South Australia first introduced substantial changes for the year 2019-20 in its immigration rules as a pilot case effective from 29th February 2019. Immigration SA had the right to make any changes in the nominations and the Commonwealth requirements.

Starting 3rd July 2019, SA went ahead and implemented the new changes in the immigration rules on a full-fledged basis. There are some noticeable and impactful changes that have come to the forefront. From a new Skilled Occupation list that features 275 occupations for foreign candidates based in SA or abroad to apply for; changing the Supplementary List; a fresh state sponsorship and nomination list under Subclass 489 and 190 Visas; and a new and extended State Nominated Occupation List (SNOL) has come into being for this year. Under SNOL the following occupations have been included – Trade, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Social Welfare, Health and ICT.

Interested applicants can access the nomination applications on the South Australia immigration website.
Some of the key highlights of the new changes are: –

Foreign graduates’ resident in South Australia for a long time

  • SA (South Australia) is offering state nomination to applicants who have applied under the Province 489 visa and have been living in SA since March 2012 or before, especially foreign students who have stayed back in the said jurisdiction for more than seven years now in the state.
  • State nomination is also being granted to applicants who have been working in South Australia, either as a skilled or an unskilled worker for a period of minimum 3 months or 40 hours every fortnight.
  • State nomination is also granted to applicants who are enrolled and studying in South Australia in an academic course with duration of minimum one year.
  • For the applicant to be considered under the category of a former international graduate, the candidate needs to complete formally the CRICOS registered course that has a minimum duration of about 46 weeks.
  • Such candidates can travel back to their home or for holidays for a short tenure and that will not be considered as a break in their residency status. However, candidates need to back this up by showing relevant evidence of their continuity in the state in the form of an enrollment or a job or a VISA.

Chain Migration Policy

  • The bachelors’ degree requirement that was earlier essential for chain migration has now been taken off.
  • The Chain Migration Policy was introduced by South Australia in July 2014 which allowed immigrants to come and stay with their families living in South Australia.
  • For such applicants who already have their family or relatives residing in SA, using the chain migration policy meant applying under any of the occupations mentioned under the Supplementary Skilled List.
  • Earlier the bachelor’s degree was an essential criterion.
  • With the removal this year, it means that applicants can apply even for trade occupations that do not feature on the State Nominated Occupation List.
  • However, by virtue of this policy immigrants can gain only a provisional visa and not a permanent one.
  • It is therefore advisable that chain migrants obtain a form of skilled employment in the nominated occupation or any other.

Occupation List

  • The State nomination list for the year 2019-20 has been extended by the state. 275 occupations have been made available on the list for foreign applicants, either residing in SA or elsewhere.
  • About 223 occupations have been listed on the Supplementary Occupation List. The supplementary list can be availed by international graduates residing in SA; applicants who have been working in SA as a skilled labor for a period of 12 months; applicants who have their family or relatives residing in SA for 2 years or more; and applicants who have 80 points or more.

High Point system

  • Students who can obtain higher performance graduate settings in skills assessment will also be eligible for state nomination. Students whose performance is on a superior level will be considered even if they do not have any relevant work experience. This is especially true for those graduates who have obtained their bachelors or master’s degree. The work experience waiver is only for students who can obtain a minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) of 6.0 and is applicable for a permanent 190 visa.
  • Students who are doing well in their studies but have not been able to score a GPA of 6.0 or more, the facility of Provisional visa nomination under subclass 489 will apply for those who score between 5.20 to 5.99 GPA. This is mostly applicable to candidates from the engineering and accounting background and qualification.
  • Students who want state nomination under permanent 190 Visa will also have to meet the criteria of minimum GPA of 6.0 as mentioned above.
  • Candidates who have high points will be considered for state nomination. To be eligible, candidates need to have minimum 80 points or more. However, there can be allocations in this case – the minimum required points can change during the year. Plus, people engaged in certain occupations can be stopped from being nominated under the High Points systems.
  • There are certain courses that are assessed by VETASSESS where the applicant would be required to be working in their area of skills for minimum a year before the skill assessment report is prepared and awarded. In order to be eligible for this waiver, the candidate needs to complete his degree from South Australia within a period of two years and then live in this region after the completion of the degree course.

ICT occupations

  • Applicants who fall under the ICT occupation category will have to score minimum 75 points or more along with having a positive ACS Skill Assessment report.
  • However, foreign candidates who are already working in South Australia or have completed their graduate qualification from SA will need to have minimum 65 points for this category.
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