On 5 January 2021, the state of Victoria reopened its Skilled Visa Nomination Program. Victoria is encouraging potential candidates whose skills and experience can contribute to the health sector to join the program and potentially become Australian permanent residents. This program provides additional options for skilled migrants to establish themselves in Australia, allowing applicants to work in specific regions and states where their skills are most needed. If you’re interested in working in Australia (or staying in Australia permanently) this post will explain how you can do that.
An Overview of Victoria’s Visas
The Skilled Visa Nomination Program includes two visas:
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491)
Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa
The reopening of the program has expanded the opportunities for getting a visa for Australia. Its focus is on the economic recovery and health responses needed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The selection criteria have changed to reflect this. Applicants are now required to show how their skills and work experience contribute to rebuilding the economy and strengthening Victoria’s health response in light of the pandemic.
In September 2020, Victoria released 600 places for the Subclass 190 visa, as part of its interim program. With the opening of the full program on 5 January, an additional 1900 spots were released. This brings the total amount of places for the 190 visa nominations to 2500.
There are now 1043 places for the 491 visa nominations, as a further 843 places were released. There were only 200 spots for Subclass 491 in September 2020.
The Subclass 491 visa allows successful applicants to live and work in Victoria for 5 years. It also provides a pathway to Australia permanent residency.
The Subclass 190 visa offers Australia permanent residency to professionals contributing to Victoria’s key focus areas in the economic and health sectors.
To successfully gain these visas, you must be nominated by the Victorian government.
There are specific windows and selection days for the Subclass 190 and 491 visa nominations. This means that you can only register your interest in the nominations within certain time frames. For example, the first window is open from 5 January 2021 until 11 January 2021. Successful Registrations of Interest (ROIs) will be selected on 22 January 2021.
You can submit an ROI for the Victorian State Nominations during this window of time. Once a submission window is closed, you’ll need to apply in the next window. Your ROI will still be considered on future selection days if it wasn’t chosen on the selection day immediately after your submission window.
There are 5 submission windows, giving you a range of opportunities to register your interest. Here is a list of all the windows and selection days:
10 am, 5 January 2021 to 5 pm, 11 January 2021
22 January 2021
9 am, 2 February 2021 to 5 pm, 8 February 2021
19 February 2021
9 am, 2 March 2021 to 5 pm, 8 March 2021
19 March 2021
9 am, 6 April 2021 to 5 pm, 12 April 2021
23 April 2021
9 am, 4 May 2021 to 5 pm, 10 May 2021
21 May 2021
There are specific eligibility requirements for both the Subclass 190 and Subclass 491 visas. Meeting these requirements is an important part of being selected to apply for Victoria’s Skilled Visa Nominations.
You must be under the age of 45 to apply for the 491/190 visa nomination.
To be eligible, the requirements state your level of English should be ‘Competent’. This can be shown by your International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores, which need to be at least 6 in each section of the test. You can also take other accepted language tests such as OET and TOEFL at the Department of Home Affairs. These tests are acceptable because they are like IELTS. The results of your English language test will be part of your application.
Applicants who are citizens of the UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand, and the Republic of Ireland are not required to take these English language tests.
To be eligible for the 491 visa, applicants should already be living and working in Australia, specifically Victoria, for at least 3 months. To meet the residency requirements for the 190 visa, you must have been living and working in Victoria for the last 6 months.
The application also requires evidence of this residency. For example, a real estate lease or bill can show you’ve been a resident of Victoria for a minimum of 3 or 6 months, depending on the visa you’re applying for.
Employment and Occupation
People working in Australia in highly skilled fields such as the health, medical research, or digital sectors are eligible to apply. For the past 3-6 months, this employment must have been in support of Victoria’s economic recovery and/or health response. Your occupation should be listed in the Skilled Occupation List from the Department of Home Affairs. To meet the employment requirements of this visa, applicants also need to show evidence of working in Australia for the required time.
International graduate students or Ph.D. applicants who focus on either the economic or health response of Victoria are also welcome to apply.
Having a strong track record of a successful business and innovation experience can increase your chances of getting a visa for Australia.
Nurses applying for the 190 visa should note that the following nursing specializations are being nominated at this time:
Midwife – 254111
Registered Nurse (Aged Care) -254412
Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) – 254415
Registered Nurse (Mental Health) – 254422
Registered Nurse (Perioperative) – 254423
This application needs a skills assessment that matches the occupation listed in your visa nomination and Expression of Interest (EOI). For example, if the job listed on your visa nomination application is registered nurse (critical care and emergency), the skills assessment should match the skills and experience needed for that type of nursing. It also needs to be valid for a minimum of 12 weeks so it’s best to use a recent Skills Assessment.
Intention to Live, Work, and Study in Victoria
Applicants need to show they are serious about settling in Victoria for the duration of their visa.
The Subclass 190 visa requires you to show a commitment to living and working in Victoria for a minimum of 2 years.
Your visa nomination application must include a completed and signed declaration form.
Detailed resume or curriculum vitae (C.V)
Applicants must include a well-presented, professional resume or C.V. Applications can be refused if the C.V or resume is not suitable. An effective document will show evidence of your experience working in Australia and other places, in addition to dates of employment, education and training. Getting this wrong will cost you 6 months. That’s how long you’d have to wait to reapply if your application is refused.
Department of Home Affairs requirements
Once you gain a nomination for the Victorian visa, you will need to meet a few additional requirements. The Department of Home Affairs has requirements based on factors such as health and character. The consultants at UIS Australia can certainly work with you to show how you meet these requirements. If working in Australia is your goal, we can assist you with optimizing your visa application and completing your immigration process.
The Application Process
Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements of the subclass 190 or subclass 491 visas.
Check that you have a recent Skills Assessment (at least 12 weeks). If it’s more than 12 weeks old, get an updated assessment. You should also have your English tests which show a Competent level of the language if this test is required.
Make or update an Expression of Interest (EOI) using SkillSelect. Specify that you’re interested in the Victorian nomination. The EOI needs to have been made or updated on or after 1 September 2020.
Once you’ve made an EOI, you can use a website called Live in Melbourne to register your interest in the Victorian visas. A Registration of Interest (ROI) for the Victorian Visa Nomination should only be made during the specific submission windows.
If your ROI is selected, you’ll be invited to apply for the Victorian State nomination. This invitation will be sent to the email address listed on your ROI, so check it regularly.
Once you’ve been invited, submit your application to the Victorian visa nomination.
If your application is successful, you will be nominated by the Victorian government. At that stage, you can now apply for the Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190/491 on SkillSelect. This should be done within 60 days of getting the nomination from Victoria. The Department of Home Affairs will assess your application.
What UIS Australia Can Offer You
It’s important to get each step of the application process right and we can help you do that. Missing certain criteria, not providing an appropriate C.V, leaving out documents… These and more can cost you time, money, and potentially your entire visa application.
Our immigration consultants can save you all three and increase your chances for a successful 491/190 visa nomination. The consultants at UIS Australia take on the hassle of obtaining a visa for Australia and paving an easier path to Australia permanent residency.
Our team will make sure your application meets the requirements for working in Australia. Contact us today so we can help get you ready for the next submission window.