Western Australia’s Subclass 190/491 Program is Now Open and Requirements Have Changed

This article was originally posted by Nicole Kirkwood, Director of Australian Visa and Immigration Experts (AVIE) and Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 0962323).

General Skilled Migration (GSM) is part of Australia’s skilled migration program. The skilled migration program allows people with in-demand skills to migrate to Australia without an employer sponsor.

Two of the most popular visa subclasses available in the General Skilled Migration program are the Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated and Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visas. You can learn more about General Skilled Migration in Australia here.

Western Australia has just announced changes to the program for subclass 190/491 visas for the 2021/2021 migration year. The subclass 190/491 program in Western Australia (WA) is now open. Here’s what you need to know.

Western Australia’s skilled nomination program

For the last two years, Western Australia’s skilled nomination program has had two occupation lists: one for international student graduates of Western Australia, and a small list for other eligible occupations.

This had meant that if you did not study in WA, you would have to have a health-related occupation or you could not apply for nomination by WA. However, this year, there are new occupation lists and requirements which benefit many more applicants.

What has changed?

General Stream list has many more occupations

Western Australia now has expanded their occupation list for their general stream from only health-related occupations, such as nurses and surgeons, to include many more occupations, such as accountants, aeroplane and helicopter pilots, bakers, carpenters, cooks, café or restaurant managers, mechanical engineers, software engineers, ICT project managers, management consultants, early childhood teachers, and more.

The General Steam now has two schedules:

Schedule 1 – Includes only health-related occupations

To be eligible you must have:

  • A skills assessment
  • Suitable points
  • Suitable English
  • Either one year of work experience in Australia or three years overseas
  • A full-time contract for at least 12 months work in WA
  • Be located in Western Australia
  • Sufficient funds to settle in Australia.

Schedule 2 – Includes IT, teaching, trades, management, engineering and many more

To be eligible you must have:

  • A skills assessment
  • Suitable points
  • Suitable English
  • A full time contract for at least 12 months work in WA
  • Be located in Western Australia
  • Sufficient funds to settle in Australia.

The graduate list has remained the same

WA has not changed their list for international student graduates. This means that some graduates who would have previously been eligible by studying and working part-time in WA will now need to have a full-time employment contract before they can become eligible.

For some other occupations, such as teachers (other than early childhood and vocational education teachers), you will need to consider other options should you wish to remain permanently in Australia after your studies.

Graduate list – this includes aeronautical engineers, agricultural consultants, biotechnologists, chefs, ICT security specialists, surveyors, and telecommunications engineers

To be eligible you must have:

  • A skills assessment
  • Suitable points
  • Suitable English
  • Studied in WA for 2 years at an accredited education provider
  • Either six months Australian work experience in a closely related occupation (20 hours a week), or have a six month contract for full-time work in a highly related occupation in WA
  • Be located in Western Australia
  • Sufficient funds to settle in Australia.

Where to go for visa support

The Department of Home Affairs website is the first place you should seek information regarding visas in Australia. Alternatively, contact a Registered Migration Agent to have all your visa-related questions answered.