Immigration SA is introducing some changes to its general skilled migration nomination policies. All involve offering greater opportunity for nomination, with graduates of South Australia’s educational institutions particularly benefiting.
- Rewarding international students that have been long-term residents of South Australia
- Expansion of the high performing graduate category for South Australian graduates
- Removal of the minimum bachelor’s degree requirement under the Chain Migration category
Immigration SA recognises the long pathway that some students take to achieving their career and permanent residency goals.
Immigration SA particularly would like to recognise those current and former students that have contributed to and remained in South Australia (and no other jurisdiction) for many years, showing their ongoing commitment to the state.
From 28 February 2019, Immigration SA will offer state nomination for the Provisional 489 visa to any applicant who:
- Is a current or former international student residing in South Australia; AND
- Has resided continually in South Australia since March 2012 or earlier and continues to reside in South Australia; AND
- Is currently:
- working in South Australia in any occupation (does not have to be at a skilled level) for at least the last 3 months (minimum of 40 hours per fortnight); OR
- studying a course with a minimum duration of one academic year in South Australia.
- This policy is being introduced as a pilot initially. Immigration SA reserves the right to change its nomination requirements, whilst Commonwealth requirements may also change.
- Applicants will need to show evidence that they have remained in South Australia continuously since March 2012. This includes confirmation of the various courses enrolled in, visa subclasses held and residency over time.
- Applicants who have lived, studied or worked in another Australian jurisdiction for any period of time since 2012 will not be eligible. Verification checks will apply.
- Short visits home or holidays will not break the SA residency requirement, provided that evidence of continued connection to South Australia is provided (i.e. continued enrolment and/or employment and relevant visa held).
- To be considered a former international graduate of South Australia, you must have completed a CRICOS registered course with a minimum duration of 46 weeks.
- If currently studying, this course must also be CRICOS registered for a minimum of 46 weeks.
- The applicant must meet all other state nomination and Department of Home Affairs’ requirements. As per any application for state nomination, a valid Skills Assessment and English language test result is required. For the latter, only the minimum Department of Home Affairs requirement of ‘Competent’ English is necessary (unless a higher level is required for registration purposes - see 6.5 and 9.10).
Immigration SA offers state nomination without the need for work experience to students able to obtain a skills assessment where they can meet the high performing graduate settings.
For South Australian graduates with a bachelor’s degree graduates or a masters by coursework after a South Australian bachelor’s degree, this work experience waiver required a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 6.0. This mark remains for those seeking nomination for a permanent 190 visa.
For other students who have performed very well in their studies, but not to a GPA of 6.0 and above, Immigration SA will offer Provisional visa nomination (subclass 489) to those scoring a GPA of 5.20 to 5.99. This will allow these students to spend longer in South Australia than via other temporary pathways available, giving them more time to establish their careers.
This expansion is most relevant to those students completing courses where an occupational skills assessment is possible immediately upon course completion, such as engineering and accounting/business degrees. Some courses, particularly those assessed by VETASSESS, require at least 12 months of skilled work experience before a skills assessment can be awarded.
To access this waiver, the applicant must have completed their South Australia degree within the last two years and continued to live in South Australia since then.
Since its introduction in July 2014, chain migration has allowed a pathway for many migrants to join with their family members in South Australia.
For applicants with an eligible family member already residing in South Australia, the chain migration pathway offers access to occupations on the Supplementary Skilled List, but since its introduction, this required a minimum bachelor’s degree or higher.
This bachelor’s degree requirement has now been removed, meaning access to a range of trade occupations that are not on the State Nominated Occupation List is now possible for those with eligible family in South Australia.
The chain migration pathway continues to offer access to a provisional visa, not a permanent visa.
It remains important that chain migration applicants carefully consider their likelihood of achieving skilled employment in their nominated occupation or any other occupation when making the decision to migrate, as they are being nominated primarily based on their close family links. We expect that the existing family member will be on hand to provide considerable settlement support as required.