Australian immigration: State-wise update on skilled migration visa nomination programs for 2022-23

Australian immigration: States and territories are well behind their allocated quotas for skilled visa nomination programs for 2022-2023, halfway through the program year.

Experts say the states will need to pick up the pace of nominations to enable the Department of Home Affairs to process visa grants before the end of June 2023.


  • States and territories way behind their allocated quotas for state-nominated skilled migration programs for 2022-23.
  • Experts expect a surge in invitations under state-nominated programs in the coming months.
  • Onshore temporary visa holders will be prioritised, say experts.

New South Wales

Only 871 intending migrants received nominations from the NSW government from 1 July 2022 to 31 December 2022 for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491), way behind their pro rata of 6,168 places. At the same time, 2,375 invitations were issued for the Skilled Nominated category (subclass 190), nearly 6,700 short of their allocation.

Abul Rizvi, the former deputy secretary of the Department of Immigration, said the jurisdictions would have to stomp on the accelerator to deliver the remaining spots in the next five months of the ongoing migration year.

“Most jurisdictions were still running well behind pro-rata against their record allocations for 2022-23 at the end of December 2022. Therefore, they will need a massive boost in visa grants from January to June 2023 to deliver the 2022-23 migration program,” he told SBS Punjabi.

Meanwhile, with the highest number of state allocations under the state-nominated program, the NSW government last year decided to eliminate requirements related to work experience and minimum points scores for its skilled-nominated visa category.

“Previously published points scores and work experience guides for subclass 190 have been removed due to increased availability of the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) by the Department of Home Affairs,” the NSW government’s website states.


Victoria issued 1,082 invitations for subclass 491 and 4,105 for subclass 190 from 1 July 2022 to 31 December 2022.

Melbourne-based migration agent Saurabh Smar said the next five months would likely see a massive acceleration in visa grants as states grapple with meeting their allocations.

“Numbers indicate that states are lagging behind their pro rata, but in the coming months, we expect that a significant number of applicants will receive invitations from states as they only have less than five months to fill up the remaining places,” he said.

Mr Smar said the bulk of these places would be taken up by temporary migrants already onshore. Explaining the outlook for the next few months, he added that a likely boost in state-nominated skilled visa grants has been triggered by the record number of invitations issued by the federal government in the Skilled Independent category (subclass 189).

So far, there have been three invitation rounds this program year, totalling a staggering 59,182 invitations, indicating a positive trend in the near future.

“Many of the 189 invitations were issued to applicants with a minimum point score of 65, whereas the states maintained high criteria, issuing invitations at the 90 or 95-point benchmark. This served as a wake-up call for states, many of whom, including NSW, have relaxed their criteria to attract more migrants,” Mr Smar explained.

In Victoria, the state government has increased the number of eligible occupations, including all occupations on the Skilled Occupation list to attract a wider pool of applicants.

South Australia

SA is currently the only state past its halfway mark for its 491 allocations. The state issued a total of 2,846 invitations for the Skilled Work Regional visa, only 2,452 short of its pro rata. At the same time, it has nominated 1,512 potential migrants for 190 subclass.

The state website indicates that priority is being given to medical specialists, health and science professionals, nurses, teachers, defence professionals, technicians, and tradies.


Queensland issued 472 invitations for subclass 491 and 712 for subclass 190 in the last six months of 2022.

The state now requires skilled nomination applicants to provide evidence of English language test results to the document portal if they receive an invitation for subclasses 190 or 491. This criterion was introduced in September 2022.

Western Australia

WA issued 420 invitations for subclass 491 and 830 for subclass 190 in the last six months of 2022, way less than its allocated quota.

The state recently announced that it has received an overwhelming number of applications for the State Nomination Migration Program.

“To allow adequate time to process the large volume of applications prior to the end of the program year, invitation rounds for the remainder of the 2022-23 state nomination program year will be brought forward and run in the first week of each month, commencing February 2023,” the website states.

Mr Rizvi said this surge in the number of applications has been driven by the influx of international students, and other temporary migrants who arrived in Australia after the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022.

“WA will need to make its nominations quickly to enable the Department to process the subsequent visa applications before the end of June 2023,” he said.

Mr Smar added that WA receives a significant number of applications because it allows applicants residing in other states to apply for its state nomination program.

“This is a huge advantage for applicants who may be residing in Victoria and still waiting for an invitation from their state of residence. They get another chance at getting nominated without actually moving to that state,” he said.


Tasmania issued 565 invitations for subclass 491 and 931 for subclass 190 up until 31 December 2022.

Australian Capital Territory

ACT is also lagging behind its allocated quota. The territory issued 855 invitations for subclass 491 and 411 for subclass 190 in the last six months of 2022.

Northern Territory

Only 297 intending migrants received nominations from the NT government from 1 July 2022 to 31 December 2022 for the Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491). At the same time, 298 invitations were issued for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190), way less than its allocation for the current migration year.

Disclaimer: This content is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

News Source: SBS

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