South Australia State Nomination Opportunities

webster By Mark Webster
Friday, 12 May 2017

The South Australian Government is highly supportive of skilled migration to their state. With skilled migration getting more competitive, this can be a good option for many applicants.

This article discusses the criteria for state nomination by South Australia for General Skilled Migration visa subclasses - including the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa and Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 visa.

Visa Options Available

Immigration South Australia is active in sponsoring for both the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa and the Skilled Regional Sponsored Subclass 489 visa.

Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa

This is a permanent visa and allows you to live anywhere in South Australia. You are expected to stay in South Australia for your first 2 years of residence in Australia and answer surveys during this time. You can potentially nominate any occupation on the STSOL when applying for the 190 visa. 5 points are available for state nomination for a 190 visa.

Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 visa

There are two eligibility pathways for the 489 visa:
  1. State Nominated: this option requires state nomination and you can nominate any occupation on the STSOL.
  2. Family Sponsored: if you have an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident family member who lives in a designated area, they can sponsor you for a 489 visa. The whole of South Australia is a designated area for the purposes of the 489 visa, and you must nominate an occupation on the shorter MLTSSL.

The 489 visa is a 4-year provisional visa. You and your family members can only live, work or study in a regional area of Australia. To qualify for the Permanent Skilled Regional Subclass 887 visa, you must work full time for 12 months and live for 2 years in a regional area. 10 points are available for either family sponsorship or state nomination for a 489 visa.

Some occupations on the SA List are limited to only 489 applicants - examples include Cafe or Restaurant Manager, Customer Service Manager, Welfare Worker, Motor Mechanic, Baker, Chef, Pastry Cook, Cook, Veterinary Nurse, Enrolled Nurse and Community Worker.

Occupations Lists for South Australia

The State Nominated Occupations Lists are published on 1 July each year by Immigration SA. There are two lists:
  • State Nominated Occupations List (SNOL): occupations which are in high demand in South Australia
  • Supplementary Skilled List (SSL): all other occupations on the STSOL. Requirements for state nomination in these occupations are higher than the State Nominated Occupations List

Work Experience Requirement

South Australia requires most applicants to meet a general work experience requirement. Applicants must in general show that they have worked in skilled employment for at least 12 months in the last 3 years. Where this work experience is in Australia, at least 6 months of the work experience must be in South Australia or at least 3 months for people currently working in South Australia.

Some occupations on the SNOL require more work experience - examples include Finance Managers, Registered Nurses (3 years), Social Workers, Community Workers and Welfare Workers, Bakers, Pastry Cooks and Chefs (2 years).

English Requirement

In general, South Australia requires only Competent English for state nomination purposes - this is the same as the threshold requirement for General Skilled Migration.

Some occupations require higher than Competent English:

  • Proficient or Proficient Plus Overall (average of 7.5 in IELTS or equivalent): Managers, Health Professionals, IT Professionals
  • Competent Plus (minimum of 6.5 in IELTS or equivalent) or Proficient Overall (average of 7): Agricultural Managers, Hospitality and Service Managers, Welfare and Community Workers

Advantages for South Australia Graduates

If you have completed a course taking at least 46 weeks of study in South Australia, you will have certain advantages when applying for South Australia state nomination. In some cases this may include:
  • Waiver of the work experience requirement - this may include both the usual 12 month work experience requirement and additional work experience requirements for certain occupations
  • Ability to nominate occupations on the "Special Conditions Apply" or "Supplementary Skills" Lists
  • Waiver of higher English requirement
  • Ability to qualify with lower points for certain occupations

Students completing vocational qualifications receive less benefit, and you would ideally study at the Bachelor level or higher.

High Performing Graduates may enjoy additional advantages - this includes those completing a Bachelor degree with a GPA of at least 6.0, graduates with First Class Honours, PhD or Masters by Research qualifications.

SA Planning Levels for Occupations

A planning level applies for each occupation on the SNOL. Once this is filled, the occupation is flagged as "Special Conditions Apply". This will mean that the criteria for state nomination are similar to Supplementary Skilled List occupations.

The South Australia state nomination program opens on 1 July each year - it is not uncommon for occupations to be filled within an hour or two of the program opening so it is essential to be well prepared and ready to submit if you are in a popular occupation.

Additional Requirements for Supplementary List and Special Conditions Apply Occupations

Applicants with an occupation on the Supplementary Skilled List or which is flagged as Special Conditions Apply must be one of the following to obtain state nomination from South Australia:
  1. South Australia Graduates: see above
  2. Currently working in your occupation in South Australia: either 12 months if working in Greater Adelaide or 6 months if in a regional area
  3. Chain Migration: where you have a close relative living in South Australia. Certain occupations are excluded.
  4. High Performing Graduates: see above
  5. High Points Score: at least 85 points including state nomination. Certain occupations are excluded.

Special Requirements for Certain Occupations

On top of these requirements, certain occupations have additional requirements for South Australia nomination. Examples include:
  • IT Professionals: currently require at least 70 points to receive a state nomination from South Australia - this includes the points from state nomination.
  • Accountants and Auditors: are on the Supplementary Skills List and require South Australia graduates to be working in their occupations for at least 12 months in South Australia.


South Australia is very keen to attract skilled migrants. Their list of occupations is very broad and includes occupations where it is otherwise difficult to obtain a permanent skilled visa.

The situation is particularly advantageous to international students who complete a course taking at least 12 months of study in South Australia.

However, certain occupations do require a higher level of English, higher points or a certain amount of work experience which may need to be in South Australia. If you are in a popular occupation, this may only be available for a short period of time as the SA planning level may fill quickly.

South Australia also exercises discretion in choosing skilled migrants - the quality of the application and in particular the level of commitment you can demonstrate to living in South Australia is critical to success.

Acacia has had a significant amount of experience assisting clients with state nominated applications and we are now available for consultations in Adelaide.

If you would like advice on your situation, please book a consultation with one of our advisors and we will assist you in developing an application strategy.


Immigration South Australia Website

Stay up to date - Subscribe to Immigration News!