Updated on 10 Feb 2021
This is a state nominated provisional visa for skilled migrants that allows you to live and work in South Australia for up to five years and can provide a pathway to permanent residency.
State nomination from South Australia provides you with 15 additional points to help you qualify for a subclass 491 visa under the Department of Home Affairs points test.
South Australia offers a state nomination pathway for the subclass 491 visa if you meet all state nomination requirements
If you live and work in South Australia for three years on the subclass 491 visa and meet the minimum taxable income level for at least three years (see the Department of Home Affairs website), you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa.
To qualify for a South Australian state nomination, there are some key requirements that you must meet.
1. Residency Requirements
1.1 State nomination is provided to meet the State’s skills needs and is granted based on the applicant’s genuine interest and intention to live and work in South Australia. In submitting your application you are indicating that you intend to live and work in South Australia with a view to long-term settlement.
1.2 If you are in Australia but not currently residing in South Australia, you are ineligible to apply for state nomination.
1.3 If you are currently residing offshore, you are ineligible to apply for state nomination.
You must be under age 45 at time of nomination.
You must have an occupation on South Australia’s Skilled Occupation List and meet the eligibility requirements for that occupation.
4. Skills Assessment
4.1 You must have a valid and positive General Skilled Migration skills assessment from the relevant authority. Skills assessments must be for your nominated occupation. Refer to the Department of Home Affairs for more information on skills assessments.
4.2 Skills assessments must have been issued within the last three years or if the skills assessing authority has specified a shorter validity period, the skills assessment is only valid until that specified date. The skills assessment must be valid at time of nomination decision.
5. Work experience
5.1 You must meet work experience requirement listed for your occupation.
5.2 Skilled work experience must be undertaken post-course completion and is defined as a minimum of 20 hours per week or 40 hours per fortnight of paid employment in your nominated or closely related occupation (some concessions apply if you are currently working in outer regional South Australia, or you are a long-term resident of South Australia, or for specified occupations). Applicants already working in South Australia and South Australian graduates may be eligible for exemptions or waivers to the work experience requirement, as specified in the occupation requirements.
5.3 The position must be paid at the appropriate rate for the skill level.
6.1 You must meet minimum English language requirement listed for your occupation. Refer to the Department of Home Affairs for more information on English tests.
6.2 Some skills assessing authorities may have higher English language requirements that you will be required to meet. Please check with your skills assessing authority prior to applying.
6.3 If your occupation requires registration or licensing in South Australia, you will need to ensure you meet the English requirement set by the registration or licensing authority to work in South Australia. Occupations with registration requirements include trades, education and health professions. If higher English requirements are listed for your occupation on South Australia’s Skilled Occupation List, you do not need to meet the higher requirement if you are currently registered to practice in South Australia.
6.4 If you are a passport holder or citizen of the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or New Zealand, you do not need to provide an English test result.
7.1 You must meet minimum points requirement listed for your occupation (including state nomination points).
7.2 You will need to ensure you meet all Department of Home Affairs requirements and have documented evidence to support your points claim.
Talent and Innovators Program :
The Talent and Innovators program allows the state to nominate applicants under one of the following four streams.
Employment stream: For highly skilled migrants who are working for South Australian businesses
Start up and small business stream: For entrepreneurial skilled migrants who have started their own business in South Australia
High performing graduate stream: For high performing graduates who have completed their qualification at a South Australian higher education institution
Independent talent stream: For high calibre applicants seeking state nomination
All occupations eligible for migration through state-nomination are available through the Talent and Innovators program. Successful applicants will demonstrate how they bring new ideas, skills and innovation to South Australia and can create local jobs.
Prospective applicants who meet the requirements below for the employment, small business & start-up and independent talent streams are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest for the Talent and Innovators program via the Skilled & Business Migration portal. High performing graduates of South Australia can apply directly for state nomination (they do not need to submit an Expression of Interest application to Skilled & Business migration).
If South Australia is satisfied with your expression of interest, you will be invited to submit an online application form for state nomination. All expressions of interest and applications through the Talent and Innovators program are considered on a case-by-case basis. The requirements for the Talent and Innovators program are an indicative guide and an invitation to apply for state nomination/ nomination is not guaranteed even if you meet these requirements.
All applicants must meet the Department of Home Affairs requirements for the subclass 491 or subclass 190 visa.
The Talent and Innovators program is currently unavailable to applicants applying from offshore.
The Talent and Innovators program is currently unavailable to applicants applying from other Australian states and territories, but cases may be considered in exceptional circumstances.
If you are currently living and working in South Australia, you may qualify for this stream and additional concessions and waivers.
Currently Living and Working in South Australia:
If you have been living and working in South Australia, you are encouraged to consider applying for state nomination.
You must be working at least 20 hours per week or 40 hours per fortnight in your nominated or closely related occupation in South Australia for the duration required for your nominated occupation, unless specified differently for your occupation. If you are working part time (less than 35 hours per week) you may be offered a 491 nomination.
For the purpose of state nomination, closely related occupation is defined as within the ANZSCO 2-digit level. Where specified for your nomination occupation, other occupations may also be considered closely related. A skilled occupation in the same industry as your nominated occupation may also be considered as a closely related occupation.
If you are applying for subclass 491 nomination, you must be currently working for the last 6 months in South Australia, unless specified differently for your occupation.
You must meet the Department of Home Affairs requirements for the 491 or 190 visa subclasses
You must meet the state nomination requirements and the specific requirements listed for your nominated occupation.
If you are a 457, 482 or 494 visa holder with more than 12 months remaining on your visa, you must provide a letter from your current employer consenting to your state nomination application.
International Graduate of South Australia
To be eligible for the International Graduate of South Australia (SA Graduate) pathway, the following study requirements apply:
- Your South Australian course must be CRICOS registered, with a minimum of 46 CRICOS weeks
- A minimum of 50% of your qualification must have been completed in South Australia
- You must have resided in South Australia for at least one year during your period of study
- You must have continuously resided in South Australia post-course completion
- You must meet the Department of Home Affairs requirements for the subclass 491 or subclass 190 visa
- You must meet the nomination requirements outlined here and as listed for your nominated occupation
- You must meet any course requirements or minimum qualification levels listed for your occupation
- To be eligible for subclass 491 or 190 nomination, SA graduates must be currently working in their nominated or closely related occupation for the last 3 months in South Australia (post-course completion), unless specified differently for your occupation
- Where specified, some occupations may require longer work experience requirements.
- For the purposes of state-nomination, closely related occupation is defined as within the ANZSCO 2-digit level. Where specified for your nomination occupation, other occupations may also be considered closely related. A skilled occupation in the same industry as your nominated occupation may also be considered as a closely related occupation. If you are claiming points for your work experience in your SkillSelect EOI, please ensure you meet the Home Affairs requirements to claim points
- Research work undertaken as part of your PhD will not be accepted as skilled work experience
- You must be working at least 20 hours per week or 40 hours per fortnight in your nominated or closely related occupation in South Australia for the duration required for your nominated occupation, unless specified differently for your occupation. If you are working part time (less than 35 hours per week), you may be offered a 491 nomination.
Skilled Work Experience Waivers:
- Waivers to the skilled work experience requirements are available for selected SA graduates if you apply through the Talent and Innovators program – high performing graduate stream
- Where specified for your nominated occupation, waivers to the skilled work experience requirement are available if you are currently working as a care worker or support worker in a role that is relevant to your qualification. Examples include Registered Nurses nec or Enrolled Nurses working as aged and disability care workers and Social Workers or Welfare Workers working as social support workers
- To be eligible for subclass 491 nomination, you must be working for the last 18 months in Greater Adelaide or the last 12 months in outer regional South Australia (for at least 10 hours per week or 20 hours per fortnight). The work does not have to be post-course completion and can be undertaken during your studies
- SA graduates or their partners who have resided in South Australia long-term may also be eligible for a waiver to the work experience requirement if they are working in any skilled occupation for the last 12 months in South Australia. This applies to graduates from all registered training organisations or higher education providers in South Australia.
9. Important Information
SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI)
9.1 For South Australia to approve your nomination in SkillSelect you need to have an EOI which meets the Department of Home Affairs criteria and South Australia’s requirements.
9.2 Your EOI ID number must be recorded correctly, otherwise we will be unable to locate you in SkillSelect and your state nomination application will be refused.
9.3 Your nominated occupation in your EOI must match your nominated occupation on your South Australian online application.
9.4 Your personal details in your EOI must be the same as your South Australian online application. Any discrepancies will result in nomination refusal.
9.5 Any information edited in your EOI, that had not been provided/included at time of submission of your state nomination application and affects your points, will not be accepted.
9.6 If you have made an error in your EOI prior to South Australia’s decision being made, you will need to edit your EOI details & send an email to advise you have amended the EOI. If you are nominated by South Australia, the EOI is frozen and cannot be edited.
9.7 It is preferred that applicants choose ‘South Australia’ only as their nominating state, but applicants selecting ‘ANY’ state or territory or multiple states and territories will be considered for nomination, providing South Australia is one of those selected states.
9.8 If you are refused for any of the above reasons you can re-apply for state nomination provided you meet all state nomination requirements at time of the new application.
9.9 Please read the applications terms and conditions, the nomination requirements above and the document checklist before applying for state nomination. You will be required to acknowledge the terms and conditions as part of your application.
9.10 Nomination is entirely at the discretion of the Government of South Australia. Meeting the minimum published requirements does not guarantee nomination by South Australia, nor nomination for a particular subclass. In assessing your application or Expression of Interest Skilled and Business Migration will consider each application on its merits and the broader to benefit to South Australia.
9.11 South Australia reserves the right to offer a 491 provisional visa for applicants otherwise ostensibly eligible for a 190 visa nomination.
9.12 Additional documentation after submission of your application will not be accepted, unless requested.
9.13 South Australia will only provide one nomination per applicant, per visa subclass, per program year on a discretionary basis.
9.14 Provisional 489 or 491 visa holders are not eligible to apply for South Australian state nomination.
Visa subclass and occupation eligibility requirements
9.15 Both 190 and 491 visa nominations are subject to a limited quota each program year. South Australia reserves the right to revise nomination eligibility requirements for these visa subclasses without notice.
9.16 Occupations available for state-nomination are subject to a quota. South Australia reserves the right to close or revise eligibility for any occupation without notice.
9.17 South Australia reserves the right to ask applicants to withdraw their application, or refuse an application due to changed eligibility criteria.
9.18 Published requirements are only an indicative guide to nomination eligibility and applicants are not guaranteed to receive nomination even if they meet the published requirements.
9.19 Published 190 visa nomination requirements are only an indicative guide to 190 nomination eligibility and applicants are not guaranteed to receive a 190 nomination even if they meet the published requirements. In most circumstances, where an applicant meets 190 nomination criteria but South Australia is unable to offer a 190 nomination at that time, the applicant may be offered a 491 nomination instead.
9.20 South Australia’s eligibility requirements may change, subject to the direction of the Commonwealth Government.
9.21 It is your responsibility to undertake first-hand, thorough and meaningful research on South Australia including: lifestyle, cost of living, education and employment opportunities.
9.22 You are expected to have sufficient funds for settlement when you arrive in South Australia to support yourself and your family.
9.23 You are expected to understand the job opportunities in South Australia and any training, licensing or registration requirements specific to your occupation. State nomination does not guarantee employment, nor is it a job offer. It is your responsibility to research job opportunities, utilise a variety of job search strategies and secure employment. You are encouraged to consider employment opportunities across South Australia.
- Skilled Migration: 6 - 8 weeks
- BIIP streams: 2-4 weeks (apart from 132VCE and 188E which may take up to 8 weeks)
- Employer sponsored & DAMA: 2 - 4 weeks
Skilled Migrants & International Graduates
Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)
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