UPDATE: What you need to know about Subclass 190 & 491 State Nominated Visas Right Now!

16 Oct


Let’s just say, there is no good news about State nominations at the moment, just a hope and a wish that the occupation lists and the quotas will be issued soon.

Read on to find out what each state/territory is doing at the moment.


No state/territory allocations have been released by the Department of Home Affairs

By way of a synopsis, states and territories have not yet received their quotas from the DHA or published their occupation lists. This means it is very difficult for us to provide cohesive advice, with respect to Subclass 190 and 491 visas, and we suggest that you seriously consider other Visa types that may be available to you instead of the Subclass 190 and Subclass 491 visas if you want to migrate to Australia sooner rather than later.

States and territories have subtle differences in what they are saying on their websites which we have made synopsis of below.


New South Wales

Subclass 190

The “Live & Work in New South Wales” Website States that “invitation rounds will commence shortly for Subclass 190 Visa nominations. In line with Home Affairs’ direction, we will only invite applicants in selected health, ICT and engineering occupations, and who currently resides in New South Wales…..Candidates cannot directly apply for NSW nomination and should consider in invited to apply for NSW nomination as a limited possibility.”

The website further suggests that “candidates are encouraged to actively consider all migration pathways and visa options“, which means that you should not rely on receiving a New South Wales nomination, as we think there will be few and far between until the pandemic is well and truly over, and the economy is beginning to return to normal.

Subclass 491

With respect to Subclass 491 nominations, the website states that New South Wales is not accepting new applications, nor can they provide a timeframe when applications will open by phone or email.



On its website, the Victorian government states that it has been provided with a limited number of State nomination Visa places until the full Visa nomination application numbers are finalised. These places are applicable to Subclass 190 and 491 visas. Nominations are limited to “health or medical research workers who are contributing to Victoria’s economic recovery and/or health response“. In addition, applicants must be already living in Victoria, and working in Victoria for a minimum of six months in a highly skilled occupation in health and medical research.



The Queensland State nomination skilled program is closed, and they state on their website that they have “not yet received advice from Home affairs in regards to Queensland nomination allocation for FY20-21 and when we will be able to reopen the business and skilled program. Once we receive advice on nomination allocation, we will post details on the BSMQ homepage and across our social media channels.”



As with the other states, Tasmania is awaiting its allocation for the 2021 program year. It states on the website that the Department of Home Affairs has directed that until the allocations are updated, all nominations must be justifiable in relation to their likely contribution to Australia’s economic recovery, and they will follow three priorities:

  1. High-quality subclass 188 and 132 (Business Innovation and Investment program) nomination applications.
  2. Applicant is critical to supporting Tasmania’s response to the pandemic, including individuals providing critical or specialist medical services, critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services or delivering services in sectors critical to the economic recovery.
  3. Finally, the applicant is currently in Australia and are able to demonstrate their capacity to contribute to Australia’s economic recovery.


Where nomination applications were lodged before Tuesday, 25 August 2020 the website states that applicants can either:

  1. Request priority consideration on the basis that they are engaged in a critical role supporting the health system of Tasmania or the economy.
  2. Withdraw the nomination and receive a full refund.
  3. Continue their application hoping that their nomination will reveal a meaningful contribution to Tasmania’s recovery.

The website specifically states that Visa expiry will not result in an expedited application.


Western Australia

The State nomination migration program in WA was suspended on 21 August 2020. No invitations will be issued while the suspension is in place.

We imagine that WA will reopen its program once the new nomination places are allocated by the DHA.


Northern Territory

The Northern Territory website states that, “the Australian government has not yet allocated nomination quotas to the states and territories with For the 2020/2021 program year. At this stage, General Skills Migration (GSM) nomination applications and Business Investment and Innovation Programme nomination applications will continue to be accepted and assessed, but no nominations will be issued until the Northern Territory has been allocated quotas. Offshore GSM nomination applications remain closed.


Australian Capital Territory

The ACT nomination website states that, “the Australian government’s priority In 2020-21 is supporting Australia’s economic and public health response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes an emphasis on migrants who will make productive investments in Australia, create jobs for Australians, provide critical health and medical schools, and support economic productivity.

The ACT website has a “critical skills list” which was published on 26 August 2020. Before you get too excited about the list though, the list itself has a tiny amount of places. The occupations listed range from sales and marketing manager (less than 5 places), construction project manager (less than 15 places), a variety of registered nurses (less than 10 places), but for ICT/software engineers network administrator type positions there are up to 85 places available. There are no medical practitioner occupations on this list.


South Australia

Their website states “the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has identified critical sectors to support Australia’s COVID-19 public health response and economic recovery applicants who are nominating occupations in the sectors will be prioritised“.

Notwithstanding this announcement, according to a recent email update, South Australia has not been allocated its 2020/21 quota and it is unclear, whether they have an interim quota. They state that they are expecting their quote allocation by the end of November

However, given that, they are still accepting applications from people who are, living and working in South Australia, we presume you can continue to make applications.



It seems apparent from the websites discussed above, that the Government is not going to issue new state quotas until sometime in November. It is also unclear when the new occupation lists will be issued by the States/Territories. Unless you need a Visa urgently we suggest that you wait until the quotas and occupation lists are re-issued.

If you would like information about how we can help you lodged a different kind Visa, please take advantage of a complimentary consultation which you can book here.

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