As the 2020-2021 program year approaches its completion, Australian states and territories are driving up efforts to fill up the remaining places on their skilled visa program allocations for skilled migration to Australia. Australian regions have increased efforts to accept applications for skilled migration to Australia with the subclasses 190 and 491 visas, with a strong focus on occupations that fill critical skills required to support the country’s economic recovery following the pandemic.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT government is holding invitation rounds for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) to invite applicants for skilled migration to Australia. In the latest invitation round held on 26 March 2021, the ACT government issued 15 and 80 invitations for the subclasses 190 and 491 visas, respectively.
New South Wales
New South Wales is currently looking to bring in skilled migrants in the health, engineering and ICT occupations in an effort to boost the state’s economic recovery and health response to the coronavirus pandemic. The state recently announced a new occupations list for skilled migration to Australia, with a strong focus on the engineering and health sector occupations, among others.
Northern Territory and Western Australia
Both Northern Territory and Western Australia are currently accepting applications for skilled migration from onshore applicants only.
Queensland is currently working on clearing its significant backlog of skilled migration applications received in the first week of February 2020. The state has indicated that the skilled migration program could be reopened in April 2021 for onshore applicants.
South Australia is also continuing to accept skilled migration applications from onshore applicants only. This trend looks set to continue whilst Australia’s borders remain closed for international travel due to the pandemic. However, the state will resume accepting offshore applications once borders are reopened.
Australia’s island state has used up around 60 per cent of its allotted skilled migration nomination places, and applications for the remaining spots for the subclasses 190 and 491 visas are being considered. Applications lodged between 20 and 31 March 2021 will be considered for the remaining skilled migration places.
Victoria is focusing on selecting health occupation applications for skilled migration to Australia with the subclasses 190 and 491 visas. According to the latest program review, 1,140 applicants were selected to apply for the subclass 190 visa, and 270 applicants were selected for the subclass 491 visa to Australia.