Nomination pathway expanded for South Australia

Nomination pathway expanded for South Australia


Immigration South Australia introduced a new nomination pathway, chain migration*, which allows applicants with an immediate family memberpermanently residing in South Australia to apply for a state nominated visa.

Chain migration enables applicants to access occupations on the South Australian Graduate List and occupations listed as special conditions apply.


To qualify for the chain migration pathway, applicants must:

• Have completed a Bachelor degree or higher
• Meet all DIBP criteria and Immigration South Australia criteria
• Have 60 points on the DIBP points test.

To qualify for the chain migration pathway, the family member in South Australia must:

• Be the applicant’s grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, brother or sister. Applicants can still apply if it’s a step or adoptive parent/sibling.
• Be an Australian Permanent Resident or an Australian Citizen
• Have resided in South Australia for the past twelve months.

For full details of the chain migration criteria, view the eligibility requirementssection on our website.
*Quotas apply. Once reached, no further applications for chain migration will be accepted for the 2014/15 program year.


Coalition opens way for foreign chefs, brickies

THOUSANDS of foreign chefs, bricklayers and tilers will no longer have to be sponsored by employers to obtain permanent visas, as the Abbott government eases skilled migration rules to address alleged labour shortages.

Under changes backed by business groups, the three professions have been added to the Skilled Occupation List from July, meaning these workers will be able to apply for a permanent visa without requiring a sponsor.

Unions attacked the changes as unjustified given employers had recently said there were having “little difficulty’’ finding workers in the building industry.

Documents seen by The Weekend Australian also show the agency that recommended the changes acknowledged the inclusion of chefs could result in “exploitation of the training system for permanent residency’’.

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the tourism sector faced labour and skills shortages, with an additional 56,000 workers required by next year, including 26,000 skilled positions.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash said the addition of the three professions would be welcomed in regional areas where there was increased demand for these jobs but “a decrease in apprenticeship completions’’.

“As an island nation with a small population, a sustainable human capital strategy for Australia must be readily available to safeguard business from labour and skills shortages,’’ Senator Cash said.

“However, it would be simplistic to say that there is always an Australian willing and available to fill a particular position in various geographical locations within Australia, and it is the role of the skilled migration program to fill the gap.’’

Under the general skilled migration program, professionals and other skilled migrants can enter Australia without being sponsored by an employer. While they have to nominate an occupation on the skilled occupation list, there is no obligation for them to work in that occupation.

The government has capped the program at 43,990 skilled visas next financial year. For each of the professions on the list, the number of positions available is capped at 6 per cent of the occupation’s workforce.

Senator Cash said the government had decided to set the cap for chefs at 3 per cent for an initial six months.

According to the ABS Labour Force survey, about 76,100 chefs, 23,360 bricklayers and 15,800 floor and wall tilers work in Australia.

Under the 3 per cent cap, up to 2283 overseas chefs could apply for a place in the program, rising to 4566 if the cap went to 6 per cent. For bricklayers, the maximum number would be 1401, and 948 for floor and wall tilers.

Senator Cash stressed the changes would not result in thousands of extra foreign workers coming to Australia. Given total places remained capped at the same level, the entry of additional chefs, bricklayers and tilers would result in less places being approved among the existing 188 occupations on the list.

United Voice, the union representing chefs, said it did not accept there was a “skills gap’’ among chefs.

“The industry has got no problems attracting staff in Australia, the industry has a problem keeping staff,’’ said the union’s acting national secretary, David O’Byrne. “It has high turnover, low wages and highly casualised labour.”

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union pointed to the latest national survey by the Master Builders, which found the degree of difficulty in finding employees and subcontractors decreased in the March quarter.

“All categories are close to record lows with little difficulty finding employees or subcontractors in the building industry,” the survey said.

Dave Noonan, the national secretary of the CFMEU’s construction division, said the policy change “again demonstrates that the Abbott government does not have the interests of working Australians at heart’’.

Master Builders acting chief executive Richard Calver said the survey also showed “strong growth in the residential construction sector’’.

In recommending the changes, the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency said the inclusion of chefs “presents risk in terms of exploitation of the training system for permanent residency purposes’’ as had occurred prior to 2010. It said the risk had been diminished by policy changes.

Mr Robb said the changes would ensure Australia could fill the workforce needs of the “next wave of tourism infrastructure’’.

At Crown casino in Melbourne, Mark Holmes, general manger of food and beverage, said Crown gave priority to recruiting locally and had a program to train Australian chefs. “But we still currently have a number of local chef vacancies which have taken much longer than usual to fill,’’ Mr Holmes said.

Alternative English Language tests for visa applicants

From November 2014, the department will accept English language test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) across visa programmes.  These tests are alternatives to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Occupational English Test (OET), and have been accepted in the Student visa programme since November 2011.

The Department of Immigration has announced that the TOEFL and Pearson tests of English language ability will be accepted for immigration purposes from November 2014.

Currently, only the International English Language Testing System IELTS and Occupational English Test (OET) are accepted for the purposes of applying for General Skilled Migration and Permanent Employer Sponsored ENS/RSMS visas.

From November 2014, the following tests will also be accepted:


The TOEFL iBT is taken via the internet. There are more than 50 test dates each year, and there is a wide range of test locations throughout the world.

The test takes approximately 4.5 hours to complete has the following structure:

  1. Reading: 60-80 Minutes
  2. Listening: 120-180 Minutes
  3. Speaking: 20 Minutes
  4. Writing: 50 Minutes

TOEFL scores are available approximately 10 days after the test date. They can be viewed online, and a hard copy is sent approximately 13 days after the test date. You can specify recipients for your scores to be sent to via an online facility, but this cannot be changed after you have taken the test.

The current cost to undertake the TOEFL iBT in Australia is $240, well under the current cost of IELTS ($330).

PTE Academic

The Pearson Test of English Academic is structured as follows:

  1. Speaking and writing: 77 – 93 minutes
  2. Reading: 32 – 41 minutes
  3. Listening: 45 – 57 minutes

Overall, the test takes 3 hours. Results are available within 5 working days, and can be accessed by logging into an online account. It is possible to forward results to institutions via the online account also. This compares favourably with IELTS – results currently take 2 weeks to become available, and there is no online account facility for test takers.

The cost to do the PTE Academic test in Australia is $330 – exactly the same as IELTS. Locations and test dates are less extensive than the TOEFL.

Which Visas Will Be Affected?

The new English tests will apply for the following types of visa:

At this point, the new English tests have not been announced as applying to the subclass 457 visa. This subclass is currently under review and a report is due in July 2014, and it is likely that one of the recommendations would be to accept a wider range of English tests.

English Levels

Various Levels of English are Relevant for visa purposes:

1. Functional English

This is the level required for applicants for permanent and provisional skilled visas who wish to avoid paying the English Language Charge (currently $4,500 or more).

Required Scores to establish Functional English are as follows:

Test component Average across test components only
PTE Academic 30
OET n/a

2. Vocational English

Vocational English is the required level to obtain a 457 visa, and also ENS and RSMS visa through the Temporary Residence Transitional stream for people who have held a 457 visa for 2 years with the employer.

Required scores to establish Vocational English are as follows:

Listening Reading Writing Speaking
IELTS 5 5 5 5
TOEFL iBT 4 4 14 14
PTE Academic 36 36 36 36

3. Competent English

Competent English is the minimum (threshold) score for people applying for General Skilled Migration. It is also the score required for people applying for ENS and RSMS visas through the Direct Entry Stream.

Scores required to show Competent English are as follows:


Listening Reading Writing Speaking
IELTS 6 6 6 6
TOEFL iBT 12 13 21 18
PTE Academic 50 50 50 50

4. Proficient English

Proficient English applies only to Points Tested General Skilled visas, and is the required score to obtain 10 points for English.

Scores required for Proficient English are:

Listening Reading Writing Speaking
IELTS 7 7 7 7
TOEFL iBT 24 24 27 23
PTE Academic 65 65 65 65

5. Superior English

Superior English is to obtain the maximum score of 20 in the Skilled Migration Points Test.

Minimum scores for Superior English are:

Listening Reading Writing Speaking
IELTS 8 8 8 8
TOEFL iBT 28 29 30 26
PTE Academic 79 79 79 79


The availability of more choices for English language testing from November 2014 will be good for visa applicants. There will be various advantages for the different English tests, for instance:

  • TOEFL: readily available, inexpensive
  • Pearson: results ready in 5 days, ability to forward results to various recipients after test date
  • OET: no requirement to sit all 4 modules on the same date, results from different dates accepted by Immigration

18 new occupations added to South Australian State Nominated Occupations lists

18 new occupations added to South Australian State Nominated Occupations lists
Hairdressers, cooks, health workers and various  management occupations are some of the 18 new occupations classed as in-demand, on the new South Australian State Nominated Occupation lists.
There are now two lists for South Australia:
• State Occupations List, which is available to all applicants including South Australian international graduates, and
• South Australian Graduates List, which includes former ‘off-list’ occupations.

In late 2013, the department conducted an evaluation of occupational ceilings to assess how they have operated to date and to consider changes to ensure they are performing their intended function.

Based on feedback received as part of the evaluation, the following changes will be in place from 1 March 2014:

  • State and territory nominated visas will no longer be subject to occupational ceiling limitations
  • The minimum ceiling for each occupational group will be 1000 invitations.

As there are still high levels of interest from prospective skilled migrants in the following six occupations, pro rata arrangements for these occupational groups will continue:

  • Chemical and Materials Engineers
  • Electronics Engineers
  • Other Engineering Professionals
  • ICT Business and Systems Analysts
  • Software and Applications Programmers
  • Telecommunications Engineering Professionals.

Details of the cut-offs for these occupations will continue to be included in the regular invitation round reports.

NSW nominations closed for 2013/14

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) – NSW nominations closed for 2013/14

NSW is pleased to announce that program targets for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) have been met for the 2013/14 financial year.

Effective 24 December 2013, applications for NSW nomination for the subclass 190 visa will close. Applications received after this date will not be processed or returned. NSW will reopen for the subclass 190 visa nomination in July 2014. Information regarding 2014/15 applications will be posted on this website in July 2014.

Thank you for your interest in migrating to NSW.

QLD SOL – 2014 Changes

In November 2013 the new Queensland Skilled Occupation Lists (QSOLs) were announced and include more occupations and less stringent eligibility criteria than ever before.

This means:

  • The QSOL 190 requires only two years experience for most occupations, with 84 occupations available for state nomination.
  • The QSOL 489 requires either a job, job offer or two years experience for most occupations and there are 150 occupations available for state nomination.
  • English language requirements for all occupations is now 6.0 in all components or the minimum required by an assessing body.

State Nomination Occupation List for Victoria Updated on 6 Nov 2013

State Nomination Occupation List for Victoria as on 6 Nov 2013 following occupations are added or removed to previous list

Health Information Manager 224213 State(190) Added
Nuclear Medicine Technologist 251213 State(190) Added
Child Care Centre Manager 134111 State(190) Added
Primary School Teacher 241213 State(190) Added
Metal Machinist (First Class) 323214 State(190) Added
Surveyor 232212 State(190) Removed
Accountant (General) 221111 State(190) Removed
External Auditor 221213 State(190) Removed
Carpenter and Joiner 331211 State(190) Removed
Carpenter 331212 State(190) Removed
Joiner 331213 State(190) Removed
Plumber (General) 334111 State(190) Removed
Health Information Manager 224213 Regional(489)-State Wise Added
Nuclear Medicine Technologist 251213 Regional(489)-State Wise Added
Child Care Centre Manager 134111 Regional(489)-State Wise Added
Primary School Teacher 241213 Regional(489)-State Wise Added
Metal Machinist (First Class) 323214 Regional(489)-State Wise Added
Surveyor 232212 Regional(489)-State Wise Removed
Accountant (General) 221111 Regional(489)-State Wise Removed
External Auditor 221213 Regional(489)-State Wise Removed
Carpenter and Joiner 331211 Regional(489)-State Wise Removed
Carpenter 331212 Regional(489)-State Wise Removed
Joiner 331213 Regional(489)-State Wise Removed
Plumber (General) 334111 Regional(489)-State Wise Removed

NSW State Occupation List (As at 14/10/2013)

The NSW State Migration Plan was updated from 15 October 2012.

The plan includes an increase in the number of skilled migrants that can be nominated by NSW Trade and Investment each year from the agreed NSW List of Occupations (updated 14 October 2013). The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) determines the number of skilled migrants that can be nominated.

ACT Occupation List 2013 – 14

ACT is pleased to advise that offers of ACT nomination will re-commence on 3/09/2013 for the following occupations.
Please note the distribution of these places will be issued on a pro rata basis over the 2013/14 program year.

ICT Business and Systems Analysts
Status: Limited
ANZSCO Major group: 2611

Telecommunications Engineering Professionals
Status: Limited
ANZSCO Major group: 2633

Other Engineering Professional
Status: Limited
ANZSCO Major group: 2339

Software and Applications Programmers
Status: Limited
ANZSCO Major group: 2613

Electronics Engineers
Status: Closed
ANZSCO Major group: 2334

Chemical and Materials Engineers
Status: Closed
ANZSCO Major group: 2311

Please refer to the ACT nomination guidelines for verification of a limited or closed occupation.

The latest ACT Guidelines and Occupation List are available on the