Australia Skilled Migration Update as of 01 July 2021

Today is the first day of the financial year 2021- 2022. Accordingly, there are several changes have been announced, and more to come in the upcoming days, and we will update once they are available.


In this article, the following news are updated:

  • State and Territory nominated visa allocations for 2021-2022
  • Victoria State Nomination changes and requirements
  • Western Australia state nomination changes and requirements
  • Canberra state nomination changes

State and Territory nominated visa categories –2021-22 nomination allocations

The Department of Home Affairs just announced the numbers of nomination allocated to Skilled – Nominated (190), Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491), and Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) for all states and territories in Australia. Generally, the total number of nomination allocations slightly increases compared to the financial year 2020 – 2021.

State Skilled nominated (SC 190) Visa Skilled Work Regional (SC 491) Visa Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)
ACT 600 1,400 30
NSW 4,000 3,640 2,200
VIC 3,500 500 1,750
QLD 1,000 1,250 1,400
NT 500 500 75
WA 1,100 340 360
SA 2,600 2,600 1,000
TAS 1,100 2,200 45
Total 14,400 12,430 6,860

NSW continues to have the greatest number of allocations in both subclass 190 and 491, followed by Victoria. Noticeably, although they have more allocations than other states/ territories, the competitions are relatively high, and the requirements are more difficult to meet. Furthermore, Victoria will give it priority to those who apply for 190 nomination, and 491 nomination will be more difficult to get.

South Australia has an impressive number of allocation, with 600 more places in 190 and 491 compared the financial year 2020 – 2021 (which was 2,000 for each subclass). This would mean that there are more chances to get a nomination from South Australia Government. Tasmania, on the other hand, will have more places for those who apply for 491 nomination.

The allocations for WA and QLD remain the same as last year, and they are quite small compared to the size of these states. NT remains to be the state with the lowest number of places, standing at 500 places for both 190 and 491.

Application for Victoria’s nomination is open

Victoria government just announced that they are opening for the state nomination for 190 and 491, with priority being given to 190 nomination. There are several changes in their requirement, however, it is generally still limited to those who are working in the target sectors (STEMM – being Health, Medical Research, Life Sciences, Digital, Agri-food, Advanced manufacturing, and New Energy, Emissions reduction and circular economy).

If you are not working in the above sectors, your chance of getting an invitation from Victoria is slim.


The health sector in Victoria consists of professionals providing medical services to Victorians as well as those involved in related education and research and development.

You do not necessarily need to be working in a health occupation (e.g. Nurse) to be considered working in the health sector. For example, a software developer working on software for hospitals is considered to be working in the health sector.

Nursing applicants: please note that we only nominate applicants with specific specialisations, such as:

  • Midwife – 254111
  • Registered Nurse (Aged Care) – 254412
  • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) – 254415
  • Registered Nurse (Mental Health) – 254422
  • Registered Nurse (Perioperative) – 254423
  • Registered Nurse (Paediatrics) – 254425
Medical research

In addition to medical research conducted in universities and research institutes, Victoria’s medical research includes activities such as drug development, clinical trials, health product manufacturing, medical devices and digital health.

If you are using your STEMM skills to support medical research in Victoria, you are considered to be working in the medical research sector.

Life sciences

Victoria’s life sciences sector is composed of many industries such as the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Companies involved in food processing, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals may also be considered to form part of the life sciences sector.

If you are using your STEMM skills to support Victoria’s life sciences sector, you are considered to be working in the life sciences sector. For example, a lecturer in biotechnology working in a university is considered to be working in life sciences.


The digital sector makes use of technology and innovation to drive economic growth, productivity and competitiveness in Victoria.

Currently they are only selecting applicants with cyber security skills to apply for subclass 190 visa nomination.  Applicants without cyber security skills who are seeking subclass 190 visa nomination may still be selected if they are using their digital skills in another target sector. For example, a software engineer working in medical research.

Applicants working in any segment of the digital sector will be considered for selection for subclass 491 visa nomination.


The agri-food sector in Victoria includes highly skilled people working to develop food growth and production as well as the modernisation of Victoria’s agri-food sector. To be considered for selection to apply for nomination, applicants must be using their STEMM skills to innovate within the sector, which could include research and development or advanced manufacturing.

Advanced manufacturing

Victoria’s advanced manufacturing sector includes industries such as defence and aerospace. To be considered to be working in advanced manufacturing, you must be using your STEMM skills to enhance innovation. This could include activities such as research and development, design, supply chain management increasing global competitiveness through the use of technology.

New energy, emissions reduction and circular economy

This sector includes industries such as clean energy, renewables, bioenergy, carbon capture and energy storage. Applicants could be using their STEMM skills to support efforts to reduce waste, cut pollution and protect the environment.

Western Australia Skilled Migration Updates

There are several positive changes in the skilled migration program in Western Australia. Below are some key changes:

  • The General Stream of Skilled Migration in Western Australia is divided into 2 categories based on the occupations. There are 2 occupation lists in this streams, namely schedule 1 and schedule 2. If your occupation is in schedule 2, you will not need to prove 1 year work experience in your nominated occupation.
  • There are many occupations that are added to the lists.
  • Accountant (General), Chef, Cook, Early Childhood teacher are now added to schedule 2 of the General Stream. These occupations were taken out of the Graduate stream last year.

Noticeably, if you are applying in General Stream, you will not need to currently study, work or live in Western Australia to receive a nomination. You will, however, need to have a job offer in Western Australia to be eligible for this stream.

For the WA Nomination Requirement, click here.

For WA occupational lists, click here.

Canberra Skilled Migration Updates

Canberra is another state that just announced their changes in the skilled migration program. One of the most significant change is their program is that they added one more stream, which is for Small Business Owner. According to their changes, there are 4 streams under which you can apply for a nomination:

  • Your occupation is in the ACT Critical Skill List
  • You are the primary holder of a subclass 457/482 by an ACT sponsor
  • Small Business Owner
  • PhD Streamlined nomination pathway.

ACT Skilled Migration program remains closed to overseas applicants, until further notice.

To know more about the new Small Business Owner stream in Canberra, click here.

South Australia Skilled Migration Updates

South Australia will open its skilled migration program on 20 July 2021 for this financial year. With a total of 5,200 places allocated for both 190 and 491 nominations, South Australia has announce its changes to the migration program with the following key points:

  • Applicants residing in Australia but not in South Australia now are eligible for the South Australia under Talent and Innovator Employment Stream
  • Offshore applicants are eligible for South Australia state nomination, depending on their nominated occupations.
  • There are 3 main streams: Talent and Innovators Program, Currently living and working in South Australia, and International Graduates stream.
  • For some instances, applicants do not need to work in their nominated occupation to apply for the state nomination.

For more information about South Australia skilled migration program, click here.

For South Australia’s Skilled occupation list, click here.

We expect that other states and territories will have changes announced in the following days. We will keep updated should any one of them become available.

If you would like to find out more about your visa options and evaluate which pathway to take, please contact us on 03 9521 7577 or book an appointment.


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