount. Based on this, the criteria will focus on attracting highly skilled migrants to Queensland, and we are considering the timing of our program opening.
This year, Queensland state nominations will be highly competitive given our limited places, and we encourage prospective applicants to consider other visa options that may be appropriate to their circumstances.
Queensland has been allocated 900 places for 190 visas and 650 for 491 visas.
Western Australia was allocated 5350 seats for 190 and 2790 seats for 491 last financial year. This year, Western Australia has been allocated 1500 seats for 190 visas and 850 for 491 visas.
The Premier of Western Australia, Roger Cook, calls on the Federal Government to reverse a decision to slash WA's nominated skilled migrant intake by 70 percent — saying the workers are "desperately" needed to build new homes and fill a range of jobs. The Commonwealth has notified the State Government its allocation for the State Nominated Migration Program would be drastically cut from more than 8000 places to just 2350 this financial year.
Despite the total allocation being slashed by nearly 6,000, demand from prospective migrants remains high, with 5,000 expressing interest in WA's Skilled Migrant Employment Register.
If you are considering applying for a 190 or 491 visa, we encourage you to book a consultation with us. We can help you assess your eligibility, gather the required documentation, and prepare your application
The information shared by Nationwide Migration and Education on social media and blogs is for general informational purposes only. (The information is accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change.) It is not legal or immigration advice and should not be relied upon as such.
If you need immigration advice specific to your circumstances, please book a consultation with our Registered Migration Agent.