NSW State sponsorship and regional migration

By: Niraj Shrestha
Nepali Vision | For skilled migrants, there are a number of options or visa subclasses which they can apply in order to migrate to Australia. If you have enough points and your occupation is on the SOL list, you can apply directly for independent category subclass 189 visa. You must have a positive skill assessment of your nominated occupation from the skill assessing authority and you must have 6 in each band in IELTS or equivalent scores in other test like PTE, Cambridge English Test or TOEFL iBT at the time of application.
You can apply along with your family members and at the time of application, you can be either in Australia or outside Australia. If you are granted visas under this subclass, you can stay any part of Australia and there is no restriction for you to relocate whenever you wish after the grant of the visa. There are about 180 occupations only on SOL list and your occupation must be one of them in order to be eligible for independent category visa. Once you are granted PR visa, you can sponsor your family members on partner visa and your brother and sisters to come to Australia on a skilled visa. At this stage, you must have minimum 60 points in order for you to be eligible for independent category visa.
If you do not have enough points or your occupation is not on the SOL list but on CSOL list, you may be eligible for state sponsorship visa subclass 190. The state or territory must nominate you before you are eligible to apply for permanent visa. You can claim extra 5 points after you are nominated by the state or territory and you must meet all the criteria set out by the relevant states or territory where you intend to apply. Recently NSW state has come out with a new SOL list and it includes Accounting, External Auditor, System Analyst and other Engineering and Health sector occupations. According to them, the applicant must first submit EOI expressing their intention to be nominated by NSW and if their application is successful, the applicant will be invited to apply for state sponsorship. The applicant gets 14 days after he or she gets the invitation and once they apply, it may take up to 12 weeks to finalise the application. If the sponsorship is approved, then the applicant will get an invitation directly from DIBP or skill select to lodge the visa application.
When you get an invitation from DIBP, you will have 2 months to lodge the valid application. It is important you must claim the right points when you submit EOI because your application will be refused if your claim is found to be incorrect. The only catch in this type of visa is you must commit to live and work in the nominating state for 2 years after the grant of the visa. The applicant needs to understand having an occupation on NSW SOL list doesn't ensure you get an invitation to apply for state nomination because the occupation ceilings apply to each occupation and once the target for specific occupation is met, it is no longer available for nomination. It is not known how they assess the application but has indicated that they look at number of factors like work experience, english proficiency test in addition to when EOI was submitted. Definitely if you have higher english test score coupled with few months or year of experience in your nominated occupation, the chances are you will be likely invited for nomination or you will have an advantage over other applicants even though the claimed points are the same.
The last category of skilled migration is state regional migration which is subclass 489. If your occupation is on SOL list but you don't have enough points either to apply independent category or state sponsorship visa subclass 190, then this can be an option for you under General Skilled Migration. This is a pathway to permanent visa because once the subclass 489 holder lives 2 years and work full time at least 1 year in a  regional area, they can be eligible to lodge permanent visa. You can either be nominated or sponsored by your close relatives who lives in a regional area or can be nominated by state or territories to be eligible for lodgment. If you are sponsored by your relatives, your occupation must be on SOL list but if you are seeking nomination from state or territory for this subclass, your occupations must be on the demand list of the respective state or territory. The applicant must satisfy other criteria like English proficiency and work experience etc to be nominated by state or territory. As per migration regulation, the whole area of South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, WA except Perth and mostly regional area of other states except Canberra is considered or fall under regional area of Australia. The applicant is usually granted 4 years visa and family members can apply along with the primary applicant. At the end of 4 years, they can again apply to renew the visa.
Source: Department of Immigration and Citizenship
(Note: The write is a registered migration agent and advises applicant to consult with a migration agent before making any visa application)