Are you thinking about applying for a skilled visa to Australia? Have you considered Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia as a place to settle? Adelaide may have a lower public profile than more populous cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, but that does not mean you should miss out on the additional visa opportunities that this beautiful part of the world has to offer. Apart from the added skilled visa Adelaide options this city presents, it is a great place to live!

Let’s take a look at what is a skilled visa, the types of skilled visas available, and the benefits that Adelaide, and South Australia more generally, may offer as a place to work, live and study.

What Is A Skilled Visa?

A skilled visa is one which is granted based on your skills, qualifications and/or experience. In addition, to qualify for a skilled visa, your occupation must be included in a specified Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for that visa subclass, with each one subject to a prescribed SOL. These lists are compiled by the Government based on skills shortages that are being experienced in the Australian labour market at various times and more specifically, based on individual factors relevant to each subclass. These occupation lists are reviewed and updated periodically, to ensure that they remain current and in line with conditions being experienced at regular points in time.

This means that an occupation that may be eligible for nomination today may not be so in the future. This highlights the changing nature of the migration program in general, which is an important factor to consider when planning your visa pathway in Australia. An occupation that is eligible for nomination today may not be so in the future, and therefore when embarking on this journey, you will need to be prepared for things to change, and the need to potentially change your original plans and adapt to the current conditions at various points in time. Therefore, a flexible approach is required.

To avoid such complications potentially arising, you might therefore consider applying for the relevant skilled visa for which you are eligible as early as possible, to avoid the chance that you could no longer be eligible should your selected skilled occupation be removed from the SOL at a future date.

We have prepared a series of articles outlining the skilled visa options available for selected occupations that may be nominated under the skilled visa programme, which you can refer to below:

Australian Visa Options for Nurses

Australian Visa Options for Medical Practitioners

Australian Visa Options for Engineers

Australian Visa Options for tradespeople

Australian Visa Options for Professional Occupations

Australian Visa Options for IT Occupations

Some skilled visas are temporary, and others grant permanent residency in Australia. A third type, called a provisional visa, is a temporary visa which may lead to the grant of a permanent visa if you meet certain conditions at a future date.

What Types Of Skilled Visas Are Available?

The main skilled visa options are as follows:

Skilled Regional Visas

The skilled regional visa programme is designed to meet skills shortages in certain regions of Australia, with a focus on regional Australia. These areas are referred to as designated regional areas (which includes the entire state of South Australia). The programme comprises of the following provisional visa subclasses:

  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa; and
  • Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa.

The Subclass 491 visa comprises two streams, being the Family Sponsored and State Sponsored streams (one of which must be selected). Both of these visas provide a pathway to permanent residence via the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa.

More Information About The Skilled Regional Visa Programme

To learn more about the subclass 491, 494 and 191 visas, please see the following articles:

New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced

Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa

Further Regulations released for the new regional sponsored visas to commence from 16 November 2019

Applications for the new provisional regional sponsored visas are now open

For more information about the subclass 491 visa specifically, please see the following articles:

Subclass 491 Regional Visa

491 Visa Adelaide

State Sponsored Visa

Under the State Sponsored skilled migration programme, which comprises the permanent Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) Visa, individual states and territories across Australia identify skills shortages being experienced within their own jurisdictions. Therefore, the SOL for New South Wales, for example, will be different to the SOL which applies to South Australia, because each is formulated based on their own unique and specific circumstances.

More Information About The State Sponsored Visa Programme

For further information on the Subclass 190 visa, please see the following:

Subclass 190 State Sponsorship Visa

Adelaide 190 Visa

Roadmap for skilled applicants – which road should I take?

Skilled Independent Visa

The Subclass 189 Skilled (Independent) Visa is a non-state or regional based permanent skilled visa that is similar to the subclass 190 visa discussed above, except that it does not require State Sponsorship.

More Information About The Skilled Independent Visa Programme

You can read more about the Subclass 189 visa (and other skilled visas) in our Roadmap for skilled applicants – which road should I take? article.

Employer Sponsored Visa

In addition to the subclass 494 visa discussed above, another employer sponsored option is the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa, which offers a pathway to permanent residence via the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa after a prescribed period (under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream).

You might also qualify for immediate permanent residence through the Direct Entry stream of the ENS visa programme.

The labour agreement stream in particular offers more opportunities to qualify for a skilled visa, specifically in Adelaide, and South Australia more generally. For example, the Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement provides more flexibility for employers in South Australia to sponsor overseas workers, as do the Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA), of which there are currently two in South Australia:

Links to further information about these DAMAs are provided later in this article.

All three of these agreements are a type of labour agreement offered under the TSS and ENS visa programmes (and in certain cases, the subclass 494/191 visa).

Invitation System

Before we continue our discussion, it is important to point out that certain skilled visas operate via an invitation-based system. Under this process, you must first submit an Expression of Interest (“EOI”) with the Department of Home Affairs (“the Department”), to express your interest in applying for the following skilled visas:

  • Subclass 189 Skilled (Independent) visa;
  • Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) visa;
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Family Sponsored visa; and
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) State Nominated visa.

In addition, you must lodge a separate nomination application to a State or Territory Government agency if you are applying for one of the following:

  • Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) visa; and
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) State Nominated visa.

If your application is successful, you will receive an invitation, which will then enable you to apply for the relevant visa within 60 days.

Invitations for the Subclass 189 and Subclass 491 Family Sponsored visas are allocated once per month, normally on the 11th day.

Nomination approvals for the Subclass 190 and Subclass 491 State Nominated visas are issued throughout each month.

Check the monthly statistics for June 2020, which shows how many invitations were issued for that month, the points required and the breakdown between pro-rated occupations. Statistics are also provided for the number of invitations issued in the 2019/20 migration year.

To learn more about how the invitation system works, please refer to the following article:

Skill Select Invitation round August 2018

Why Choose South Australia?

Next, let’s look at why does Adelaide presents more opportunities for migration compared with some other Australian cities?

This is due to it being classified as a designated regional area of Australia. You can read more about this in our Australian Immigration Adelaide article.

In formulating immigration policies in recent times, the Government has shifted its focus to regional and rural parts of the country, as it attempts to assist these lower population areas to fill critical labour market and skill shortages, to help grow local economies in smaller communities around the nation. In doing so, it is attempting to ‘fix the balance’ when it comes to population, and spread skills more evenly throughout the country to help take the pressure off cities which are experiencing the opposite problem; too high a population and the added demand that this places on limited resources.

What Occupations Qualify For A Skilled Visa In South Australia?

As noted earlier in this article, an important component of meeting visa grant requirements for a skilled visa Adelaide is nominating an occupation on the Adelaide skilled migration list. This too presents greater opportunities for qualifying for a skilled visa due to the inclusion of both skilled and semi-skilled occupations which are eligible to be nominated in South Australia.

Several occupations which were not previously eligible for sponsorship under the skilled visa programme, specifically those classified as Skill Level 4 occupations under the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), can now be nominated in South Australia. Occupations in this skill level category generally require an AQF Certificate II or III qualification, or alternatively, a minimum of one-year employment experience, which may substitute for formal qualifications.

You can read more about these skill levels in our article on the South Australia DAMA, where we discuss the ANZSCO framework and skill level of each occupation which may be nominated under one particular Adelaide skilled migration programme, that being the Designated Area Migration Agreements in South Australia (DAMA SA).

In DAMA SA – New occupations available, you will also find more information on the DAMAs in South Australia, including Skill Level 4 occupations which are eligible to be nominated under the programme.

To learn more about the South Australian DAMAs and how they work in more detail, please refer to the following articles:

In DAMA South Australia, we take a look at how an employer can apply for endorsement under a South Australia DAMA, including its benefits and key features.

In DAMA Adelaide, you can read about the obligations of sponsoring employers under the DAMA, and how PAX Migration Australia can help you to apply for sponsorship under the South Australia, whether you and employer seeking to sponsor workers, or you are a worker yourself.

In South Australia DAMA Occupation List, we provide a more general overview of the South Australia DAMA, including the ANZSCO and occupation skill levels, and the benefits of sponsorship under a South Australia DAMA.

And in DAMA South Australia Occupation List, we examine the VETASSESS Skills Assessment Requirements For Occupations which have DAMA-specific criteria which need to be satisfied for a positive skills assessment.

What Is It Like To Live In South Australia?

Please see our Spotlight on South Australia article, which talks about what’s it like to travel and live in South Australia.

For more information about South Australia and what is has to offer, see our article on Why should you consider SA skilled regional sponsorship visa as a pathway to live the Australian dream.

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Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation to find out more about the pathways available for a skilled visa Adelaide and whether your occupation is included on the Adelaide skilled migration list.


Immigration South Australia – Skilled and Business Migration – DAMA Occupation List – Adelaide City Agreement

Immigration South Australia – Skilled and Business Migration – DAMA Occupation List – South Australian Agreement

Australian Bureau of Statistics – 1220.0 – ANZSCO – Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.3 – LATEST ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/11/2019