Job adverts in a local newspaperProbably many of you have heard about ‘state migration’, ‘state nomination’, or being ‘sponsored/nominated by a state’. In the post today I would like to clarify what state migration actually is and how it differs from other migration streams such as being sponsored directly by an employer.

State or territory governments similarly to employers constantly monitor situation on the job market. They not only want that market to be competitive but also want attract skilled migrants to come and work for local companies who feel pressure of insufficient or not suitably qualified workforce.

State or territory governments do their own sorting through and assessment of what kind of skilled workers they want to nominate. Before lodging an actual visa application it is mandatory for you to be nominated first.


The following visas are used by state government/territory agencies when nominating applicants:


  • Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated (Permanent)
  • Subclass 489 – Regional Sponsored (Temporary)


You will be invited to apply for a visa as long as all conditions below are met:


  • you pass the points test for your chosen visa subclass
  • the nominating State/Territory government has places available in their State Migration Plan
  • the number of invitations for a given profession has not been filled up (it has not reached an annual occupational ceiling). This is simply to prevent the situation when one or a few occupations dominate the whole state’s migration plan.
  • you are nominated by State or territory government
  • you pass IELTS test unless exempt (usually it is between 6-7 depending on state/territory and profession)
  • when required, you successfully pass a skills assessment


In order to start application process using state migration you need to lodge your Expression of Interest (EOI) online through Skill Select. It is the only way to be nominated for state/territory migration. In both visas you will have to achieve at least 60 points score. That score might change from time to time but at the time of writing it is set at 60 points.
You will have 60 days to respond to that invitation, that is to apply for a visa, or an invitation will expire.


Advantages of being nominated by state/territory:


  • it is relatively easier to apply than than Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) option which is also points-tested. You will be given 5 extra points for being invited by State/Territory (Subclass 190) or 10 extra points for such invitation on Subclass 489.
  • you might have even higher chances if you specify in your EOI that you are happy to work in regional areas of Australia (for Subclass 190 it is optional, for Subclass 489 it is mandatory)
  • in some situations you might be granted a visa without any condition to find your employer first (depending on the state/territory nominating you and your profession you have chosen)
  • applicants nominated by state/territory will have their visa application processed quicker due to higher priority


Disadvantages of state/territory nomination:


  • you have to be nominated by state government/territory agency before being able to lodge a visa application
  • you will need to reside in the state that has nominated you for the duration of your visa, therefore you have a limited flexibility to change jobs
  • your job migh be located in ‘regional’ area normally far from big cities area which might prove to be quite an isolated part of Australia (this applies especially to Subclass 489).
  • both visas (190 & 489) are points-tested and passing points test is mandatory
  • your profession has to be listed on your state’s Migration Plan List for you to be eligible to apply for a visa


Being nominated by a state or territory can become be a great opportunity to secure a long term job or be able to apply for permanent residency especially when you currently have no employer willing to hire you.
This should be considered as a big benefit over ENS/RSMS visas (186/187) or even 457 visa which require an employer in the first place.
If you need to discuss your options please contact us by clicking here.